We have had several reports from GreenNet members about "phoney bills" relating to domain names they have registered through us.
If you have received a letter in the post from "Domain Registry of America" (DRoA) or "Domain Renewal Group" urging you to pay them for renewing your domain name, please ignore it. It's a scam, so don't worry about your domain and do not send them any money.
The return address is often a mailbox at "56 Gloucester Rd, Suite 526, SW7 4UB" and we have seen similar campaigns using the names "EU Registry Services" (in 2004), "Domain Registry of Europe", and "Domain Renewal Group" using identical tactics. Their own website mentions "Brandon Gray Internet Services" and "NameJuice.com".
We've also received numerous comments on this site from other internet users giving information or wanting more information about how to recover their domain or their money. Some of these have mentioned particular names of people involved in DRoA, located in Toronto, including Eric Voisard (firstname.lastname@example.org), Peter Chan and Steven Linn.
GreenNet has been seeing these letter campaigns since 2004 and would like to suggest ways you can report the scam and avoid confusion. We had numerous conversations at the end of June 2008 with the Office of Fair Trading and the Trading Standards department and it seems there is little they can do, since the company is based abroad and this could be seen as a business-to-business dispute. We have also confronted DRoA to explain the abuse. They claim there is no law protecting users from being contacted by post, unlike email or fax, although there have been reports of them also using email in 2010.
If you, as an affected person, would like to make a complaint here are a few numbers you can call.
- Consumer Direct: 0845 404 0506
- Your local Trading Standards office
- Westminister Trading Standards Office: 020 7641 1111 (where DRoA have a registered address)
- Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) 020 7492 2222
- Federal Trade Commission (US)
- ICANN complaint
Other mentions of the scam:
- "Court bars Canadian domain slammer" (The Register)
- "Domain Renewal Fraud" (Compudave)"
- Previous FTC decision
- Previous ASA ruling (2009)
- ICANN draft policy (2012) and background
Sample comment received:
"I just stopped the new treasurer of an association sending off the cheque on this scam... which, since the country is French speaking - and the recipients have difficulty understanding the letter - will probably have quite a success. Thanks for all your info... I'll see what I can do."