Emails from Domain SEO Service Registration Corp are indeed scam, however their email is well structured making you panic and think you haven’t paid for you domain. I did a little investigation into them to give you guys a little more power when your registering website and domains for the first time.
Domain SEO Service Registration Corp Is A Scam
After registering a domain I got the notice in the pic below. Since I register domains on a regular basis I am used to a little bit of spam coming through on my email and even in the post box. However, this one and it’s subject, wording and layout, made my heart skip for a second. I had paid for the .com domain at Blacklight hosting just two weeks before however, when I saw this notice I had a moment of panic. Did I forget to register the domain? Was someone taking it from me? Did I miss a payment method? I very quickly copped that I had a spam email.
Then out of pure curiosity I decided to read through the email and have a look at the links. It turns out that they are offering so called SEO services (which I would not trust anyway). However they have worded the email very carefully and made it look very official. They also have made the landing page very simple and cleverly draw your eye away from any detail so it mostly looks like I have to pay for my domain again.
It occurred to me that my experience would prevent me from getting caught out with these guys, however I know that there are plenty of people out there what would not have the knowledge and could get stung. So for your sake (and a little curiosity), I looked into this a little further!
Lets start with the email, the company is tricking you with clever placement of words and phrases, but they are not lying to you. The email has clever wording and they also state a the bottom of their mail, in small grey writing.
We are a search engine optimization company. We do not register or renew domain names. We sell traffic generator software. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. THIS IS NOT A BILL OR AN INVOICE. THIS IS A SEO PURCHASE OFFER. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS PURCHASE OFFER. This message contains promotional material strictly along the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. We have distinctly mentioned the source mail-id of this email and also disclosed our subject lines. They are in no way misleading.
Ok so they’ve told us in small, hard to read, grey writing that they are not being misleading. But it’s on the internet so it must be true?
I moved onto their website, I was taking a little bit of a chance here. I don’t like visiting spam related sites for fear of hackers and viruses. But this one scanned out ok. The website looked genuine but oddly simple for an SEO company. Time to read their Terms & Conditions, which are not very comprehensive and don’t seem very legit when it comes to the legal speak… e.g. “ironclad” and “must thoroughly stress that there is no guarantee” (nice).
They also contain some very ‘interesting’ details. Such as “While a top ten ranking assignment means that the customer’s page will be placed in the top ten in a search result, this can take up to 50 weeks to occur as we upload optimization to the customer’s website.” I know SEO can be slow, but WOW.
This one would worry me a little, as any changes to the site appearance would always be something that you would need to check with the client. “[we] must be granted the right to optimize our customer’s website. This can sometimes cause a slight visual impact, but is normally not noticeable. We will work with our customers to ensure that the page is left intact and that only the most minimal of changes takes place.” SEO services should never affect the site without quite a lot of consultation. Following on from this, this is even more worrying “[we]. accepts no liability in the case of a loss of service, files being unavailable or inaccessible, damage of data, misuse of equipment by other clients, failure or breakdown of externally managed equipment, or any communication devices or services that are beyond the control of [we].
Finally, this is an interesting one for a digital services company “All notices must be in writing. All notices and communication to DOMAIN SEO SERVICE REGISTRATION CORP. must be addressed correctly to [us]” Humm? This brings me nicely on to investigating there address.
They state on their website and on the email that they address is a US address. Domain SEO Service Registration Corp. 1000 Fifth Street, Suite 200 – G9, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (954) 320-4679 Fax: (954) 320-4679 Hmm, looks ok?
This building is owned by a company called Anex Office, which is a company that offers virtual offices for $50 a month. Yes the location is real, however is the company based there? Well this is where my Whois investigation came in. If you ever need to find out some details on a domain name that your not sure about, you need to do a Whois search. This looks up the public registrant details and if they haven’t opted for a private listing you can find out more about the authenticity of a domain. So having searched for the encomethod.org domain these are the details I received.
Registrant Name: yong xing
Registrant Organization: yong xing
Registrant Street: xiang zou qu cui xiang jie dao 362
Registrant City: zhuhai
Registrant State/Province: GD
Registrant Postal Code: 519000
Registrant Country: CN
Registrant Phone: +86.75622652241
Registrant Email: email@example.com
Wait a minute, that’s not the address that I got from their website! In fact, that’s not an address at all. It’s gibberish. If you google this address you get tonnes more domains registered under these details. I wonder how much money these goys are making?
Truth be told I could dig and dig online and get even more evidence on these guys because there is plenty of it. But also kudos to these guys when it comes to trickery, lay out and wording. Seriously, you have to hand it to them. They win the clever smoke and mirrors award. It’s obvious to me they are replying on the reader being too busy and inexperienced to realise what they are doing. Hoping your so busy that you just pay a subscription thinking you are paying a missed bill to the domain registrar. Well done guys.
However, what are you really signing up to. You have this company that is offering SEO services, they use all the right words but are you looking at a situation where they will buy links for you, keyword stuff you pages. Or are they going to take your money and hope you won’t notice that you signed up for a ‘service’ and not a renewal of your domain.
I didn’t do much digging bit it’s quite clear that the email from Domain SEO Service Registration Corp is a scam. Don’t believe me? Have a look at this post on ProAdInsights and this one on AqueousSEO and finally this Q&A session on Wix Help Desk.