Beware of Domain Registration Scams
We are seeing patterns of this type of scam occurring more and more often. This is a scam that is often used by shady registrars whose aim is to deceive you into giving them money.
This can by done using spam emails to unsuspecting website owners. Since every domain should publish an e-mail address for a billing contact person, your information is available for anyone to see and fraudsters are able to automate this process and spam in mass volume.
Fraudsters are able to data-mine the whois databases and find domains that will be up for renewal and send an official-looking invoice to the published billing contact person in hopes that they will blindly pay it.
Most of the time you will see fine print on the bottom of the email notice, and reads similar to other scams like the ones used by yellow page fraudsters that basically states that you are agreeing to transfer the domain from your legitimate registrar to the fraudster. Once this happens, you will not only be out of a little bit of money, you may also be contractually locked into paying the new registrar for all future renewals.
Keep an eye out for these emails, if they do not come from a familiar contact or from your host, contact your website provider or webmaster before you decide to pay anything.