Josh Bourne ⬥ 16 August
Internet Listing Service, a group based in Toronto, sent fake invoices to small businesses, non-profits and individuals. The invoices, which were designed to look like they had come from domain name registrars, told recipients that if they did not pay the amount listed, they would lose their domain names. Some invoices also included charges for search engine optimization services.
The fake bills were apparently convincing enough to scare recipients into paying. By the time the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut Internet Listing Service down earlier this week, the group had scammed victims out of over $4 million.
Like I said, I’ve seen a good deal of domain name scams working in the domain space for over 10 years now and the fake “renewal invoice” scheme is nothing new, but to see one that specifically preys on small businesses and non-profits is particularly disappointing.