There’s a new scam in town — and it’s targeting website owners.
Have you received a “bill” for $289 from US Domain Authority? Do NOT pay.
Here’s why not.
Meet The US Domain Authority Scam
We’ve covered website domains before.
Your domain name is how people find and access your site on the internet. Every website needs a domain, and every domain must be registered.
You purchase and register your domain with registrars like Namecheap (our recommended registrar of choice!) or GoDaddy.
After you register, however, an ominous letter may arrive in your mail. Printed on official-looking stationery, this letter will claim to be a bill for “annual website domain listing” costing hundreds of dollars.
Be warned — this so-called “bill” is usually fake. Rather than a mandatory invoice, it’s almost certainly a paid advertisement.
This scheme is truly heartbreaking. It targets business owners who aren’t familiar with the website domain process, and it uses American flags to make the stationary look more legit.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to be fooled by these “bills.” Many people pay without realizing it’s a scam.
How the US Domain Authority Scam Works
Let’s go behind the scenes and see how this scam happens.
Registering a domain is like buying a house. Both can result in your personal info being published online.
Scammers use those personal details to mail you advertisements that look like bills. Ads typically include your real website registration dates, and they arrive at your real address.
So how can you protect your personal information?
When you buy a domain, your personal contact info should NOT be public. Many domain registrars offer privacy protection to keep contact details safe. At Studio Anansi, we always recommend this option to clients.
But when someone purchased their domain before working with us, they may have inadvertently skipped the privacy settings. Their personal contact information is online for anybody to see.
That’s when scams like this one happen.
If You Receive a Suspicious “Bill”
If you receive a letter from US Domain Authority, you don’t need to pay.
If you receive a letter from another organization, spend time checking the letter’s authenticity. Look at the organization’s website, and check for language clarifying if this is a real bill.
For example, on the US Domain Authority website, they state that their letter is actually an ad:
Unfortunately, that info is buried in their FAQ and requires digging to uncover.
Do your research before paying. And if you’re still not sure? Contact us.
A MUCH Better Alternative
US Domain Authority claims to “focus on ranking verified listings for businesses higher on Google.” But Google is smart — and getting smarter every year. It knows to penalize scammy sites.
If you’re interested in better Google rankings, don’t spend nearly $300 getting listed on this scammy site. Instead, use your budget on SEO-boosting content. We provide optimized website copy, blog posts, and SEO strategy — get in touch for our current availability.
Domain Scam FAQ
Do I need to pay an invoice from US Domain Authority?
You almost certainly do not. At the time of this writing, US Domain Authority mails paid advertisements disguised to look like invoices. These so-called “invoices” can be tossed in the trash.
Unless US Domain Authority starts to actually sell domains in the future (unlikely), you will not need to pay them ever.
Is US Domain Authority legit?
Nope. US Domain Authority is not worth your time. This deceptive organization mails letters to real website owners, hoping that you’ll pay $289 without realized that their “invoice” is just a paid ad.
What happens if I pay US Domain Authority?
You’ll be included in their “online listing service.” Your domain will not be renewed, and you will still need to pay for the real domain renewal.
How did US Domain Authority get my information?
Your domain registration may not include privacy protection to keep your personal details safe. We can help make your contact information private — the way it should be! Get in touch today to get started.