Nominet UK - the .uk Internet registry - is warning domain name holders to be on their guard against bogus invoices being distributed by an outfit called Domain Registry Services.
Nominet UK has received more than 50 complaints from ISPs and small businesses about the rogue company and is urging people to check all invoices carefully. The "Notice of Expiration" received from Domain Registry Services advises punters that they will lose their domain name unless the invoice for £60 is settled.
The invoice also offers five year domain renewal for £140 and £270 for ten years - even though Nominet UK only allows domains to be renewed for two years.
"If you have any doubts about the validity of an invoice, please contact your existing registration agent who will be able to advise you," said Nominet UK in a statement.
Nominet UK is also working with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Trading Standards over concerns of how Domain Registry Services obtained its lists of .uk information. The matter is currently under investigation.
Last month, UK businesses were warned to be vigilant against bogus invoices as fraudsters target understaffed firms during the summer. According to the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), rogue traders take advantage of senior staff taking leave in the summer to trick more-junior employees into paying what looks like an urgent invoice.
In October 2003, Nominet UK won a legal battle against Domain Registrar Services Ltd which flogged domains by falsely claiming it was linked to Nominet UK. Although the name is similar to Domain Registry Services, a spokeswoman for Nominet UK said they didn't believe the two companies are linked. ®