Beware of phantom invoices!

Halloween is over for a while, but the internet is still haunted - in fact there are ghost invoices sent to companies, in an attempt to deceive them. That fraud comes in various forms.

DNS Belgium for instance warns against 'invoices' which are sent by a company calling itself "Be Domein Host". It looks like an invoice for the registration of the .info version of your .be domain name. However, if you read the small print at the bottom, you will see that this is only an offer, not an invoice. As you have not asked for this registration, you don't have to pay. Moreover, you are in no way obliged to register this .info domain name, and certainly not with this company. If you receive such an invoice or other correspondence regarding domains you have registered with, and you have questions regarding this invoice or correspondence, don't hesitate to contact our helpdesk.

The Dutch organization SIDN, the registry of the .nl domain names, has issued a similar warning against the Dutch version of this scam. Here the company calls itself NL Domein Host or Domeinhost Nederland.

Another scam is a variation on the Business Directory Guide scam that has been used for decades to lure companies into an (expensive) subscription on a guide. For example you will receive a mail referring to your domain name, with information regarding your company name and address, most probably picked from the Whois database. Underneath is an invitation to check your data and if necessary to amend and to fax it to an American fax number. However, if you read carefully, you will see that this is in fact an offer for a paid subscription to a "search engine subscription", a business directory, a fax directory, etc.

There are many more variation of this scam. In all of these cases, it remains to be seen if you will end up getting what has been promised - the registration, an entry in a real business directory, etc. and if the price charged for it is conform the market price. Moreover, by using these deceptive practices, the companies that send these phantom invoices raise big concerns about their legitimacy. It is therefore not advisable to accept their offer.

Do you have any questions? We are here to answer them!

Posted on : 26/11/2014