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SCAMMING AND SLAMMING YOUR DOMAIN NAME...

Some registrars use every trick in the book to capture your business - and then leave you feeling foolish. Here are some common tricks to watch out for.

Domain Name Scam Alert

Caution, if you receive a domain name renewal notice by U.S. mail or E-mail and it isn't from HitNet, Inc or HitNet.com, be careful! The notice is probably a fraudulent mailing.

Some of our members have received 'official-looking' domain renewal invoices from a variety of different companies. There are many companies registering domain names and some have engaged in questionable business practices aimed at getting you to renew your domain through them, which transfers your domain away from HitNet.

How the scam works:

You receive a domain expiry notice in the mail. This bogus invoice lists your domain name(s) with an amount to be paid and a date to reply by.

You or someone in your organization responds to the notice and sends a payment by check or credit card.

No confirmation request E-mail is sent to you to authorize the transfer.

A transfer request is submitted to the registry and the transfer process begins.

When you choose to transfer your domain name from HitNet to another registrar, it is that registrar's responsibility to get your authorization before processing the transfer.

Once you've sent a payment for one of these phony invoices, they accept this as your authorization, and they could complete the transfer of your domain without further confirmation or knowledge from you.

Once this happens, the only way to get your domain back with HitNet is to transfer it back, and pay for an additional year's renewal.

What these 'Renewal Scams' could mean to you:

If you renew your domain(s) by responding to one of these phony renewal notices, the following could happen:

Loss of domain name services with HitNet.
Cost you more money (renewal and transfer fees).
Make it difficult to modify domain registration information.
Loss of domain name rights and/or activity of web site hosting and E-mail.

Bait-and-switch transfers:
Some companies offer extremely low-cost or even free transfers. But when it comes time to renew, they sock you with prices that are two, three, or four times the amount that HitNet.com charges. HitNet.com guarantees that you’ll never renew for more than you originally registered. (The only exceptions would be if the price the registry charges us increased, or if you took advantage of a limited-time, special price. And if the registry increases our cost, yours will go up only by the amount ours did, never more.)

Unbelievably low prices:
All registrars have to pay the registry for the domains they sell, and that price is fixed. So if you see domains priced at less than $6, the seller is actually losing money. How do they make it up? That’s right – they sock you at annual renewal; provide inadequate or no service; and/or charge unreasonably high prices for the other services you need.

Vanishing companies:
One technique the “big guys” use is to launch small companies that offer incredibly low prices. They advertise all over the Internet for a while; capture all the customers they can and then – they disappear. Those unfortunate enough to have registered or transferred a domain to them will be rolled back into the parent company – at the parent company’s much higher rates.

 

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Domain Scams & Slams FAQ's

The following provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the domain name registration solicitation mailings.

What is Fraudulent Invoicing for Domains?
We want to help you prevent your domain name registration from being moved to another company by being tricked into renewing with another provider. If you receive mail that appears to be an invoice, which is in fact a solicitation for business, you may be the target of a fraudulent or false invoicing scheme.

What kind of companies are making these solicitations?
There are a number of domain registration companies looking to grow their businesses by stealing business from other companies. While we welcome fair competition in the marketplace, some companies believe the best way to win business is to solicit existing domain name registrants from other companies. Wherever possible, these companies will target registrants and trick them into moving their domain registration business.

What should I do to avoid being tricked into transferring my domain away from HitNet?
The best way to combat this is to simply IGNORE all communications regarding your domain name that do NOT come from HitNet. Inc..

What can I do if I'm already a victim?
The first thing you should do is contact the payment authority. In all likelihood, these transactions will not be processed if the company is not able to secure payment for the transaction. If you have already sent money to one of these companies, we suggest contacting your bank or credit card company immediately regarding your options to have any payment you may have authorized either stopped or reversed.

Major Credit Card Company Contact Numbers:

Visa Global Customer Assistance: 1-800-847-2911
Mastercard USA: 1-800-MC-ASSIST (1-800-622-7747)
Mastercard Canada: 1-800-307-7309
American Express: 1-800-528-4800
Diners Club USA: 800 2 DINERS (1-800-234-6377)
Diners Club Canada: 1 800 363 3333

If you are a HitNet client and would like us to check the status of your domain, please Click on the livechat or call us at 630-585-8661. We'll be able to check the status of your domain and advise you.

How can I combat an incident of solicitation?
Report the incident to HitNet and the appropriate authorities!! Proactively combating these sorts of unscrupulous business practices is the only way to ensure these companies are stopped. This will not only help you, but all registrants, to enjoy the freedom to choose your provider and to be free from solicitations designed to deceive or trick you. It will also help us aid you in the recovery of your domain.

Send evidence of the solicitation to HitNet. We're working with Register.com, our supplier, as well as the appropriate authorities to assess the pursuit of legal and policy initiatives at our disposal. Please help us by taking the time to send us any solicitation you receive. Samples can be sent to us:


Reporting mail fraud
It's against the law to send mail that looks like an invoice and not have it marked clearly as a solicitation. Report your incident at the United States Postal Inspection Service On-line Complaints web site at:
https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

You can also complete the PDF Form found at:
https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/contactUs/filecomplaint.aspx
and send the completed report to your Postmaster or mail to:
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS SERVICE CENTER
ATTN: MAIL FRAUD
222 S. RIVERSIDE PLAZA STE 1250
CHICAGO IL 60606-6100

Callers can reach the appropriate Postal Inspection Service office by dialing 1-877-876-2455 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in all time zones, and selecting from these options:

  1. Mail service issues [callers are then directed to 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777)]
  2. Emergency situations
  3. Mail theft or identity theft issues
  4. Mail fraud issues
  5. Postal Inspection Service customer support

Option No. 2, Emergency situations, is automatically routed to a special operator for assistance if a call is made after business hours.