Spam Email Alert: “Termination of Your Domain Will Be Completed In 24 Hours”

Here’s a spam email making the rounds across almost all the websites I’ve built. It goes something like this.

Screenshot of an email sent by a scammer saying your domain will be terminated in 24 hours.
Have you gotten an email like this?

TERMINATION OF DOMAIN liederdigital.com
Invoice#: 481353
Date: 2021-04-12

IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REGARDING YOUR DOMAIN liederdigital.com IS ABSOLUTLY NECESSARY
TERMINATION OF YOUR DOMAIN liederdigital.com WILL BE COMPLETED WITHIN 24 HOURS

Your payment for the renewal of your domain liederdigital.com has not received yet
We have tried to reach you by phone several times, to inform you regarding the TERMINATION of your domain liederdigital.com

CLICK HERE FOR SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT: https://domainorder.ga/?n=liederdigital.com&r=a&t=1618138736&p=v13
IF WE DO NOT RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT WITHIN 24 HOURS, YOUR DOMAIN liederdigital.com WILL BE TERMINATED!

CLICK HERE FOR SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT: https://domainorder.ga/?n=liederdigital.com&r=a&t=1618138736&p=v13

YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IN ORDER TO KEEP YOUR DOMAIN liederdigital.com

The submission notification liederdigital.com will EXPIRE WITHIN 24 HOURS after reception of this email

This looks really scary, right? If you’ve gotten an email like this, keep the following in mind:

#1: Relax. This is a hoax, and you can ignore it.

The first clue is that the URLs provided (at least in the case of the example above) point to domainorder.ga — that’s a website with a domain registered in the African country of Gabon. Did you register your domain with a company called “Domain Order” in Gabon? (I hope not!)

You likely registered your domain with one of the following legitimate domain registrars:

  • GoDaddy
  • Bluehost
  • Namecheap
  • Google Domains
  • Network Solutions

Some of these spam emails vary the basic info: rather than domainorder.ga, it might mention domainworld.com or some other extremely generic sounding name. But, again, you should only pay attention to emails that come from your actual domain registrar.

#2: If you’re concerned about your domain expiring, log into your registrar’s online portal to find out when it’s due for renewal.

If, for example,  your domain was registered with GoDaddy, then DON’T click any links in the email, but visit GoDaddy’s website and log in using your username and password.

If a legitimate registrar was concerned about your domain expiring, they might send you an email like this, but there would be a few major differences:

  • A real domain registrar wouldn’t wait until your domain is 24 hours away from expiration. They would have sent you multiple emails by now: a few months ahead of the expiration date, then a few weeks, then a week, then a few days, then the day before. They would also probably call you as well: many domain registrars do provide a courtesy phone call to check in on you if they see you have domains expiring.
  • A real domain registrar would send a branded email with their contact info and logo.
  • A real domain registrar would actually know who you are. Their email would say something like “Dear Jonathan,” or “Hi Dan,” because they have your contact info in their system and you’re one of their customers. See the screenshot below for an example of what I mean.
An email from Namecheap showing a renewal due for a domain about to expire.
This is a legitimate domain expiration email, not spam. Note how it knows my name.

As with most other “phishing” emails, the goal of the spammer is to get you to click on a link that’s a fake version of a domain renewal page, where you’ll hopefully enter your credit card information and hit “submit” on a button that doesn’t actually renew your domain but puts a fraudulent charge on your card.

Don’t fall for this. Just delete the email without opening it or clicking any of the links inside it. It will take you 10 seconds, and then you can move on with your day.

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