Articles for January 2013

Domain Name Scams and Scare Tactics! Preying on Internet-ignorant and naïve local merchants

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
January 7th, 2013

No one wants to be viewed as ignorant, or naïve, but it is difficult to keep up with the scams and scare tactics being used by some companies to take money from small business owners and operators. It was brought to our attention by one of our clients, at Jedlickas.com, that they received what appeared to be a bill from a company called DNS Services in Vancouver, Washington for some type of web page related expenses. Our client did the right thing by bringing this to our attention, we atTheFinalCode.com are their web marketing and production firm, and we have no affiliation with this “company”. The owners of Jedlickas.com have kindly encouraged us to share their experience in hopes other business owners will become more aware of such shady tactics.  DNS Services send out these documents attempting to collect money from unsuspecting business owners who may just pay because they receive what looks like a legitimate invoice. The notice appears official, including the actual web host information, a statement date, and an account number. But the very last line (which is always in very fine print) sums up what is actually owed by anyone who gets this type of letter…: Internet Scams

“THIS A SOLTCITATION FOR THE ORDER OF GOODS OR SERVICES, OR BOTH, AND NOT A BILL, INVOICE, OR STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT DUE. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAKE ANY PAYMENTS ON ACCOUNT OF THIS OFFER UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.”

     Of course, before getting to this disclaimer there is a load of other gibberish making it more confusing to the average business owners. They usually are preoccupied with so many other things to deal with; they may blindly fork over the cash!  It is unfortunate that con-artists will always look to find a way to make EASY money they don’t deserve from HARD working merchants making every attempt to do things the right way.

     Another seemingly legitimate bill-sender has jumped onboard the modern-day snake oil salesman’s virtual traveling wagon. The Yellow Pages has sent out what appears at first quick glance to be a bill, or an invoice. It is NOT! And you will end up paying almost $400 if you sign on to be included in a “Directory Listing” with “Yellow Pages United”. You will then be billed annually to maintain the listing, at a 10% increase EVERY YEAR! All this is in the fine print on the back side of the form and can be missed by anyone who does not READ IT CAREFULLY!

     So, to put it simply, if you do receive any document in the mail requesting payment for web related services, be sure to contact your web professional, (as our client did here at  TheFinalCode.com), and verify the authenticity and legitimacy before you end up paying what you don’t owe!

 

Below is a similar scam where others have had this same experience.