I suppose I was overdue for someone to try scamming me.
I just got off the phone with a thickly-accented person who claimed to be from the “Domain Notification Service,” or the “Domain Registration Notification Service,” or something like that. (Phone number: 800-224-8606 for the record.) He wanted to update the contact information for one of my registered domains. My first tip-off is that he got the domain wrong, but that could’ve been a fluke. Unfortunately for the loser in question, I’m the sort of paranoid fellow who insists on getting full name and company identification from anyone who cold-calls me digging for information. I pointed out, in increasingly strong terms, that I will not divulge any information to someone who doesn’t sound even remotely like they’re associated with my domain registrar.
He insisted that it was vital that I “update” the contact information through him. “No,” I said. My registrar provides services to do exactly that, in a reasonably secure online fashion no less. We went round and around through this pointless loop a couple of times before I wearied of the stupidity entirely and said, “You do not represent my domain registrar and we have nothing further to say to one another,” at which point I hung up… and headed straight for Google.
It would seem that my instincts were spot-on: Scam Alert! Domain Registry Support. Had I continued the call and divulged any information, I’d probably find myself saddled with a .US domain and (of course) the associated bill. Thanks, but no thanks, you shady bastards.
So, keep in mind always that if someone calls, faxes or mails you and claims to be acting on behalf of your domain registrar, do whatever it takes to establish their bona fides. Better safe than sorry, always.