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Another domain SEO scam

12 February 2017 01:34:28 +0000

SEO scam screenshot.

Yet another SEO scam posing as a domain registration renewal notice has been making the rounds. At first we thought it was the same as one we have posted about before — just with a new look — but we’ve received the old one recently too, so it’s not.

As always, anything you receive about your domain that is not from NinerNet Communications is almost certainly a scam, unless you have very recently initiated the purchase of a product or service connected to your domain at the time you receive the email. If you’re not sure, please forward it to us and we’ll be happy to help you determine its validity.

Please click on the thumbnail to see the scam email full size.

Fraud alert

27 September 2016 19:33:46 +0000

We have been receiving phone calls today on our North American toll-free number from people who are claiming that we have charged their credit cards. So far the amounts have been under $100 which, in our experience with being on the receiving end of credit card fraud, are small enough amounts that they might slip under the radar of both credit card companies and some consumers.

Please be assured that NinerNet Communications does not have the facilities to charge credit cards without the explicit permission of the credit card holder. Our agreement with our payment processing company simply does not allow it. We also do not send spam, especially SEO scam spam. (We don’t even offer any kind of SEO [search engine optimisation] services.) It would seem that someone has simply lifted our company name and phone number from our website, and so we are as much a victim of this fraud as you are. We are a reputable company that has been trading under the same name for eighteen years — and only two years before that under our initial name — and plan to continue trading under our good name for many years to come.

The best advice we can give you is to contact your credit card company and initiate a chargeback. There is nothing that we can do other than post this notice so that anybody affected by this fraud can take that action.

Yet another domain registration scam

8 December 2015 21:57:54 +0000

We bring your attention to yet another scam aimed at domain registrants. Of course, there are disclaimers in the faded fine print telling you that this is not an invoice, only a solicitation or proposal, but the email is clearly designed to look like an invoice for the renewal of a supposedly expiring domain registration.

As always, please ignore emails sent to the email address that you use in your domain registration(s) that are not from your domain registrar or registry. (If you’re not clear on the difference between a registrar and a registry — and who yours are for your domain[s] — please ask us.) In fact, we suggest using an email address for your domain registration(s) that you do not use for anything else, so that you can identify emails that are sent as a result of “scraping” your email address from the public WHOIS.

Below is one of the examples of the latest scam that we are seeing. Please note, however, that the apparent sending email (in the “from” field) can and does vary.

From: Domain Service <info@better-fit.com>
To: domains@ninernet.com
Subject: spam-slip.com expiration
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:53:16 +0800

ATTENTION: IMPORTANT NOTICE
SEO Domain Registration Company
Notice#: 949540
Date: 11/29/2015

EXPIRATION NOTICE

DOMAIN: spam-slip.com
Notification Purchase Proposal

EXPIRATION PROPOSAL DATE: 12/07/2015

To: Domain Administrator, NinerNet
499-1685 H Street
Blaine
WA, 98230, UNITED STATES

Domain Name:

Registration SEO Period:

Price:

Term:

spam-slip.com 12/21/2015 to 12/20/2016 $64.00 1 Year

SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT

Domain Name: spam-slip.com
Attn: Domain Administrator
This important expiration notification proposal notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for spam-slip.com search engine optimization submission. The information in this expiration notification proposal may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department to purchase our search engine traffic generator. We do not register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above.
If you fail to complete your domain name registration spam-slip.com search engine optimization service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this search engine optimization domain name notification proposal notice.

PLEASE CLICK ON

SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT

TO COMPLETE YOUR PAYMENT.

Failure to complete your seo domain name registration spam-slip.com search engine optimization service process may make it difficult for customers to find you on the web.
CLICK UNDERNEATH FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT
PROCESS PAYMENT FOR
spam-slip.com
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT

ACT IMMEDIATELY

This domain seo registration for spam-slip.com search engine service optimization notification proposal will expire 12/07/2015.

Instructions and Unsubscribe Instructions:
You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification proposal. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, pleaseunsubscribe here or mail us a written request to US Main Office: SEO Domain Registration Company, Los Angeles, CA 90036, Email: seodomainregservice@mail.com or Asia Main Office: SEO Domain Registration Company, Shenzhen Futian, Email: seodomainregservice@mail.com. If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to stop receiving notifications notices. We are a search engine optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL. This message, which contains promotional material strictly along the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this email, also clearly mentioned our subject lines and they are in no way misleading. Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

If you have any questions about this or any other suspicious email you have received, please let us know.

How NOT to transfer your hosting

19 March 2011 12:52:28 +0000

More often than not, we’re helping new clients transfer their hosting from their former hosting provider to NinerNet. Over the years we’ve become very good at this, and we have a tried-and-true process we follow to make sure there are no problems and that (most importantly) the new client’s email and website do not go down. There is simply no need (or excuse) for even a second of down time when you’re moving your hosting from one place to another.

Transferring your hosting takes time and planning; not that much time, but it’s not something that’s completed in five minutes while you’re on the phone. When a potential client contacts us about transferring in, we ask a number of questions and then send them a detailed plan laying out our step-by-step transfer process, how long each step takes, setting out what needs to be done and who does what, and the checks and balances that happen at each step. The transfer document is a little lengthy (if you’ll excuse the oxymoron) and potentially intimidating, but it has a bullet point summary and the details are there for the purpose of full transparency.

The point of this post though, is how not to transfer your hosting. We do all of the legwork detailed above because — guess what? — we want this new client and we’re willing to do the legwork up front for years of business from a happy client down the road. Sometimes though, I have to admit, we see the occasional client transfer away from us to one of our competitors. This can sometimes be a painful process for us to watch — not just because we’re losing a client, but because we see the amateurish way in which the transfer is handled. Often this is because of one of two reasons:

  • The client is transferring to a “stack ’em deep and sell ’em cheap” hosting company because … well … they’re cheaper than we are. In this case the client is usually on their own during the transfer.
  • The client is transferring to hosting resold by a web designer or a “search engine optimisation” company that they’re using. In this case, while these companies might be good at web design or SEO, they’re often clueless when it comes to the technical aspects of hosting. Contrary to what some of these companies believe, hosting is about more than just clicking pretty icons in a web-based control panel provided by the aforementioned “stack ’em deep and sell ’em cheap” hosting companies.

So we recently waved goodbye to a long-time client whose ownership had changed hands since they came on board with us seven years ago. (Almost all of our ex-clients left us because of things beyond our control — e.g., business closure, a sales pitch from the aforementioned web designer or SEO “expert”, recommendations of close friends or trusted advisors, etc. — not because they didn’t like the service they were getting from us.) Experience has taught us that, when the client has made up their mind, we have to let go. We do say that we’re sorry to see them go — and we mean it — and we ask if there’s anything we can do to keep their business, but if they’re committed then we back off. At that point they’re in the hands of and following the advice of third parties, and as bad as that advice might turn out to be, we’d be interfering if we tried to point that out. (That’s not always the case. To be fair, most of the clients we’ve lost over the years had no problems when they transferred away from us, but the exceptions stick out in one’s memory.)

And so it was that this client transferred to an SEO company that resells the hosting services of a well-known “stack ’em deep and sell ’em cheap” hosting company. The sad result? The client’s website and email were down for ten days! TEN DAYS! Not ten minutes, but ten days! During those ten days much of the work that the SEO company had done (and been paid to do!) previously was wiped out. Not only that, but in their panic — evident in the dozen or so emails sent rapid-fire in the span of about forty-five minutes — they issued confusing and conflicting instructions which actually resulted in further damage to our ex-client’s reputation in the search engines — not to mention the damage already caused in the eyes of their customers and potential (but probably lost) customers. As I said, it was a painful process to watch.

The bright side to this? We actually have a number of former clients that have transferred away come back to us a year or two later, most recently one about a week ago. Now that’s definitely what I’d call a vote of confidence!

Contacts us if you have any questions about transferring your hosting. We’re here to help.

SEO scam warning

25 January 2011 10:23:54 +0000

We have had a new (to us) scam brought to our attention by a vigilant client. The scam arrives by email in the form of an “invoice” for “search engine registration” for a domain that you are a contact for, and will be sent to the email address of one or all of the registered contacts for the domain. At this time we have seen only one email and so we only have one example to go by, but it’s quite normal for the text and presentation of such emails to change slightly. You may even receive such so-called invoices, notifications, notices, courtesy reminders, etc. via postal mail as well or instead. Sometimes, despite the overall presentation that clearly makes the solicitation look just like an invoice (complete with an invoice number), they include (as in this case) the sentence, “This notice is not an invoice” (or something similar), just to stay barely on the right side of the law.

The fact is, there is no such thing as “search engine registration”. Many years ago (in Internet time) there was such a thing, but nowadays search engines will find and index your site within a matter of hours, as long as it’s public and linked to from at least one public page on the Web, or if it’s on a newly-registered domain. There are, of course, nuances to improving where your website ranks in the search engines, but the basic fact is you do not need to pay anyone for “search engine registration”.

Please remember to check, or have accounting staff check, such “invoices” very carefully before paying them. If you ever have any concerns about what appears to be a confusing, unusual, unexpected or otherwise questionable invoice related to your domains or hosting, please contact NinerNet support and we will be pleased to help you out.

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This is the corporate blog of NinerNet Communications. It's where we post announcements, inform and educate our clients, and discuss issues related to the Internet (web and email) hosting business and all that that entails. This includes such concomitant industries and activities such a domain registration, SSL certificates, online back-up, virtual private servers (VPS), cloud hosting, etc. Please visit our main website for more information about us.

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