Recently we received a invoice in the mail very similar looking to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but in reality it is just another scam from a company called Trademark Edition, which is conveniently located in Hungary.
The letter appears to be an official trademark registration request for payment, but is instead a solicitation. While the letter specifically refers to their fee as “registration costs”, the contract, which can only be found on their website, probably doesn’t even exist.
Caution: Misleading Notices
After further investigation, we uncovered more of their scams under different names such as TM Edition and TM Collection. Both business entities are listed on The United States Patent and Trademark website scam warning page. The letters mailed out all look very similar to the one we received which we posted for your review below.
To view a list of other trademark scam letters including those which came from TM Edition and TM Collection, visit the USPTO solicitation warning website and protect yourself.
As we have reported in the past with Domain Registry of America, fly by night domain registration companies send fake renewal notices to business owners to try to trick them into paying the wrong company.
Recently our customers have reported getting bills from a company called “DNS Services.” At first it appears to be an invoice, but in fact it is actually a scam promoting their backup DNS service.
Do NOT Pay
If you are a JVF customer and host your website with us, do not send any payments to DNS Services! Their fake invoice is merely a scam!
If you read the fine print you will notice that they are just soliciting you for business, the scam is that they trick you into thinking you owe a bill. We suggest you simply throw their solicitation away, do not try to contact them as that will confirm the contact information they have for you is good and could lead to further spam or misleading emails.
Here is a copy of the invoice from DNS services for reference:
Don’t Fall for Domain Name Renewal Scam Letters
Just when you thought you seen it all, another type of scam to take your hard earned money pops up. In our mailbox this week we found a statement in the mail from the INS! No, not the Immigration and Naturalization Service, but the Internet Name Security! The invoice they sent gives us the impression that a one of our domain names is not safe, and to send $99.95 for their DomainSafe monitoring system. The letter actually states that, “Increasing threat levels from domain theft and domain hijacking mean that it is imperative you monitor the status of your online identity!” Unfortunately for them, we’re not falling for this type of direct mail scam and you shouldn’t either! This type of direct mail marketing scam is aimed at consumers who do not realize that their domain names are in fact already secure with their current domain registrar, and in most cases set as “locked” by default.
A locked domain protects you from unauthorized third parties who might try to misdirect your name servers or transfer your domain without your permission. Only the domain registrar is able to unlock a domain and modify it’s name servers.
If you received one of these letters, please ignore it! Do NOT complete the payment slip at the bottom or make any payments to this company. The address listed is: P.O. Box 1120 Niagara Falls, NY 14304. Beware!
Example of the Scam Letter
A few days ago we received a statement in the mail from Domain Registry of America. The invoice gives us the impression that a couple of our domain names are up for renewal and are about to expire. The letter actually states that, “Your domain name registrations will expire November 19, 2010!” Even though the dates they have on file are correct, we’re not falling for this type of direct mail scam and you shouldn’t either! This type of marketing scam is aimed at consumers who do not realize that by returning the invoices along with a payment, their domain names are in fact transferring from their current domain registrar to DROA.
Do NOT Pay
If you received one of these letters, please ignore it! Do NOT complete the payment slip at the bottom or make any payments to this company. To add insult to injury, the letter has their address listed as: 2316 Delaware Avenue #266 Buffalo, New York. With some quick help from Google maps, the address comes up the same as the UPS Store, so guaranteed it’s just a mail box!
Fake Invoice for Domains
Over the weekend I received an envelope in the mail that seemed to be an invoice for one of my domains. When I opened it up I found a bill for $65.00 from a company called Web Listings Inc., offering domain name submission to 20 established search engines, up to eight keyword/phrase listings, and a quarterly search engine position and ranking reports for 1 year.
Web Listings Inc. states that they will submit your domain to 20 top search engines. Sorry to break it to you guys, there are only 3 top search engines! If you received one of these fake invoices, our advice is to just throw it in the trash, or if you have a fireplace, burn it! Web Listings Inc. uses dishonest tactics to try and catch unsuspecting people off guard. Their phony invoices are actually sign-up forms for a service that has absolutely no valid purpose for existing.
Examples of Fraudulent Letters
As you can see in the images below, the intent here is to fool the reader into thinking that it is, in fact, an invoice that needs to be paid. Web Listings Inc. is sadly preying on unsuspecting domain owners in hopes they can get you to part with $65.00 of your hard earned money.
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