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Domain Networks Scam

Domain Networks scam

If you’ve recently received an invoice from a company called “Domain Networks” (DomainNetworks.com), you my be wondering if it’s legit. No, it’s not.

Domain Networks is a Scam, Meant to Fool You With an Invoice Style Advertisement

Essentially, Domain Networks publishes an online business directory which is nothing more than a business name, address, phone number, photo and a link to a business’ website. Legally, this fulfills their obligation because the letter you received is a solicitation to be listed on their directory but is has been carefully and deceptively worded to make you think it’s a renewal notice for your domain. You can browse their high quality business listings here. As you can see, their “directory” is the definition of minimum effort.

marketing invoice

Their invoice-like advertisement shows you a domain that you own and DNS details, which is public information they can scrape from legitimate domain registrars (unless you pay your registrar to keep it private). They then compile the information, and send out advertisements to the domain owner.

Domain Networks Has 82 Customer Complaints with the BBB

As of this writing, Domain Networks has 82 1-star review with the Better Business Bureau with an “F” grade, click to read Domain Networks complaints. Essentially all of the complaints are the same, as are their responses:

  • On 1/12/23 Don M. claimedReceived a very legit looking invoice in the mail about my domain and need to pay a bill. Turns out the whole letter was a scam and money grab. Cant understand why this company has not been shut down illegal activity.
  • On 12/23/22 Sne A. claimedMisleading solicitation. They have a generic name making one think they are a domain utility that you need to pay in order to keep your domain. I know they’re BS, but it’s annoying constantly getting solicitations from them, especially knowing they fool other businesses into paying for services that aren’t needed for domain renewal. Their CYA fine print is irrelevant since their junk mailer is disguised to look like an invoice from an existing vendor…
  • On 9/23/22 Christopher G. claimed:Scam business and the owners and operators of this are a prime example of the degradation of our society. They actually provide no service of value and make domain name owners think they need to pay this service by making it seem like domain name registration. Shame on these people!

If you do a Google search for “Domain Networks complaints” you’ll see that there are hundreds of complaints and scam reports on various websites.

A Scam With Roots in the Yellow Pages

This scam actually goes back to the days of the yellow pages when a rinky dink “publisher” would send businesses a very legitimate looking advertisement designed to look like an invoice renewal notice, and scare the advertiser into believing that their phone book ad would be cancelled if they didn’t pay. Many did, I should know I worked for Verizon (Idearc) for a number of years. They way they skirted around the law back then was that they actually did publish a nationwide directory and sent it to a few thousand people. Domain Networks is essentially the same scam, probably owned by the same people, or at least they learned the trick from them.

Why Hasn’t Domain Networks Been Shut Down?

Domain Networks hasn’t been shut down because they technically aren’t doing anything illegal (that I know of). The ad that arrived at my business states “This is not a bill. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer.” This one line is their cheat code, likely written by an attorney. It’s also clearly marked as “Marketing Services“, and they do state on their home page “We do not provide domain registration or domain renewal services.

The above is the reason they can legally run a scam in plain sight. If Domain Networks were legitimate, they wouldn’t design their ads in a way to purposely confuse people into thinking they needed to pay $289 to renew their domain.

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