Today I'm detailing information about a domain name and DNS scam circulating through direct mail and email. This is something you should be aware of to protect yourself from a financial fraud.
About three months ago I found out that several of my customers were receiving invoices in the mail from "DNS Services," a company specializing in DNS protection services.
DNS stands for "Domain Name System," which is the technology that allows you and I to type in a human readable domain name which the computer can turn into a number. Computers don't understand written words, only numbers, so when you type in "domainname.com" your computer looks up that name in the directory of name (i.e. the DNS) and finds the IP Address number of the website. Within a split second your computer knows where to go and what to show you.
Years ago when you bought a domain name you were responsible for adding your domain into a DNS server. Setting up a website was highly technical back then because the DNS setup was technical and easy to get wrong. Thankfully we don't (usually) have to worry about that stuff because the companies that sell domain names (called Registrars) provide DNS servers for free now.
This is where the scam comes in from the so called "DNS Services" company, because if DNS servers are provided for free, why should you be paying a renewal fee for them? I've seen several of these invoices and they all show the current DNS server settings and 2 extra "Inactive" servers.
I'm including a scan of one of these invoices below so you can see how tricky they look. They've designed it so it looks like a legitimate bill. I've received similar looking bills via email too.
In principle, the idea of having 2 more domain name servers is actually a good idea. You are required to have 2 DNS servers, but some of the websites I manage already have 4 DNS servers. If you want to add those extra 2 DNS servers you would need the help of your web hosting company.
It's okay if you received, and already paid this bill. You've lost $65 but they can't harm your website. Only those with your username and password for your Registrar are allowed to make changes to your DNS settings. Even though "DNS Services" is selling backup DNS services, they don't actually have any way to activate them.