Website domain scam: Most of our municipal clients don’t ever need to worry about their domain. We manage their domains for them and renew them annually. If you’re not sure, please ask us. Copyright image scam: Again, this is a scam. If Town Web helps find images for your website, we always make sure they are available for use and are not copyrighted.
The email subject line catches your eye. It warns you that your website domain is expiring or worse – it’s being terminated.
Or this one. You’re accused of copyright violation for using certain images on your website.
If you received one of these messages, would you know what to do? Would you wonder about your website domain or the photos on your site?
When someone angrily accuses us of doing something wrong, we may be quick to act to correct the error. But with these two types of messages, you can and should ignore them. They are scams.
A scam is a dishonest scheme or a fraud. The internet is full of scams, and we’re savvy enough to recognize some of them. But scammers keep trying new things, looking for people who will click on a link, hit reply or pay money to fix a problem.
We’ve had clients ask us about these scams, and we’ve received them, too.
One scam warns that your website domain is expiring or being terminated for nonpayment.
This form letter is emailed or even mailed to clients. It states your immediate attention is required and if payment isn’t received within 24 hours, “YOUR DOMAIN WILL BE TERMINATED!”
The online version offers a number of links to provide “secure online payment.” It’s repetitious and includes typos.
But the warning can cause you to wonder if it’s true. Did you fail to renew your domain?
Most of our municipal clients don’t ever need to worry about their domain. We manage their domains for them and renew them annually. If you’re not sure, please ask us. And remember, don’t reply or click on anything that’s suspicious.
Another scam claims that you’ve violated a copyright. “Who gave you the rights to use my images … without my approval! It’s illegal!”
This letter is a formatted message that changes a bit over time. The name and title of the writer may be slightly different, but certain odd phrases are the same: “It’s illegitimate to use stolen images and it’s so mean!”
Nowhere in the email does it specify which image or photo is in question. It encourages you to download a document for “evidence of my copyrights.” Then, the writer threatens to file a complaint with the website host and finally to sue if the images aren’t replaced.
Again, this is a scam. If Town Web helps find images for your website, we always make sure they are available for use and are not copyrighted.
These types of messages are often fake. But what if you’re not sure?
Please get in touch with us right away. Don’t click on any suspicious links and don’t send any type of payment. Instead, ask us first; we’re always happy to help.
The Town Web team is here for you whenever you have questions about your municipal website. We can help you spot scams and put your fears to rest quickly.