If you are the owner of a domain name, there's a good chance you've already been exposed to this slamming campaign: an email exhorting you to quickly renew your domain or update your banking information while threatening the loss of your domain due to an imminent expiration.
Here is an example of one of these deceptive emails, which can be safely disregarded:
Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name: EXAMPLE.COM
Complete and return by fax to: 1-716-650-4815
ATT: JOHN DOE, ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT
GANDI 63-65 BOULEVARD MASSENA - - (GANDI) PARIS - - - (GANDI) 75013
Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above
PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your
business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that
it's time to send in your registration and save. Failure to complete your Domain name
search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this
offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web. Privatization
allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes
domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts
stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice
it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your
customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: WWW.EXAMPLE.COM will expire on FEBRUARY 26,2015 Act today!
[ ] 1 year 02/26/2015 - 02/26/2016 $75.00
[ ] 2 year 02/26/2015 - 02/26/2017 $119.00
[ ] 5 year 02/26/2015 - 02/26/2020 $199.05
[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 02/26/2015 - 02/26/2025 $295.00
[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time offer - Best value! Lifetime $499.00
Payment by Credit Card: Select the term above, then return by fax: 1-716-650-4815
By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part.
Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no
obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer.
The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally
privileged information from the notification processing department
of the DS 3501 Jack Northrop Ave. Suite #F9238 Hawthorne, CA 90250 USA,
This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named
above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain
mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a
continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine
submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your
website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site.
If you do not wish to receive further updates from DS reply with
Remove to unsubscribe. If you are not the intended recipient, you are
hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of
any action in reliance on the contents for this letter is strictly prohibited.
How to tell if an email is really from Gandi
Sender email address
Before clicking any links or even opening the email, check the address of the sender. This is not a guarantee that the email is legitimate, because it's easy to spoof emails to look like they come from another address.
For most TLDs, we warn you 60, 30, 15 and 1 day before the expiration date from the email address support-renew[@]gandi.net.
Recipient email address
If you have our anti-spam protection activated on your account, another thing to check is the receiver email address. We only send email directly to the address you have on file with us, so if you see the receive email address is the "obfuscated" forwarding address visible in the whois (e.g. G23475397CF426333A39B8A1BF5BD226A-1234567@CONTACT.GANDI.NET, as in the example above), you can know that the email didn't come from Gandi.
Check messages and domains in your account
You can find copies of all the reminders we send you in the Messages folder in your account, and you can verify the expiration date of your domain from your list of domains.
By the way, if you are concerned about missing an expiration date, you should know that you can always activate automatic renewal.
Activate or refresh anti-spam
Remember that you can replace your real email address in the whois with an obfuscated forwarding address (see how). Every time you submit your contact information (whether you make any actual changes or not), the "scrambled" forwarding address is regenerated and the old one stops working. If you're getting multiple emails to the obfuscated whois address, just resubmit your handle's contact info.
If you have any questions, you can always contact our support team or ask @gandibar on Twitter.