About a year ago, I bought a small domain for personal use. I registered it through a small ISP, who did the domain registration for an additional $5 or something cheap.
About 2 weeks ago, I received a letter in the mail from Domain Registry of America, saying that it was time to renew my domain. I want to keep it, so I filled in their web form for an additional 3 years. I knew it was more expensive than others, but I didn’t want to go through the headache of changing it.
About an hour later, I received a phone call from my credit card company stating that I had suspcious activity on my card – it was domain registry of america. I told them I authorized it and didn’t know quite what to make of the fact that this small transaction had been noticed by them.
But the next day, I received email from Domain Registry of America stating that I had to do more work to transfer my domain to them! ACK! Its at this point I realized I had been snookered. DROA was not my registrar at all! They were just some company that looked up my domain, noticed it would expire soon, and decided to try to steal my business. They flagrantly made their mail look like it was from my current provider rather than being up front about switching to them. Boy, did I feel dumb!
Searching on the net now, I realize there are many resources which also show them to be a fraudulent scam. They send out mail to everyone pretending to be your domain registry service, and try to just steal as much business as they can get:
From Domain Avenue
To their credit, I called up DROA and told them I felt duped and that I wanted my money back. Today, they refunded my credit card, and I’m back on my merry way. (I plan to renew through GoDaddy, who I’ve always liked quite a lot)