Many .info and .biz registrants have been receiving spam e-mails from companies warning that their domain name is about to expire and asking for renewal fees, the organisation said. Companies should be aware that the first renewals will not begin for .info until October, and for .biz in November, it said.
Unlike .com domains, .biz and .info domains have authorisation codes, designed to provide an extra level of security for domain name holders.
However, some registration companies are not making these codes easily available to registrants – with the effect that people cannot more or renew their .biz and .info domain names through another company, said Ken Sorrie, co-founder and director of Internetters.
“We reported a few weeks ago that a rogue company calling itself ‘Dot Biz Domain Renewal’ was spamming thousands of .biz registrants inviting them to renew through a website,” he said.
“Cambridgeshire Trading Standards and the Cambridgeshire Police are now investigating them.
“What also concerns us is that some registrants are not aware that if they want to move away from their registration company they need to obtain their authorisation code from that company to pass onto to the new registration company,” Sorrie added.
“Many unscrupulous resellers are either not giving the authorisation codes to their customers, or are imposing ‘release fees’ to move away."
If registrants delay in obtaining the authorisation code for their domain name or leave it too late to initiate the transfer to another company, then they become locked into renewing with the same company that made it so hard for them to move away from, Sorrie said.
“Our advice to all .biz and .info registrants is to start getting your authorisation codes now, so come the time of renewal when the domain can be transferred, they are not caught out.
"Registrants should be entitled to obtain their authorisation codes promptly and free of charge. Unfortunately there is no industry legislation which controls this and therefore this allows some rogue resellers, desperate in a competitive market, to rip off registrants.”