The company's exploits go as far back as 2001, where they were originally known as the "Domain Registry of Europe." The DRoA's lies are as exorbitant as their domain registration fees, which range from $25 for one year and $40 for two years when most competitors are around $8 per year. Perhaps the most unethical practice of the DRoA is that if you register a domain with them, they own the domain, not you, which means that if your website becomes successful at any point in its future that they could hold your identity ransom.
With the economy struggling to recuperate and people losing their jobs, expect scams such as this, which stand on the border of legality and fraud, to be more prevalent across the internet. If you receive emails, phone calls, or letters from the DRoA stating that your domain is expiring and that you must renew, do not respond to them and warn your friends. If your domain is going to expire, your webhost or the website you have registered your domain with (enom, register.com, etc) should contact you. Do not be alarmed if the notice from the DRoA looks like a bill; it's all an attempt to scare you into registering with them.
For more articles and information on the Domain Registry of America, please look through the following links and quotes of interest.
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Court Bars Canadian Company from Misleading Consumers in Marketing of Internet Domain Name Services
According to the FTC, the company told consumers that their domain registrations were expiring, leading many consumers unwittingly to switch their domain name registrar. The company also allegedly did not disclose that it would charge a processing fee to consumers if their transfer request was not competed for any reason and failed to provide consumers refunds in a timely manner. Under the terms of the stipulated final order announced today, Domain Registry of America (DROA), based in Ontario, Canada, may be required to provide redress to up to 50,000 consumers, is prohibited from engaging in similar conduct in the future, and is subject to stringent monitoring by the Commission to ensure its compliance with the court order.
Federal Trade Commission Final Judgment
"It is hereby ordered that.the defendant [is].restrained and enjoined from making or from assisting in the making of, expressly or by implication, orally or in writing, any false or misleading statements.where the defendant makes any representation that a domain name service is expiring or requires renewal.[and those] in active participation with [this style of promotion] are otherwise permanently restrained and enjoined from failing to comply with 166 of the TILA or 226.12(e) of regulation Z."