The internet is littered with many domain name registrars today. While this is a great victory for customers, some unscrupulous domain name registrars are out there to prey on unsuspecting customers by conning them or stealing their domain names and selling them. It’s important that you know about these suspicious activities that occur in the domain name landscape to avoid the possibilities of becoming a statistic. Here are unsavory practices that you need to be aware of before you buy a domain name.

  •  Have an eye out for hidden charges when looking to buy a domain name

It’s natural to be price conscious when considering domain name registration. And some registrars may entice you by offering insanely low prices for domains. However, you should not jump head first into these kinds of deals before you read the terms and conditions that come with them. Some registrars list domain names with incredibly low prices but attach hidden costs in the contract so that when you renew the domain name, you find out that the price has doubled or tripled. Some registrars may up sell other things to you after you buy a domain, such as complex domain name extensions, which might not be helpful. They may also cajole you to buy add-ons or extras. You have to be on the lookout for these tricks to stay safe in the domain name business.

  •  Domain name front running is a common malpractice during domain name registration

This is the smartest way domain name sellers steal from you. This practice involves someone (commonly domain name sellers) keeping an eye on your domain search activities, especially when searching for non-existent domain names. They will then steal your domain name idea and register it before you do. They will later sell it to you at a premium price and smile all their way to the bank without breaking a sweat. To get ahead of such people, make a hand written list of your domain name ideas before you search them out on a registrar’s web page. Then, distill your list to the best domain name you intend to use for your website. You can go ahead to the registrar’s website and search for the availability of the domain. This way, a scammer will not get the chance to beat you to the domain name.

  •  Rogue registrars can steal your domain name during domain name registration

As we have said earlier, some unscrupulous domain name registrars are lurking on the internet. The moment you perform domain name search availability on their site, they steal the domain name and register it immediately. So when you try to register it, you’re met with a ‘’domain already taken’ tag. The registrars will then reach out to you and tell you that they can sell you the same domain name that you wanted. They typically sell to you at a much higher price. To get around this problem, only register your domain name on renowned registrars. Do not even make a mistake of performing domain search availability on other registrar’s website in a bid to compare prices. Those few minutes could cost you your precious domain name. Better yet, choose sites that offer the chance to register domain name free and only pay for the hosting.

  •  Protect your details after you buy a domain name

While details of domain names are made available to the public in the WhoIs directory, choose to keep yours private. Hackers can easily mine your domain details and manipulate and steal your domain name. Some registrars offer their customers WHOIS privacy free of charge. Choose one of those.

Conclusion

There are other many ways you can stay ahead of unsavory people and registrars when registering your domain names, such as focusing on transparency, knowing the disparity between support and sales and much more. But, the above mention practices are the most prevalent. Initiate appropriate countermeasures stated above to avoid losing your hard-earned domain name.

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Additional Reading: What Should You Do If Your Domain Name Is Taken?