Blog / Is Your Phone Number Unlisted?
About the same time, a good client of ours contacted us about an invoice they received from iDNS. It concerned their Domain Name registration renewal. They were a little indignant as they thought we were looking after the registration process and renewals. And they were right – we are!
The iDNS invoice/notice looked very official and legitimate, and its not a SCAM in the traditional sense; they do provide DNS registration services. But the domain in question was not due to be renewed for several months, nor was it currently registered through iDNS. Also, the cost was significantly higher for the renewal; they offered 1, 2 and 5 year terms.
I’ve written about Domain names and DNS services before. A domain name is your home on the Internet and acts as the destination for your Emails and website. Ours is trinustech.com and without this name, clients and vendors couldn’t find us on the Internet or through Email. Thus, its a vital part of our corporate identity. Domain names are registered though one of several legitimate registrars who control the naming scheme. They prevent duplicates and inappropriate names from being registered. GoDaddy is a popular registrar. Domain name registrations have a term length; if you don’t renew the name, it becomes dormant and eventually can be re-used by another person or corporation.
DNS (Domain Name System) link the Domain name to one or more IP addresses. IP addresses are quad-dot numbers that are assigned to servers and computers on the Internet. Quad-dot numbers are 4 groups of (up to) 3-digit numbers separated by a period (188.8.131.52). Thus, for example, when you type in www.trinustech.com into your browser, the DNS knows to point to an IP address on the Internet. Servers that host websites and Email systems have unique IP addresses.
I’m taking some liberties with the DNS explanation to simplify the concept. DNS is actually a sophisticated and complex series of linked servers. Think of each DNS server as a page in a phone book that has been ripped apart and spread throughout the globe. To keep the pages organized, there are servers in a hierarchy. As your request for a website gets translated to an IP address, your browser navigates through the hierarchy of DNS servers until it gets to the right page (server).
So why is the iDNS SCAM effective? It prays on people’s misunderstanding of Domain names and the fear of loosing a vital part of their corporate identity. They also used a lookup service to provide accurate contact information; this was not addressed Occupant. Here is a link to a in-depth article on the iDNS SCAM.
No one wants an unlisted (Domain name) number on the Internet. Although rare in the corporate world, they are sometimes used by network administrators to help conceal sensitive server access.
And if you receive an invoice/notice for Domain registration, don’t pay it. Its best to forward it to your IT Provider to confirm its legitimacy. Chances are its bogus.