Fake Domain and Hosting Bills

I am writing this post because unfortunately a lot of our clients have not only received fake bills for domain registrations and hosting, but have also paid some of them.

Fake bill for website hosting

The issue generally lies with our larger customers who have accounting departments that unknowingly approve and cut checks for what look like legitimate bills only to find out later the next year after issuing budget requests or 1099’s that the bill was fake.

I’m not going to give accounting advice but if you are a larger company I would suggest putting some controls in place to avoid paying bills from fraudulent companies. Usually this can be as simple as having a list of approved vendors in your accounting software.

For everyone though the risk of having your website taken down or domain lost usually can cause enough stress that you will have to do some digging to figure out what you should and shouldn’t be paying for.

Here is the quick way of getting that basic question answered: Where is my domain registered and hosted, and have I kept the payment information up-to-date?

Step 1:

Check your public record. I prefer MX Toolbox but you can use a lot of free site’s out there that offer the same service.

When you go to the site type in your domain name and then click the dropdown to change the type of look-up to Whois Lookup.

This is going to give you your domain registration information:

You’ll notice that there are a bunch of different things listed but the main point is Godaddy is the Registrar.

Step 2:

Change the drop-down to AAAA and then search again. This time you’ll see an IP address of where your site is hosted.

Once you have the IP Address try and go to that address just like you would a website URL. You’ll notice if I paste my IP address into a search it pulls up this page:

Usually all hosts use a few different IP Addresses for all their clients so if you type the IP directly in you’ll get an error, but there will be an identifier like this page has of “Hosted by WP Engine”

Good Rule of Thumb

So that’s what you ought to do if you aren’t sure where your site is registered or hosted. You can also just call your web guy who can look this up really quickly for you.

Last of all though we live in an age where everything is digital, especially domain and hosting set-up. If you get an actual paper letter from a company it’s probably 99% going to be bogus.

I don’t know anyone who has ever gotten a physical letter from Godaddy except for an add for them to buy something else and even on that add it just tells them to go to the website. Stay safe!