Over the last couple of years a number of people have been caught out by "Renewal Notices" for Australian .com.au domain names being sent out. Some of our customers lost their .com.au domain names because they paid a "renewal notice". The company took the money but soon after cashing the cheque went belly up. The result was that the domain name was not renewed and it lapsed. The flow-on was that the client's website went off air.

Don't get fooled..

Who is your registrar? Take note of who your registrar is. We received a renewal letter from a company that was not MelbourneIT. It had MelbourneIT's logo displayed as well as the company's own logo on it. As it turned out MelbourneIT did not endorse the company. If you are not sure you can check the registrar online by going to AUda's website and checking their list of accredited registrars.

Check the renewal date with your registrar. Your registrar should have a system in place to allow you to check your domain's expiry date online. Log in to your account and check it. If it is not due to expire soon then throw the notice into the recycling bin.

Inflated prices. Domain (.com.au) names go for around $45 to around $170 for 2 years. Don't pay $200 or more.

Promises to renew your .au domain form more than 2 years. Domain rules for the .au name space only allow for renewals of up to 2 years. Anyone promising more than that is stepping outside what can be done with the present rules.

When is an invoice not an invoice? If there is no ABN and the words "Tax Invoice" are not printed on the paper then it is not an invoice. It doesn't matter whether there is space for credit card details or a mailing address for a cheque.

Never hand over your registry key. Do not hand out your key and password unless you know and trust the person requesting it.