One of my co-workers shared this link a few days ago regarding an ICANN suspension notice for Domain Registry of America aka Brandon Gray Internet Services aka NameJuice. Several other aka’s are listed at the end of the article.
Looks like these folks have been “subjecting Registered Name Holders to false advertising, deceptive practices, or deceptive notices.”
Put simply, they have been mining publicly available WHOIS data for domain names and contact information and then sending deceptive emails to domain registrants. The goal appears to be to get folks to unknowingly transfer their registration (and pay an artificially high renewal cost) by making them think it’s just a renewal through their existing registrar.
To me, this falls squarely under the need to be an informed consumer. It’s unfortunate that there are companies out there whose primary business model is to take advantage of people. Know who your registrar is. When in doubt, log into your account to check your domain expiration date and renew from your account, not from an email link.