Domain registry fraud

I received a very official-looking letter from ‘The Domain Registry of Canada’ today in the mail, letting me know that it was time to renew tannock.net. Very nice of them I thought, until I remembered that my domain was registered through Pacific Online‘s OpenSRS. Leah also received this mail.

She also, however, received the following email from her registrar:

A company calling itself “Domain Registry of Canada” or “Domain Registry of America” is targetting Domain Direct customers to renew their domains early. They are sending renewal notices through regular mail in an envelope and on stationary intentionally designed to appear to be an official government notice. Although only Canadian and American customers are being targetted at this time, we are sending this notice to all our customers world-wide in case they too are targetted.
It has been brought to our attention that these letters have been causing a great deal of confusion among our customers. We hope to clear up any confusion with this email.
You absolutely SHOULD NOT send any money to “Domain Registry of Canada”/”Domain Registry of America” in order to renew your domain, as Domain Direct is your domain name provider. Furthermore, if you do send money to renew your domain with them, your name servers will be changed so that you are no longer using Domain Direct’s services, and your registration will be transferred to another company. In addition, your Domain Direct service WILL NOT be renewed by paying “Domain Registry of Canada”/ “Domain Registry of America”. In other words, you will end up paying for a service you did not want, from a company you didn’t choose to deal with, while potentially losing service from Domain Direct.
We at Domain Direct do not send any correspondence regarding your domain through regular mail. Renewal notices from Domain Direct are sent to your email address. In all cases, you can ignore any letters sent from “Domain Registry of Canada”/”Domain Registry of America” regarding your Domain Direct-registered accounts. If you have already sent money, we suggest contacting your bank or credit card company regarding your options of having payment stopped or reversed.
We regret that this notice is necessary, but feel it is important to notify our clients of this issue. If you have any questions regarding this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact us at help@domaindirect.com.
We thank you for choosing Domain Direct. We look forward to continuing to serve your domain name needs.
Sincerely,
The Domain Direct Team
http://signup.domaindirect.com/
1-800-371-6992 Option 3 (North American Toll-Free) 1-416-531-2697 Option 3 (World-Wide) help@domaindirect.com

Please DO NOT use the DROC, and if you have non Web-savvy friends who own domains, I would suggest you forward them this message alerting them to this.