VANCOUVER -- At 70 years young, J.R. Quam of Vancouver still works hard every day at his carpet cleaning business.
There are a lot of people in the same boat I'm in. It's tough out there, said Quam.
However, J.R. believes his company website is his saving grace and said it now accounts for almost 80 percent of his business. That's why he was so concerned to get an alarming letter that appears to be a final notice to renew his Internet site's domain name. Something he already did two weeks ago with the local company that runs his website.
I thought this has to be paid. I have to have my website, said Quam.
It's from a company he's never heard of called U.S. Name Registrar. The Better Business Bureau looked at the letter and determined it was similar to other domain name scams they've seen in the past.
Con artists often confuse small business owners by sending threatening notices at the exact time their website domain names need renewing.
A lot of registrations are on line. It's public info so anyone can find out when a website was registered and when its going to be up for renewal, said Kyle Kavas with the BBB.
In the end, J.R's past experience with a devastating investment scam gave him the red flag he needed to save him this time.
I got scammed about five years ago and lost about $50,000. It was the exact same thing, you need to pay this today, said Quam.
Quam was not about to fall for another scheme. So we called the company to get their side of the story. After asking several questions, the company hung up on us.
The Internet is loaded with complaints against this company, which has a New York address.
However, there's a good chance that address is only a mail drop because there's a facility with mailboxes at the same address. Many times, scammers operate behind international borders, making them very difficult to find and even harder to prosecute.