Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm not the only one with suspicions about the North American IT Professionals Association

You may recall that back in August, I wrote a post entitled "NAITPA - a professional association?" It recounted my experience in receiving a letter for a so-called membership renewal for something that I had never joined in the first place, and also noted that the North American IT Professionals Association somehow failed to identify any of its leaders by name.

It turns out that I'm not the only one who is suspicious of the so-called association. Take Erika, who commennted on my post:

I recieved one of these too, in my snail mail. If you look at their website, it's been around less time than my supposed membership. I also backtracked the address and it came back to a healthcare facility in CA.

And around the same time that I was writing my post, another post was being written by Eric. His post begins as follows:

I just received a letter from NAITPA sending me my membership card, and thanking me for my support. I have a membership number, a receipt number and a due date on this nice letter. They also include a handy payment stub for my $231.00 annual payment along with my membership card.

What’s interesting is that until now, I’d never heard of them. The mailing sure looks like a statement, and it doesn’t include any marketing materials to help educate me about their site / organization, so I guess I’m supposed to assume that I just pay them and “continue” my membership.

Now Eric was a little more diligent in reading the fine print than I was, and he found this little gem:

“By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold NAITPA liable for any part thereof. Note: THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the NAITPA…”

And Eric, like Erica, noted the registration date of the website:

Finally, while [their] web site says “After another successful year…”, checking on the Internet shows that their domain was registered on February 11, 2009.

And why would a professional organization register its website via Domains by Proxy?

Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States

Registered through:, Inc. (
Domain Name: NAITPA.COM
Created on: 11-Feb-09
Expires on: 11-Feb-10
Last Updated on: 17-Jul-09

Administrative Contact:
Private, Registration
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2598

Technical Contact:
Private, Registration
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2598

I'm not sure what address Erica found, but the publicly listed addresses for the organization are as follows:

Canadian Headquarters
275 Slater Street
Suite 900
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H9
Telephone: 1-888-245-8561...

US Operations
23515 North East Novelty Hill Road
Suite # B221
Redmond, Washington 98053

Telephone: 1-888-245-8561

Well, I became curious to see who else can be found at 275 Slater Street, Suite 900. I found:

Able Translations Ltd

Sibername, a domain provider

Solitek Systems, a firm with network expertise

Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada, another membership association

Astra Tourist Shipping Line, a company which elicted the question of whether or not they truly exist - also see this link and, which came up in and no longer exist

My guess is that these organizations - some possibly legitimate, some possibly not - have all congregated around the domain name provider Sibername. So what are Sibername's Terms of Service? Here are a few:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All Payments To (Sibername Internet and Software Technologies, Inc.) Are Non-Refundable unless they fall under the 30 Day Money Back Guarantee!

All the hosting plans are under auto renewal and by signing up a hosting plan and accepting this agreement, you are providing an authorization to to renew the service automatically.

Now who would sign up for something like that?
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