There are plenty of domain name scams out there, I have spoken about SEDO branded ones, Chinese domain name scams and there are plenty of others.
They are all generally trying to trick you into either registering a name similar to the one you own or trying to encourage you to renew with them as opposed to your current provider.
What is common among most is that the prices they charge a far higher that they should be.
One that did the was the Domain Registry of America (wiki entry), they would send out renewal notices in the mail, hoping for someone to fill it out and send it back hoping they didnt realise that it was not from their provider or that the charges were much higher than normal.
Anyway, I got a similar email, today. The key things here is that it is for a legitimate domain, but the registration is for USD79.95 per year, far more than you can register or renew a domain.
With most scams, they use language to lure people into thinking they are legitimate, in this case talking about ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Now this service is not necessarily illegal, because anyone can renew any domain name, however, the issue here is the price.
Here is the transcript of the email.
Subject: Renewal Notice
From: \”ISP Renewal\” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2009 20:34:58 +0100
To:email@example.com will expire 2009-12-08In order to avoid loss or cancellation of the domain name use the link below to renew the domain name.Click to renew your domainname: www.domainrenewal-online.org/for.php?d=www.yourdomain.bizWhen we have received your payment we will start the renewal process instantly. You will receive a confirmation when the renewal process is completed.InformationYou recieve a reminder from us when you have a domain name that is about to expire. Domain Renewal monitors domain names and renews your domain names through your existing Internet service provider. If you choose to prelong your domain name please use the link above. You can also ask your existing domain provider to renew your domain for you. If you order us to renew your domain name, we will not make any changes in the whois information or change internet service provider. The only changes will be a new expire date. You can see the total fee for your renewal by clicking on the link. You can contact our customer center if you have any questions regarding your domain. The customercenter can be reached at + 44 20 33 55 49 51.