The Domain Name Scam
The Chinese Domain Name Scam is taking proportions and many of us received scary emails starting with this paragraph:
We are a domain name registration and dispute organization in Asia, which mainly deal with the global companies' domain name registration and internet Intellectual property right protection in Asia. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.
On Nov 26, 2010, we received an application formally, one company named “Fake Company Holdings Ltd.” wanted to applied for the Internet brand “yourCompanyName.com” and some domain names through our body.
Now at first sight this looks very scary and the first reaction is to reply. Don’t do that. Delete the email right away and don’t bother unless protecting the Trademark is an issue for you. Read these two posts about how this scam messages can help you with that:
Domain Names Scam Explained
Trademark and Domain Names Protection
How does the Domain Name Scam work?
The spammer collects information from the Domain Name registration which is, in most of the cases, public. This information contains the owner name, the email address, and of course the Domain Name. This information is the base of an email sent to the CEO. The email informs the owner that another company is trying to register the domain name in cause but for another TLD.
As the owner of the domain you “get the benefit of being announced of this purchase” and are being offered to buy it yourself. For instance I own head-massage.net and someone is trying to register head-massage.tw and head-massage.cn, etc… Other country-specific flavors (.asia, .biz, .cc, .cn, .com. cn., .hk, etc.) can be mentioned. You are informed about this and offered to buy the domain or the domains. The email is devised in such way that your domains even if you don’t need it.
An example of a Domain Name Spam email
These emails are personalized to the owner/manager of a commercial Internet brand and insinuates that the brand is at risk due to a third party application being made for the respective trademark name. The nice foreign domain registrar they are will ask you if you want to secure all of the variants of your Domain Name so that you can protect your Internet brand.
Most of these SPAMS have Chinese senders. The email content is changing becoming more and more persuasive and subtle.
If you received one of these spams, paste a copy of the email in the comments. I also work as a SYS-Admin for a company with an important Domain Names portfolio and we get quite a lot of these.
Here is a copy of one of these email messages:
Subject: URGENT---dispute of internet intellectual property safeguard
(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please transfer to the right person/department. Thank you.)
We are the department of registration service in China.we have something need to confirm with you.We formally received an application on April 27, 2009,One Japan company which self-styled "Path soft investment corp" are applying to register (my-head-massage head-massage) as internet brand name and domain names as below (head-massage.cc head-massage.name head-massage.com.hk my-head-massage.name my-head-massage.cc my-head-massage.com.hk my-head-massage.ae my-head-massage.tel my-head-massage.my head-massage.ae head-massage.tel head-massage.my. .etc).
After our initial checking,we found the internet brand name and these domain names being applied are as same as your company’s, so we need to get the confirmation from your company.If the aforesaid company is your business partner or your subsidiary company, please DO NOT reply us,we will approve the application automatically.If you have no any relationship with this company,please contact us within 10 workdays. If out of the deadline,we will approve the application submitted by "Path soft investment corp" unconditionally.
Please forward the email to your decision maker,and let them contact me in time,so that we can handle this in reasonable,Look forwarding to hearing from you.
If you received a similar letter please drop it in the comments area so we would have more examples.