Domain Name Registration Spam – Scam

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 “” 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 and someone is trying to register and, 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.)

Dear CEO,

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 ( .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.

Best Regards,

Jake Shen
Senior Consultant

If you received a similar letter please drop it in the comments area so we would have more examples.

How to use 301 Redirect for moved or missing pages

What is 301 redirect?

301 redirect is a method of redirecting pages on your website to other pages on your site or elsewhere.

Why would you need to redirect content?

It is a method to retain search engine rankings for a page. If a page has previously been ranked by search engines and you changed the file name during a major redesign, or moved some of the content to another website the ranking is lost if you just move the page. If instead you do a 301 redirection the old ranking will be passed on to the new page.
Another use is to redirect traffic for deleted content somewhere on your website so that the traffic is not lost. Sometimes you need to remove outdated content and since you are still receiving traffic for those pages you would like to keep those visits.

What means a 301 Redirection?

301 redirect means “moved permanently”. When a search engine accesses a file marked as “Moved Permanently” it will note the new address and consider the new location as the valid one, passing on the ranking for the new page.

How to do a 301 Redirection

Apache 301 Redirection
Look for the .htacces file on the root of your website’s directory.
If there isn’t one create it. On Windows you might have difficulties to create a file with an empty name and only the extension. But once the file created, for instance on the host operating system you can edit the file using notepad or wordpad.
The simplest method is to place the following line into your .htaccess file:
redirect 301 /old-directory/old.htm
Don’t add the whole address on the first part, (the www) as the server uses its root directory as the referral point and not the http address.
Copy paste the statement below and modify it to reflect your needed redirection.
Upload the file on the server or overwrite the old file if you use direct access.
Test the redirection.

What if you want to redirect all of your files to another address? Fortunately you don’t need to add a redirect for each of your files. You can use the Apache’s URL Rewriting Engine module, which can handle complex redirections using regular expressions.

Redirect for a Moved Website

A rule that will redirect ALL of the files on your web server to another address:
redirectMatch 301 ^(.*)$

A rule that will redirect to for SEO purposes:
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^mywebsite\.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=permanent,L]

Redirect to a Different File Extension

A rule to redirect your .htm pages to .php pages:
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule (.*).htm$ /$1.php

Redirect an Entire Directory

Redirect An Entire Directory/Folder to a single page. You got rid of the old content and you want to keep your visitors and keep the ranking of your old pages.
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^old-directory/(.*) [R=301,L]

You moved content in another folder or on another webpage and you would like to redirect visitors to exactly the same page at the new address.
Another use of this, is if your test site got indexed by search engines and is ranking better or the same as the regular website. It happened to me… Somehow my robots file got overwriten
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^old-directory/(.*)$1 [R=301,L]

Redirection Troubleshooting

Make sure that you leave a single space between the different elements of the statement.
Make sure you have “RewriteEngine on” on your .htaccess file, without it your rules will not function.
Regex Tip:
The content between the round brackets is kept in memory and called when needed with the syntax $1 for the content of the first bracket, $2 for the content of the second bracket, etc.

What if I don’t have an Apache server? I use IIS.
The alternative for IIS is ISAPI_Rewrite for IIS. ISAPI_Rewrite gives you all the nice features that you have with Mod_Rewrite.

More on the Rewriting Engine module and the regex here:

Internet Marketing and Technology