Domain name scams explained

25 Jul 2013 | Surviving the Internet

Of late I received more and more queries from my clients, asking for my opinion about the email they received from some companies in China/Hong Kong, expressing their concern of someone “trying to” take up domain names related to what they currently have. To show how much they care, they suggested my clients to buy up the list of domain names included in the email, in order not to “lose” them to competitors.

Matter of fact, I myself was not spared from such “concerning” companies. To help you understand it better, here’s the email I received:

Subject: URGENT –dispute of internet intellectual property safeguard

(If you are NOT CEO, please forward this to your CEO, because this is urgent.Thanks.)

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 November 10, 2008, One company which self-styled “Speed(China)Investment Co.,Ltd” are applying to register (deanloh) as internet brand name and domain names as below (deanloh.cn deanloh.com.cn deanloh.net.cn deanloh.org.cn deanloh.mobi deanloh.asia 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 15 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by “Speed(China)Investment Co.,Ltd” unconditionally.

We would like to get the affirmation of your company, please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

Kevin Wu
Senior Director
TEL: +86 21 69929440
Fax: +86 21 69929447
Website:www. qipeng. org. cn
E-mail:Kevin. wu @ qipeng. org. cn

I shall not judge on the bad English. Just from business point of view, I have absolutely never dealt with this company in the past, why would they be bothered to take the trouble to send me such email, then wait for me for 15 days, while they could simply approve the “application” and bring in the business for their own benefits?

Even though it was real, that someone was really trying to get the domain names, there is little I can do about it, because why? To own domain names like “.com.cn”, one needs to have local business presence, complete with business registration number, which means to say, I have to have a registered business entity in China, before I can register the domain name: deanloh.com.cn. This is the same for Hong Kong, Malaysia, and many other countries.

Imagine if I were to fall for this, I would have to shelve out couple of hundred dollars to buy up the domain names, and what is stopping them from coming back to me with even more recommendations? The last time I counted, there were at least 450 domain name extensions out there, including odd ones like “deanloh.com.pe”, “deanloh.com.mu”, “deanloh.com.na”, how much money do you think I need in order to get them all?

My recommendation to you, should you received the same kind of email, just ignore it. Don’t even bother to reply. But if you already have set up business presence in overseas, or you are planning to do so, but have yet to registered local domain names, I might just be able to help!

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