Caution: Chinese domain email scam

For several years, emails sent from China have been circulating by so-called local providers who threaten to register Asian Internet domains with trademarks referring to the recipient's. Let's see them in detail.

  •  Dominiando

Caution: Chinese domain email scam

SPAM has always been a scourge of the Internet, and while adopting the most complex solutions, it is not possible to stem the problem in its entirety, which is why you might have received, or maybe one day you will receive, emails similar to those we describe below, defined more properly as SCAM. It is good therefore to be informed on what it is and move accordingly in order not to make mistakes, and to be able to secure your name.

what are we talking about exactly?

For several years now some unidentified subjects, appearing as authoritative Asian providers, send emails to brand owners and/or more or less important sites, highlighting the fact that their imaginary client would have commissioned the registration of multiple domains that refer to a trademark on which the recipient has some rights and therefore would propose the registration in a privileged manner. This is to be able to protect the name in the Asian territory in the event the recipient confirmed the registration request by, or no later than, a few days from receiving the email.

Otherwise, they would proceed with registering the domains assigning them to their client and consequently subtracting them from the real owner who has trademark rights.

is what they say true or is it a scam?

No, what is reported in those emails is categorically false! Nobody asked him to register a domain and certainly did not care about the problem of defending your brand.

The goal of this email is only to terrorize the recipient who, with the threat of losing the availability of the trademark in a territory that is known to successful clone foreign brands, would respond by requesting to register the domains in their name, no matter what the cost, to avoid suffering any damage.

how did they get information about my name/brand?

They are certainly not unprepared, so they know how to get around and identify the most appropriate target for their scam attempts. Also, on the Internet it is very easy to find data on public archives.

The sources most used by these people to identify the recipients of these emails through software that automatically scans the net, are as follows:

  • Public databases of registered trademarks (e.g. Oami and WIPO)
  • Whois public domains in association with the number of interceptable domains registered and the reputation of the sites in question
  • Website published on company domains

Without too much trouble it is possible to know how important a visited a site is, and find their email address or the email address associated with the domain on which it resides, and from this information it is already possible to send an email of that type, sometimes varying the text and/or the subjects referred to.

Do I really need to worry?

Here the answer cannot be categorical like above because the actual actions that these subjects will undertake can not be known for sure, but what we can do is look at past episodes. Dominiando has a collection of things that happened to hundreds of customers who have reported this problem in the past.

Until about 2005 it happened sporadically that some of these threats were actually implemented and that therefore the customers would find themselves registered with the .cn, .tw domains, etc. From that date on we have no longer had any reports of this type and it is therefore plausible to assume that they have changed strategy since the previous one had become too expensive.

We are talking about hundreds of thousands of emails that are sent to recipients around the world and domains that have a considerable cost if multiplied by those figures.

We therefore feel able to state with a good approximation that there is no need to worry about the problem and we indicate below the advice on what to do if this type of email has come to you and is causing you concern.

what should i do with this email now?

Regarding the email received, it is very important that you DO NOT ANSWER IT! The answer could be interpreted as an expression of interest and as a sign that the recipient suffers from the problem and is therefore potentially more blackmailable than others who did not respond to the email.

For the same reason do not click on any link reported in the email as it may hide a tracking ID and then the sender may be made aware that the recipient X has gone beyond simply reading the email, using this additional information exactly as above.

AND WHAT SHOULD I DO IN REGARDS TO THE DOMAINS?

The registration of domains and the protection of your trademark, however, is important to assess the problem and the damage that a potential Cybersquatter could cause to a trademark if they were to register that type of domain.

In particular, it must be established - regardless of the email that has been received - how important they are for the name or brand that you want to defend and then set up a strategy of defensive registration of the most sensitive domains for your business.

An overview of the Asian domains is possible by going to the domains related to Asia and Oceania page of the Dominiando website, where the staff is always available to clarify any problems concerning the management and protection of domain names of every country in the world.

Also take a look at the Internet domain list in territories of Asia and Oceania.

First example of EMAIL SCAMS of chinese or asian domains in general:

(Letter to the President or Brand Owner, thanks)

Dear President,

We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on November 19, 2012 that a company which self-styled "AUP CN Investment Ltd" were applying to register "dominiando" as their Net Brand and some domain names through our firm.
Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names.
If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better.

Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for "AUP CN Investment Ltd".Looking forward to your prompt reply.

Best Regards,
Bill Liu

Tel:+86-551-123456 || Fax:+86-551-123456
Address:No.99 JiuHuaShan Road,Hefei,Anhui,China

Second example of EMAIL scams by chinese or asian domains in general:

To whom it may concern: 2009-6-19

We are a domain name registration service company in Asia,

Last week we received a formal application submitted by Justin Lin who wanted to use the keyword "DOMINIANDO" to register the Internet and with suffix such as .cn /.com.cn /.net.cn/.hk/ .asia / domain names.

After our initial examination, we found these domain names to be registered for your domain name and trademark. We are not sure if you have any relation with him.

Because these domain names would produce possible disputes, now we have hold down on his registration, but if we do not get your company's reply in the next 5 working days, we will approve his company's application.

In order to handle this issue better, please contact us by Fax, Telephone or Email as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Tina
Checking Department
Tel: 86 513 1234 5678
Fax: 86 513 2345 6789
Email: Tina@fasdasdfasfsa.com Website: www.fasdasdfasfsa.com
Mail No.:587458X

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