Domain Name Scams

Here they go again. Are these web hosting company so desperate to get any kind of business that they have to resort to domain name scams to earn their income? Ever since the first time they send me one of these messages saying that somebody so and so wants to register my domain name with a .cc TLD or dot whatever, I was of course taken in by their professional looking correspondences. Fortunately I checked around first before succumbing to their little domain name scams.

So this time around when I received this domain name scam again, I’m not so anxious and know straight away that this is just another one of their tricks to fleece some money from you.

Anybody can buy a domain name that sounds like yours. If say you just bought a exampledomain.com, someone else is free to buy exampledomain.net, .org, .biz, .info or .whatever. For small fries like us, it is not possible to buy the whole slew of exampledomain.whatever as we are likely to go broke just maintaining it.

And here comes some scammer saying somebody wants to register a domain a .cc or .whatever and they want to protect your intellectual property. Well be my guest.

They also overcharge if you plan to buy those domains through them. Most country specific TLD would cost around $20, but this scammer may double, triple or quadruple the price.

Anyway, people are more aware of it by now as I’m seeing many people posting about such scams online, so I’ll just post another in my blog for refresher. And here’s their letter in full just so you can study their letter content and make sure you are not caught in their little trick.





First Name: Jin.
Last Name: Smith
E-mail Address: jin.smith@apimnr.hk
City:
State/Prov:
Country: China
Comments: Dear CEO/Manager:

We are a domain name registration center in Hongkong, mainly dealing with domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection. On Mar. 31 2010 we received a formal application from a local company of your country who is applying to register some domain names with the keyword “cameron-highland-destination ” and register it as their internet keyword. After investigation, we find that you are the original user of the keyword. As this refers to your company name or trade mark, and in order to avoid the confusion and dispute on the internet, we inform you and would like to know your ideas, if you agree about this issue, we will finish the third company’s registration, If you don’t agree the third company to register, please inform me, looking forward to your reply. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Sincerely yours,

Jin.Smith
Customer Service Manager
Phone: +852-31757930 (8002)
Fax: +852-31757932
Email: jin.smith@apimnr.hk
Website: www.apidnr.hk

Comment submission
The above were submitted from “Comments” form
on cameron-highland-destination.com
Fri Apr 02 03:00:03 2010
——————————
Also included is the user’s IP address below, which we detect at the time the user submits the form. This verifies that each submission is from a unique visitor.
——————————
114.245.142.110 (country unknown)


[update 12/7/2010]
Apparently my post above of their email got their attention and they contacted me that it damages their reputation. Just too bad. They should not engage in unethical email posting and scare people about so and so who wants to registered another similar domain name, and talk about intellectual property rights protection because anybody is free to register the other TLDs. I know of one who used similar domain name as mine with a difference of one character! That guy was hoping people will key in the wrong URL and end up in his website instead which was filled with advertisement. That’s how they earn their money from other people’s hard work. Anyway, up to now from the date of the message in April till now in July ’10, I checked, and nobody registered the other TLDs, .net, .org, .info, .cn, .hk, .asia, .whatever. Nyet. Nada. Nil. Nothing. Zilch.

Anyway, dear Frank, I do need to keep this message online so as to prevent others from getting caught in such scare tactic email messages so it will remain and not removed. Their message as per below requesting me to remove this posting.

From: frank@apidnr.com.hk
we are Asia Pacific Internet Management Company Limited,and our website is www.apidnr.com.hk. We found malicious message at http://www.janleow.com. Wold you do us a favor to delete them?It has a bad effect on our reputation,so we kindly wish your webmaster can help us, thank you very much! www.janleow.com/life/domain-name-scams.html Dept. of Supervision & Auditing (Law) Frank


A quick check with WHOIS and found that this website was registered in 2009, so it is less than a year old. Why the need to engage in intellectual property rights scare tactics to get people? Most web hosting company who got good reputation won’t do this kind of thing. Need more business? Do it right and people will trust you.

Domain Name: APIDNR.HK
Contract Version: HKDNR latest version

Registrant Contact Information:

Holder English Name (It should be the same as your legal name on your HKID card or other
relevant documents): ASIA PACIFIC INTERNET MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED
Holder Chinese Name:
Email:
Domain Name Commencement Date: 28-10-2009
Country: HK
Expiry Date: 28-10-2010
Re-registration Status: Complete
Name of Registrar: HKDNR
Account Name: HK2397438T

Technical Contact:

Given Name: SAM.YANG
Family name: SAM.YANG
Company Name: ASIA PACIFIC INTERNET MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED

Name Servers Information:

NS7.01ISP.COM
NS8.01ISP.NET

Domain Name: APIDNR.COM.HK
Contract Version: HKDNR latest version

Registrant Contact Information:

Company English Name (It should be the same as the registered/corporation name on your
Business Register Certificate or relevant documents): HONG KONG NETWORK SERVICES CO., LIMITED
Company Chinese name: ??????????
Address: ZHONGHUAN HONGKONG HONGKONG 519000
Country: HK
Email:
Domain Name Commencement Date: 02-11-2009
Expiry Date: 02-11-2010
Re-registration Status: Complete
Name of Registrar: HKDNR

Administrative Contact Information:

Given name: SAM.YANG
Family name: SAM.YANG
Company name: ASIA PACIFIC INTERNET MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED
Address: ZHONGHUAN HONGKONG HONGKONG 519000
Country: HK
Phone: +852–31757930
Fax: +852–31757932
Email:
Account Name: HK2399993T

Technical Contact Information:

Family name: SAM.YANG
Company name: ASIA PACIFIC INTERNET MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED
Address: ZHONGHUAN HONGKONG HONGKONG 519000
Country: HK
Phone: +852–31757930
Fax: +852–31757932
Email:

Name Servers Information:

NS7.01ISP.COM
NS8.01ISP.NET


Oh, and found more info at Techrepublic:

A Bait-and-hook Scam

It’s a what has been called an “internet keyword scam”. Here’s the first email you’ll get probably to your public email address.

“Dear CEO/Manager,

We are a Global Domain Name Registration Center in Hong Kong, mainly dealing with domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection. On {INSERT DATE} we received a formal application from a local company of your country who is applying to register some domain names with the keyword {INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME} and register it as their keyword. After investigation, we find that you are the original user of the keyword. As this refers to your company name or trade mark, according to our policy, to avoid the confusion and dispute on the internet, we are responsible to inform you and would like to know your ideas. If you agree about this issue, we will finish the third company’s registration. If you don’t agree the third company?s registration, please inform me. I?m looking forward to your reply. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Kind Regards,

Ella.Charles
Customer Service Manager

Tel: +852-31757931(ext8003)
Fax: +852-31757932
Email:Ella.Charles@api-dnr.com
Website: www.apidnr.com.hk”

They create this illusion that they are the knights in the shinning armor in defending your company’s Trade mark for free (the bait). Then if you play into their hand and asking them to reject this “third party’s” application. As you are thinking that what a nice girl name “Ella.Charle” from Hong Kong that benevolently defends your company’s interests. They deploy the hook as in following email:

“Dear {insert your name},

We perfectly understand this is your company name or trademark, and that was exactly why you?ve got these emails from us. Domains are different from trademark or company name, as they can be registered worldwide. Now the aforementioned third party is applying the following domain names and internet keyword:

Domain names as below:
www.{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}.eu
www.{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}.cn
www.{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}.hk
www.{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}.sg
www.{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}.jp
www.{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}.com.au
www.{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}.asia
Internet keyword as below:
{INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME}
Once you would like to protect or preserve them by registering ahead due to the importance, one valid application form will be sent to start your prior registration. Or we are going to approve the application from the third party if your company does not lay claim to these domains. Please let us know if there is anything more we might be of assistance. Thanks very much and your early reply will be appreciated.
An introduction of Internet Keyword is enclosed for your review.

Regards,

Ella.Charles
Customer Service Manager”

Of course if you ignore them, they’ll have very polite following up emails day after day to “disturbing” you into buying their hosting service.

Hope this helps.
Posted: 01/27/2010 @ 08:32 AM (PST)

seanlee86
Job Role: eBusiness Administration
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: 01/27/2010

Bait and Hook Domain Name Keyword Scam

I just received the same sequesnce of emails from these folks in HK offering the opportunity to protect myself by registering the additional domains as well as registering my Keyword so some other party can not do it. Obvioulsy we can register all permutations of your domain name with various suffixes if there is markting value.
These folks charge 3 or 4x the US based rates that you would find at GoDaddy who mI use. No such thing as protecting the keyord unless unique TM or you register it in a domain registration before someone else. They wanted $175 USD.
So avoid these folks!
Posted: 02/08/2010 @ 11:20 AM (PST)

IraMarks@…
Job Role: Other
Location: Laguna Niguel, California
Member since: 01/10/2005


Internet brand, trademarks and internet intellectual property rights protection

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2 Responses to “Domain Name Scams”

  1. mh says:

    i just got 1 email exactly like that, and I google his email address, and got your blog.

    thanks for the article. I knew that it is a scam email.

  2. Wilfred Schmieder says:

    Thanks for saying so, this article is just great, especially for beginners. I have just got interested in blogging and hopefully i am able to do so

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