Domain registration scams ‘because this is urgent’ plague area businesses

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

When Jane Thiel, at Idaho Tractor Inc., in Nampa,  received an email that said a company in Shanghai, China, wanted to register the Internet domain idahotractor.cn, she grimaced and trashed it.

“We do have a website –idahotractor.com – and it’s our domain,” she says. “We’re not planning to expand to China anytime soon.”

The email, purportedly from Peter Cheng, general manager for Yiguan, the Network Service Company – a domain name registration center in Shanghai, was well-written and matter of fact.6 Scam Tips

At the top of the email, it ordered Thiel to send the email to the CEO, because “this is urgent.” It goes on to explain the details of the conflict and registration problem. It ends by asking a simple question – confirm this is an affiliate business.

BBB is warning businesses of a scam targeting domain name holders. Posing as a foreign domain name registration service in Asia and China, the businesses state someone was attempting to register a company website domain and trademark using one of the following suffixes, .cn; .hk; .asia; .com.cn; and .net.cn.

On the surface, these e-mails seem to be from a concerned domain name registration company watching out for a fellow business. However, after closer examination these e-mails are nothing more than an underhanded attempt at getting people to register for domain names they don’t need.

The e-mails suggest the recipient register their name under the previously mentioned suffixes to avoid profit loss, client confusion and make sure their company name and trademarks are protected. However, BBB advises businesses to delete these e-mails.

Here’s an example of the unsolicited domain name registration e-mail:

To whom it may concern:
We are a domain name registration service company in Asia,
Last week we received a formal application submited by Justin Lee who wanted to use the keyword “[YOURCOMPANYNAME]” to register the Internet Brand and with suffix such as .cn /.com.cn /.net.cn/.hk/ .asia/ domain names.
After our initial examination, we found that these domain names to be applied for registration are same as your domain name and trademark. We aren’t sure whether you have any relation with him. Because these domain names would produce possible dispute, now we have hold down his registration, but if we do not get your company’s an 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
Sunny
Checking Department
Tel: 86 513 8532 1087
Fax: 86 513 8532 2065
Email:Sunny@jsntwifi.com
Website: http://www.jsntwifi.com
Our File No.:2348509

The most common domain registration scams show these similarities:

  • You received a notice from a stranger interested in domain names (we’ve seen it with .hk, .cn, .tw), with a similar trademark or wording. In only a few days the other party will register these domains, unless you react.
  • You receive a renewal reminder for a domain name which is very similar to the one you have registered.
  • You receive a renewal reminder for a domain name that you have registered with another registrar.
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December 19, 2013 · 4:20 pm

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