Hong Kong/Chinese Domain Name Fraud
by Jo Shaer, on September 9, 2011
We are a professional intellectual property rights consultant and dispute organization based in HongKong, which mainly engaged in internet intellectual property rights protection.
Now we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with you.
1. On September 1. 2011, a company named Ruick Investment Co. applied for registering the Internet Search Keyword "name of my client's domain" and some Domains with our organization.
2. During our preliminary investigation, we found the keyword of these domains is identical as your brand name. Therefore, I wonder whether you consigned Ruick Investment Co. to register these Domain Names with us? Or are they your subbranch in Asia?
3. If you do not have any relationship with this applicant, we assume that they have other purposes to obtain these Domain Names.
We have already postponed this company's application due to the seriousness of this issue. Pls let the relevant principals make a confirmation with me ASAP.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Thanks & Regards,
Well, if you don't know much about the internet, it's pretty scary! Person or persons unknown on the other side of the world trying to muscle in on your brand and official sounding legal langauge. Cue confusion and panic.
Fortunately for my client - and me - whilst it can be the source of an awful lot of attempted scams, the internet is also on our side because bloggers report these events to protect the innocent.
Of course, it's a scam designed to make you buy additional domain names with all the different suffixes imaginable to prevent someone else from stealing your traffic/name. And, whilst you are often also offered a similar opportunity to purchase additional domain suffixes to your chosen name by the registrar from whom you usually buy your domains, this scam will come at a price tag far in excess of what you might pay at a bona fide registrar.
The first link is a bit rude in places but is rather amusing as he attempts to play along with the scammer to find out what is really going on - http://www.rumblepup.com/chinese-domain-name-fraud/
And, common sense explanation from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scams_in_intellectual_property
Having said all that, sometimes people do get caught out. The Office of Fair Trading have a scam line to report such incidents.
Have you been the victim of a Domain Name Fraud?