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Possible Scam

Company Claiming someone is registering domain

     

merlin23

1:55 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi Guys,

I received an email today from a domain registration company in Hong Long - they claimed that a holding company as applied to them to register similar domain names to mine, but with various country internet codes (I have the dot com, org and info of the domain)...

They claim they wrote to me because they knew we owned the trademark , and felt it was their duty to inform us that someone was trying to register these country domains...unless we had instructed the holding company to act on our behlf...

I wrote back saying I own the trademark for the domain name and I asked them to reveal the holding company... They refused coming back to me with a lot of poppycock..... Encouraging me to register the domains if I want to protect my business...

It was at this point that I smell a scam...

Anyone else have this experience, it's outrageous if i'm right in thinking they are trying to frighten or blackmail me...

Any advice would be appreciated...

Thanks...

wyweb

2:04 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)



I wrote back saying I own the trademark...

I wouldn't have written back at all.

That's just me though.

IanTurner

2:15 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Scam

merlin23

2:18 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Yeah...I regretted writing it...didn't think it was a scam until I read the reply...

Hindsight hey....

I will just ignore it from now.... they think they got scared now though don't they...lol...

Anyway....this kind of thing can happen to anyone can't it....it's just not practical to go registering every conceivable domain name with all country codes...

buckworks

2:28 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I got a similar email today, in reference to a domain I own. It's a keyword-phrase domain, no trademarks involved.

I suspect they're just trying to drum up some new domain registration business.

bill

2:54 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



Yes, this is a common scam. They've been running it for years. It's usually out of China, but I've seen other areas doing it as well.

Don't reply.

If you want the domains they're suggesting buy it from a reputable registrar, and not the one that tried to scam you.

HuskyPup

1:00 pm on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)



Lol, I get this every week and last week, I'm guessing the same company, contacted me about .cn .asia and a couple of others with the usual bull.

Normally I ignore them however this time I did respond just for the fun of it asking why they had not done their research fully since I already owned all those names under those extensions?

Guess what? Nothing came back...I just wonder how many fall for these scams?

LifeinAsia

3:57 pm on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Yup- it's a scam. (Note- the topic comes up here every few weeks.)

topr8

9:58 am on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



i'd agree with bill, and that would apply for so many similar schemes where you are offered something.

it's possible that you are being offered something that could actually be quite good for you - in this case those tld's may or may not be of interest,

but if i was interested i would certainly investigated other methods/avenues for registering/buying.

JS_Harris

10:02 am on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



How they find you:

#1 - Your email address is on your site via form reached by a "contact us" link.

#2 - Your email address is the generic "webmaster@" instead of something unique.

#3 - Your registration information is not private and a simple whois lookup reveals all.

Protect yourself from lazy or bot using scammers by making the "contact us" link say something else like "Get in touch with us" and have the form require captcha of some sort.

Next create a non generic email address and use it. A private registration is also a good idea for any private individual. Company information is available elsewhere and so companies don't need to worry about this as much but if a site is registered to your person you don't need your information available worldwide.

filbiz

11:05 am on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I got an email like that too and warned me if I would not register the mydomain.asia and mydomain.hk, I will be responsible for the loss caused by the matter myself. The email sender assumed I own all the top domain .com, .org, .net but actually I only own one of them. Maybe the reason why they are able to contact me is because the rest of the top domains are parked and the .net I registered is the only one functional.

mack

3:09 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Its a numbers game, there will always be people who fall for these scams, and probably don't even realise they have beeen scammed!

Mack.

kapow

3:23 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



We manage 100+ sites for different businesses. Every week one or two of our clients forward a similar email to me, asking of they should register. I explain the scam and they are happy. I'm sure lots of unsuspecting people buy extra domains from such scamers.

...and have the form require captcha of some sort
That will not work with this particular scam (but captchas are good for most). We heavily encrypt all email addresses on all sites we manage. The fact that our clients get these scam emails tells me this scam is manual not a bot thing.

weeks

3:43 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Every week one or two of our clients forward a similar email to me, asking of they should register. I explain the scam and they are happy.

Yeah, likewise. I hate to say it, but these scams help give legit web businesses value. I guess that is true to some extent in every industry but it's sadly obvious in this case.

Edge

4:35 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Another scam I have seen is a company writing and claiming that my domain registration is about expire. They go on to provide a phone number and a link to pay for my domain renewal. When I double check my domain I am paided up until 2012.

A new scam every week....

radix

4:47 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just got a forwarded email from a desperate board member of a non-profit I volunteer for. It is, I believe, a copy of Edge's received email. They misleadingly threaten with the expiry of the domain. In fact, it's only about the expiry of the domain at their search engine submission service, of which we have never been a client.

Gomvents

6:13 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Edge, radix, I recently renewed a client's domain for them for 5 years(in their own GoDaddy account, they just needed me to handle everything for them). So they get this same scam email saying their domain will expire in 3 days. They called me screaming bloody murder that I was ripping them off. I showed them via the whois that their expiration date was far off but they still trusted a scam email over what I was showing them as "I am a web professional, of course I could fake that data, but how could someone who sent this email possibly know their domain was to be renewed?"

yeah... I've said this before and I'll say it again... I've never lost business to a legit competitor, I've never had a confused or upset client confused or upset because of actions we caused. Although 99% of our clients will be 100% happy with us throughout the whole time working with us we get that unreasonable 1% who are either crazy or horribly misinformed by idiot "know it all" friends or scammers promising the world but deliver crap.

[edited by: Gomvents at 6:14 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2009]

johnnie

7:23 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If it looks like #*$! and smells like #*$!...

MrHard

7:53 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)



The rat is that the company who contacted you probably is the company who is threatening register your name.

yeah... I've said this before and I'll say it again... I've never lost business to a legit competitor

Inflated ego's. They are a killer and business looser.

[edited by: MrHard at 8:08 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2009]

vordmeister

8:17 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I had an email the other day from my domain registrar inviting me to log in to my control panel to fiddle about with something or other. The email was perfect apart from the URLs in the links pointing at another site.

I suspect there are people out there going through domain registration details. My pishers even picked out the host. That's impressive.

A client might have given them enough information to transfer the domains to themselves

jojy

9:57 pm on Mar 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I also got similar emails, just ignore it.

Moncao

5:38 am on Mar 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Selling .cn, worthless as it is and hopefully China will have its Internet isolated soon for all the hacking the state performs.

caine

7:38 am on Mar 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



they have been firing out these emails for the last couple of years. Copying the past European trends of Domain name companies trying to sell variations of branded sites at highly inflated prices, even though they don't actually own them - and you can buy them for 5% or less of the cost, etc.

nativenewyorker

10:22 am on Mar 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



radix, those emails that you are referring to are specifically targeted to .org registrants. Of the thousands of domains that I have registered, the "Final Notice of Domain Notification" were only emailed for .org domains. The most logical reason for this is that most .org registrants do not develop/maintain their own sites, but rather subcontract the work out and as a result are easier marks for the scammers. The scam email also has an action date set for the following day to create urgency.

merlin23

10:23 am on Mar 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



this hasn't ended yet...

had a follow-up email this morning...

they claim that the company who wants to register the domains are piling on the pressure to do so - but they have KINDLY sent me a form to complete for domain dispute...

outrageous...

nativenewyorker

10:36 am on Mar 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



JS_Harris, there may be substantial risk to using private registration services. The now defunct registrar RegisterFly created nightmares for many people who used their private registration services. IMO, avoiding private registration is the wisest course of action for someone serious about their online business. One should seriously consider setting a company (if they haven't already done so) to shield their privacy. A company may also have additional benefits, such as isolating legal risk. I'm not an attorney and not offering any legal advice. Consult with your attorney about your personal situation to see what makes sense for you.

hutcheson

12:04 am on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Several years ago, some U.S. bureaucracy (DoJ, Commerce Department? I don't remember) recommended a way of doing business over the telephone: don't ever buy anything, they said, unless you know the entity on the other end of the line ... AND YOU INITIATED THE CALL.

The same rule surely applies to e-mail. Anything offered for sale in e-mail is spam at best, probably fraudulent ... don't ever deal. EVER.

The corollary is: if you want to be seen as a legitimate business, don't EVER EVER EVER offer goods and services by phone or e-mail.

The second corollary is: if you've ever done either in the past, change your name and move to a third-world country without running water or ethernet packets.

davidof

8:13 am on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I get a variation on the scam saying another company has the trademark on my domain and I have to pay $$$ to keep using my domain. Mails are always from some third world backwater, like Chindia.

Then again, given all the sleazeball lawyers in the US it could be legit!

kapow

10:39 am on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Selling .cn, worthless as it is and hopefully China will have its Internet isolated soon for all the hacking the state performs.

Mails are always from some third world backwater, like Chindia.

Those scary foreigners are so backward arn't they. Lucky there's never any hacking or spam from America or Europe ;)
Meanwhile, back in the real (multi-national) world...

Murdoch

7:38 pm on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I get these messages all the time.

I usually reply by telling them I'm a Nigerian prince and I need to get all of my millions out of the country so could they please give me their bank account information...

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40
 

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