69

by Eric P. Jackson

Chinese Domain SPAM

NOTE: We posted this article in 2009, but believe it or not, these people are STILL doing the same thing. The Chinese Domain SPAM scam hasn't changed much in the past five years. 
 
If you have a domain name or website, you’ve likely received a message from “Margaret” or “Tina” in the “Checking Department.” Margaret (or Tina) will explain to you in her email that “Mr. John Zhou has attempted to register a domain name similar to yours!”
This is a common trick in the sketchy and shady domain name business.
The trick is:
  1. Scare the potential…uh…sucker by making them think someone is trying to steal from them.
  2. Use language in the message that makes it appear something is already underway.
  3. Reassure them that their glorious and helpful organization will stop this evil enterprise and help you acquire the “Internet Brand” that is rightfully yours.
So a few things to remember regarding this and other potential scams:
  1. Mr. John Zhou doesn’t exist. He probably didn’t submit a formal application for the rights to “HendersonvilleRotary.com.cn.”
  2. As far as I can tell, my local Rotary Club has no interest in expanding to China. Nothing against China, mind you…I just don’t see myself or any of my colleagues flying to China for breakfast, coffee and “buddy check.”
  3. If you ARE interested in doing business in China, there are many organizations that can help you do this. The Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce, headed by Dr. Ming Wang, is dedicated to developing increased U.S.-China trade. Don’t get me wrong…I’m 100% in favor of American businesses expanding and selling their products and services in China. Buying a domain name in support of your new export venture is great. But something tells me you’ve got a lot more work to do before you start selling product or services in Beijing.
  4. They want your credit card. You can guess what happens next.
So, if you’re interested in registering insert-your-domain-here.com.cn, call or email us. We’d be happy to do it and we’ll even let Margaret (or Tina) know that you are ready to expand into Asia.
 
Here’s an example of a message you might see:
To whom it may concern:
2009-3-11

 
We are a domain name registration service company in Asia, Last week we received a formal application submited by Mr. John Zhou who wanted to use the keyword “hendersonvillerotary.org” 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 application As authorized anti-cybersquatting organization we hereby suspect Mr.John Zhou is a domain investor. so we need you to attach importance to this issue.
In order to handle this issue better, Please contact us by Fax ,Telephone or Email as soon as possible.
 
Yours sincerely
Margaret (or Tina…or some other American-sounding name)

Checking Department

Tel:   86 513 8562 2060

Fax:  86 513 8532 2065

Email:margaret@ntwifinetwork.com

Website: www.ntwifinetwork.com

Mail No.:756516