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Beware of Chinese Domain Names Fraud

Many voices in the blogosphere have reported a new scheme of scam involving generally a Chinese domain registration firm asking for people to register some domain names through them because “a third party” was trying to register them. An example would be a dot.com domain owner who would receive an unsolicited email from those bogus companies because of someone else trying to register some .cn versions of the same website, so they wanted the company owner to register these domains first with them to “protect their trademarks”.

There is no such a thing as a registrar contacting a company because a third party was trying to register a similar domain name. Chinese domain name can be registered both in China and overseas and immediately, provided that they are available at the very moment the search is conducted. On the other hand a domain name doesn’t automatically make a trademark owner unless related to a brand which has been properly registered with the country’s relevant organizations, and in which case the trademark would apply solely to that specific country.

Make sure not to fall for this scam. Nevertheless, if you have China-related operations or expect to be involved with China in the near future, it would make sense to register and park the Chinese extensions (.cn and .com.cn would do) of your domain if available, to avoid it being snapped by domainers, competitors or even scammers as the ones we just mentioned.

Below an email correspondence received by a client (whose website is www.shanghai-tv.com.cn) that would give you a clearer pictures of what is going on.

From: Liza <Liza@netinchina.org.cn>

Subject: Shanghai-tv-Intellectual property rights (TO CEO)

Dear CEO,

We are the domain name registration organization in China, which mainly deal with international company’s in china. We have something important need to confirm with your company.

On the Dec 10, 2007, we received an application formally. One company named ” Viva International Holdings Ltd” wanted to register following
Domain names:
shanghai-tv.cc
shanghai-tv.cn
shanghai-tv.com.hk
shanghai-tv.com.tw
shanghai-tv.hk
shanghai-tv.info
shanghai-tv.net
shanghai-tv.net.cn
shanghai-tv.org.cn
shanghai-tv.tm
shanghai-tv.tv
shanghai-tv.tw

Internet brand keyword:

Shanghai-tv

through our body.

After our initial examination, we found that the keywords and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark. At presentwe are dealing with it. If you do not know this company, we doubt that they have other aims to buy these domain names. Now we have not finished the registration of Viva company yet, in order to deal with this issue better, Please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

Best Regards,
Liza Ding

_________________________

 

China Net Technology Limited
Tel:+(852)-3059-3057
Fax:+(852)-3059-3080
Email:
Liza@netinchina.org.cn

Web: Link Removed

212 Responses to “Beware of Chinese Domain Names Fraud”

  1. Hi All!

    I just received this below email

    Dear CEO,

    We are an organization specified at dealing with domain name dispute and registration in Asia.We have something important on intellectual property right need to confirm with your company.

    On July,6, 2010, we formally received an application, one company named “Cononation Holding Ltd”

    > During our preliminary investigation, we found that these domain names’ keyword is identical with your trademark. I wonder whether you consigned “Cononation Holding Ltd to register these domain names with us? Or is “Cononation Holding Ltd your business partner or distributor in Asia? If you have no relationship with this company, we assume that they have other purposes to obtain these domain names.
    >
    > Currently, we have already postponed this company’s application temporarily. Therefore please let the relevant person make a confirmation with me by telephone or email as soon as possible.
    >
    > Larry Lee
    > Manager of Auditing Department
    > http://www.asiadm.org
    > Email: Larry@west-asia.com (work time)
    > Larry@netservice.hk (24 hours)
    >
    > Tel: ++852-9566 0205
    > Fax: ++852-3069 6940

    Thank you to this blog. Because I was just about to reply to that email.

  2. Just received the same email from Amy this time. Immediately googled to see if it was a scam and have had an entertaining 10 minutes reading through the comments. And if Tom Cao or Dina Wang see this…..STOP FOOLING PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

  3. Here is another one, and thanks a lot for the blog:
    lebron@west-cnnet.net
    Mail: lebron@west-asia.com,lebron@westnet-work.com,lebron@west-cnnet.com,lebron@west-cnnet.net,lebron@dnrcenter.hk

  4. I’ve just got another one of these, this time from an amy at trademarkdns. I don’t know if the company is really based in Hong Kong, but I am getting increasingly fed up with unethical Internet based businesses operating out of Hong Kong.

  5. Just received this:

    Dear President&CEO,

    We are a specialized organization who deals with the protection of intellectual property right and domain name registration. Currently, we have an important issue to confirm with your company.

    On June 27, 2010, we received an application formally, one company named “Lifethy Holdings Ltd” wanted to apply for the brand keyword “clamp” and some domain names with our organization.

    During our preliminary investigation, we found that these domain names’ keyword is identical with your name. We would like to confirm whether you consigned Lifethy Holdings Ltd to register these domain names through us? Or is Lifethy Holdings Ltd your business partner or distributor in Asia? Currently, we have postponed this application of this company temporarily.

    In order to deal with this issue better, please contact with me by phone or email ASAP.

    PS: If you are not in charge of this issue, please transfer this important information to relevant Person.

    Best Regards,

    Sunny Yin
    Web: http://www.wtl.hk.cn
    Tel: ++ 852_9566_0205
    Fax: ++852_ 30696940
    Mail: sunny@west-cnnet.com
    sunny@dnrcenter.hk

  6. Hi guys,

    They are still working on the same scheme…

    Dear President/CEO,

    We are an organization specified at dealing with domain name dispute and registration in Asia. We have something important on intellectual property right need to confirm with your company.

    Today we received a formal application from a company called Netback Holdings Limited, who applied to register “bmbrussels” as their domain name in some countries and internet keyword. During our preliminary investigation, we found that these domain names’ keyword is identical with your trademark. I wonder whether you consigned Netback Holdings Limited to register these domain names with us? Or is Netback Holdings Limited your business partner or distributor in Asia?

    Currently, we have already postponed this application of this company temporarily. Therefore please let the relevant person make a confirmation with me by telephone or email ASAP.

    Best Regards
    Sophia.Yu
    Auditing Director
    Hong Kong Head Office:
    Tel:+852-9566 0205
    Fax:+852 30696940
    Email:sophia@west-cnnet.com
    sophia@netservice.hk
    Web: http://www.asia-gov.com
    The information in this email is confidential. It may also be legally privileged. It is intended only for the stated addressee(s) and access to it by any other person is unauthorised. If you are not an addressee, you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other way use or rely upon the information contained in this email. Such unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you have received this email in error, please reply immediately to this effect and delete it (and all copies) from your system (with thanks). This message and any attached files have been scanned for the presence of computer viruses. However, you are advised that you open any attachment at your own risk.

    Have a nice day

    S.

  7. They have not given up yet. Received the following today, Sunday 8.8/2010:

    Dear President&CEO,

    We are an organization specified at dealing with domain name dispute and registration in Asia. We have something important on intellectual property right need to confirm with your company.

    On August 7, 2010, we received an application formally, one company named “Tasora Holding Ltd” applied for the Brand keyword “royalaircraft” and some domain names with our organization.

    After checking, we found your company is the original trademark owner. If the company’s action haven’t been authorized by your company, so their behavior will conflict with your interests. In order to deal with the matter better, please contact us ASAP.

    In addition, we hereby affirm that our time limit is 7 workdays. if your company files no reply within the time limit, we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by “Tasora Holding Ltd”.

    Best Regards,

    Lebron Zhu

    Manager

    ——————————————————————————–

    Web: http://www.asia-gov.com
    Tel: ++852 95660205

    Fax: ++852 30696940

    Mail: lebron@dnrcenter.hk

  8. Similar content from
    Juny
    Auditing Engineer

    Tel: +852-95660-103 +852-95660-489 | Fax: +852-30696-940
    Mail:Juny@wanyinet.com & Juny@wyonenet.org.cn

  9. A number of Chinese Domain Name providers are trying, in bad faith, to encourage European companies to register a number of Asian domain name extensions. These providers typically claim that they have received a registration request from another company who wishes to register domain names that are identical to your company name.

    What to do?
    Our China IPR SME Helpdesk Experts suggest that in case you receive such an email you have four options:
    1)ignore the email
    2)reply to the email that you will report this email to CNNIC (the Chinese domain name registry) as ‘slamming’ and an attempt at fraudulent activity
    3)forward the email to CNNIC at service@cnnic.cn
    4)Register some of those domain names you may have already considered registering, through your local or usual registrar.

    For more information and free, confidential business-focused advice on Online IPR or any China-related IPR issues visit our website. http://www.china-iprhelpdesk.eu/hd_publication.php
    Or send us an email enquiries@china-iprhelpdesk.eu

  10. Just received the same email from Amy this time. Immediately googled to see if it was a scam and have had an entertaining 10 minutes reading through the comments. And if Tom Cao or Dina Wang see this…..STOP FOOLING PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

  11. Just had an email this morning, same as what has been mentioned above over and over.

    sammy@dnrcenter.hk
    sammy@sknet-work.net

    Of course I initially panicked, but as good practise I always check up to see if I can find a site for that company. If I can’t find a site I search the extension of email addresses. Which I obviously have, and it’s led me to this blog.

    Couldn’t have been happier when I found this blog to confirm my suspicions.

    In saying that, it is a pretty good scam and it does lead me to wonder how many people fall for this kind of thing.

  12. It is still going on!
    Received that on the 11th of Nov 2010

    ————————————————-

    Dear Principal,

    We are an organization specified at dealing with domain name dispute and registration in Asia. We have something important on intellectual property right need to confirm with your company.

    Today we received a formal application from a company called Menvon Investment Ltd, who applied to register “xxxxxxxx” as their domain name in some countries and internet keyword. During our preliminary investigation, we found that these domain names’ keyword is identical with your trademark. I wonder whether you consigned Menvon Investment Ltd to register these domain names with us? Or is Menvon Investment Ltd your business partner or distributor in Asia?

    Currently, we have already postponed this application of this company temporarily. Therefore please let the relevant person make a confirmation with me by telephone or email ASAP.

    Best Regards
    Henry Luo
    Auditing Department(HK Office)
    ________________________________________
    Tel: 00852-9566-010-3 Fax: 00852-3069-694-0
    Email:henry@dnrcenter.hk
    henry.luo@skasiadnr.net
    Website:http://www.asia-gov.com

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