This week, I received an email from a China company which sent a jolt to my spine:
We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Shanghai, China. On July,19th,2010, We received HUATAI Company’s application that they are registering the name “marikenya” as their Internet Trademark and “marikenya.cn”, “marikenya.com.cn” ,”marikenya.asia” domain names etc.,It is China and ASIA domain names.But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.According to the principle in China,your company is the owner of the trademark,In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!
Registration Department Manager
3002, Nanhai Building 854.Nandan Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai
Office: +86 216296 2950, +86 216296 2950
Fax: +86 216296 1557
The thought that I might lose ownership of my site www.marikenya.com, as implied in the email, momentarily stunned me. The trauma of my past experience flooded me, it was when a fake blog hosting service stolen my money and blog’s database which resulted to blog downtime for weeks. When I recuperated from shock, I reread the email and find the grammar of the writer too horrible to digest. I suspected it’s another modus operandi so I did some online research and… Voila, I was right!
The trademark and domain name infringement scam which originated from scammers from China is actually all over the internet. Email senders are trying to squeeze money from the target website owner by making him/her believe that there is a need to register his/her domain name, for instance, marikenya, with other extension such as .cn, .hk, .tw, .asia and other domain extensions only fakers know so they would profit from domain registration. To have a bigger insight on this scam, check out this article written by Chris of firetrust.com.
There are other hoax relative to domain scams such as the domain renewal scam where the site or blog owner will be sent an invoice for a domain name that is very similar to his/her current domain name. Blog and site owners need to be aware and watchful of the different modus operated by online scammers as they are very creative and convincing and if you are gullible or nor careful, you might be the next victim.
Any stories about domain scammers you have encountered? Share it with us!