.ASIA, .CN, .HK Domain Name Registration Scam

This has been going on for several years and still happening. Unfortunately, there are still domain owners that are falling for it. My intent here is to make more webmasters, domain names owners/investors, aware of such scams and lower the number of victims.

Yesterday I received the following message in my inbox, claiming to be from China Domain Registration Service and warning me that my company brand was in danger of being registered by a third-party.
Here is the message I received, which I’ve included divided into Internet Headers and Body:

<!– BEGIN: Internet Headers –>
Return-path: <jim.gong@asia-registry.net>
Envelope-to: xxxx@xxxx
Delivery-date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 09:49:30 -0500
Received: from mail.mail53.cn4e.com ([]:55977)
by xxxx with esmtp (Exim 4.80)
(envelope-from <jim.gong@asia-registry.net>)
id 1US7CL-0002Sr-71
for xxxx@xxxx; Tue, 16 Apr 2013 09:49:30 -0500
Received: from pfobr (unknown [])
by mail.mail53.cn4e.com (Postfix) with ESMTPA id B6F8F7180F7
for <xxxx@xxxx>; Tue, 16 Apr 2013 22:49:24 +0800 (CST)
Message-ID: <A6CC2ECFE04B28C5D416A121546F90F8@pfobr>
From: “Jim Gong” <jim.gong@asia-registry.net>
To: <xxxx@xxxx>
Subject: Regarding Asia/Cn/Hk domain name & Internet Keyword
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 22:50:17 +0800
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.5512
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.5512
<!– END: Internet Headers –>

Dear Manager,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)

This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally in China and Asia.
We received an application from XiongFa Ltd on April 15, 2013. They want to register ” (my domain)” as their Internet Keyword and China/Asia/Hongkong (CN/ASIA/HK) domain names. But after checking it, we found this brand name is already used by your company. According to the domain name registration principle, your company is the owner of the trademark, in order to avoid this conflict, we have a responsibility to keep these names security for your company in our audit period, so we send you email and confirm whether you want to object the third party application these domain names and Internet Keyword in China, Asia, Hong Kong or not?

Best Regards,

General Manager
Shanghai Office (Head Office)
3002, Nanhai Building, No. 854 Nandan Road,
Xuhui District, Shanghai 200070, China
Tel: +86 216191 8696
Mobile: +86 1870199 4951
Fax: +86 216191 8697
Web: www.asia-registry.net

There are several variations of the scammer’s URL, but the website’s look is pretty much the same.

Different emails also exist; here are a couple more:

Subject: For your business names

Dear CEO,

We are a leading internet solutions organization in China, and we have something urgent to confirm with you. We formally received an application on [Date]. One company called “SW Management Pty Ltd.” trying to apply for “[your-company-brand]” as Brand Name and following Domain Names through our organization:

After our initial examination, we found that the Net Brand and Domain Names above are similar to yours. These days we have been dealing with it. Now we hope to get your affirmation. If your company did not authorize the aforesaid company to register these, please contact us as soon as possible.

In addition, we hereby declare that time limit for this issue is 7 workdays. If your company don’t respond within the time limit, we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by SW Management Pty Ltd.

Best Regards!
Jala Lu
Senior Consultant

Subject: Someone intended to use your domain names

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward to the right person/ department, as this is urgent, thank you.)

Dear CEO,

We are the department of registration service in China. we have something need to confirm with you. We formally received an application on [Date]. One company which is called “Lajie Trading Co. Ltd” is applying to register [your-website-name] as brand name and domain names as below :
[your-website-name] .asia
[your-website-name] .cn
[your-website-name] .com.cn
[your-website-name] .com.hk
[your-website-name] .com.tw
[your-website-name] .hk
[your-website-name] .in
[your-website-name] .net.cn
[your-website-name] .org.cn
[your-website-name] .tw
After our initial checking, we found the brand name and these domain names being applied are as same as your company’s, so we need to confirm with your company. If the aforesaid company is your business partner or your subsidiary company, please DO NOT reply us, we will approve the application automatically.
If you have no any relationship with this company, please contact us within 7 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by “Lajie Trading Co. Ltd” unconditionally.
Best Regards,
Howie Gao
Senior consultant

Screenshot of offending website:
asia domain name scams
According to these messages, a third-party has applied to register a number of domain names based on the recipient’s existing domain name, trademark or brand name. The emails suggest that this third-party may be attempting to capitalize on the recipient’s brand name by attempting to register the domain names and therefore violating his or her intellectual property rights. The messages state that, if the recipient objects to this third-party application he or she should contact the authority in order to stop the application being approved. The messages warn that, if the recipient does not make contact within a limited time frame, the third-party’s application will be automatically approved.However, the claims in the emails are nothing but lies designed to trick website owners into paying inflated prices to register a series of domain names when there is no compelling reason to do so. The messages are designed to panic recipients into registering the domains in the mistaken belief that some third-party is trying to poach their brand or online identity. In reality, the dodgy domain registration companies operating these scams have not received such third-party applications at all. The scammers send out virtually the same emails to thousands of site owners. Often, the only difference in the messages is the domain name that the “third-party” is supposedly attempting to register.

If you receive one of these scam messages, do not respond to it. Some versions ask you to reply to the message if you wish the third-party application to be stopped. In these versions, an “agent” will subsequently contact you with instructions detailed how to pay registration fees for the supposedly disputed domains. Other versions include a direct link to a dubious domain registration website where you are requested to pay for the domains immediately.

While these messages are certainly a scam, website owners should nevertheless be aware that unscrupulous people often do try to capitalize on a brand’s popularity by registering the same or similar names with different top-level domains (TLDs). For example, if your domain is “my-website.com” they may attempt to register to “my-website.info” or a great many other such TLD variations. They may also register domains with slight misspellings. To curtail such activities, many high profile entities do register multiple versions of their domains as a means of protecting their brand and online identity.

You should never reply to messages sent by scammers. By replying, you let them know that not only have they found a valid email address, but that they can also send you additional emails and share your email address with other scammers.
Simply use the Delete button.
Spread the word.




About the author

Freelancer Information Technology.