Beware of E-mails about Domain Name Disputes

We have recently become aware of an influx of spam e-mails pertaining to domain names going around to registered domain owners. The e-mail’s content refers to your registered domain name(s) and internet branding as being registered by another company in all extensions relating to .cn, .tw, .hk, .org, .info, .asia, .net and more. The disputing company is usually from an Asian country (typically China) and will give you a short amount of time to settle the dispute.

The main goal of these scammers is to get you to register domain names with them at ridiculously expensive prices. They randomly search for a domain name's owner and will send an email message introducing themselves as a reputable domain name company. The scammer will claim that some company has submitted a request to register a few domain names bearing a keyword in your domain name. In order to “protect” your trademark, they will offer a chance to win back the requested domain names within the stipulated time frame before they approve the registration from said company. To make the message look genuine, it is often ended with the person's name, designation, company name, contact numbers, website address and email address in their signature. An important note is to pay attention to the grammar and punctuation of the email. Sometimes you can detect the fraudulence right away through misspellings and/or outdated phrases.

The initial reaction is to panic and register the domain names first. However, once you respond to the e-mail, the company will send you a form to dispute the competing company’s domain application. The form they will send you is not a dispute form at all, but an order form, with exorbitant rates to register domains.

Here is an example of the typical scam e-mail:

Dear Sir/ Madam:
I'm sorry to disturb you so abrupt. We are a domain name registration service company in Asia,
On 6th October. we received a formal application submitted by [Name] who wanted to use the keyword "[Keyword]" to register the Internet Brand and with suffix such as .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 Zhang 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          2010-10-8
Oversea Marketing Manager

These notifications will usually come via e-mail but have sometimes come through traditional mail as well. It is important to always notify your hosting company about any questionable messages pertaining to your domain name.