Rerun: Asia Domain Name Registration scam

I’m away the rest of the week and will rerun a couple of older posts. This post has nothing to do with health care but is perhaps my most viewed post ever. Please visit the original to comment.

Just spreading the word about a scam email I received. See the Bloptimization blog for an explanation and don’t be taken in. Here’s how it started:

From: liza

> Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 17:03:21 +0800
> To: {Me}
> Subject: Domain name of mppllc (TO CEO)
>
>
> Dear CEO,
> We are the domain name registration organization in Asia, deal with the
> domain name registration and dispute internationally. Now we have
> something important need to confirm with your company.
> On the Jan 28, 2008, we received an application formally. One company
> named “Mic-firstone International Holdings Ltd ” wanted to register
> following
> Domain names:
> mppllc.cn
> mppllc.com.cn
> mppllc.net.cn
> mppllc.org.cn
> mppllc.hk
> mppllc.cc
> mppllc.tw
> mppllc.mobi
> mppllc.asia
> Internet brand keyword:
>
> mppllc
>
> 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.
> We don’t know whether you have any relation with them. These days we are
> dealing with it. Now we have not finished the registration of
> Mic-firstone International Holdings Ltd yet, in order to deal with this
> issue better, Please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.
>
> Best Regards,
> Liza Ding
> _______________________________
>
> Asia Domain Name Registration Limited
> Tel:00852 3059 3057
> Fax:00852 3059 3080
> Email:Liza@asiadns.net.cn
> Web:www.asiadnr.net  www.domaininasia.org

I emailed them back, confirming ownership of mppllc.com and received this reply:

Dear  Sir,
>
> We understand your meaning, and it is our responsibility to inform you. We
> knew you have registered the domain name “mppllc.com” and own the
> intellectual property, this is why we informed you. But now Mic-firstone
> company do not want to register your trademark or domain name
> “mppllc.com”, they wanted to apply for other domain names and keyword you
> have not registered yet. Because domain name takes open registration, this
> is international domain name registration principle. So Mic-firstone
> company or every other third party all has right to register it. As a
> domain name registrar, we have no right to dispute their application. So
> required by our government to inform your company to protect your
> interest.
>
> As the owner of “mppllc.com”, you will get the priority to register these
> domain names and keyword. Of course, each company has their own idea. If
> you don’t think their application will affect your company, you can give
> up, we will finish their registration. But if you think their registration
> will confuse your clients and harm your profits, we can send a dispute
> application form to you and help you register these within dispute period.
> This is the only way to prevent domain name grab. Hope get your decision
> ASAP, so that we can handle the next step.
>
>
> Best Regards,
> Liza Ding
> ____________________________

I asked them to send the “dispute application form,” and got this in reply:

Dear  David,

Attached dispute application form, pls check. We just could help you to dispute these domain name when we get you application form .pls note, all of the registration procedure are all in the application form, pls progress our work follow it. So please fill in and return to us ASAP.Thank’s

Best Regards,
Liza Ding
____________________________

As you can probably guess, the “Domain name&Internet brand keyword Disputed Applicication form” is not a dispute form at all, but an order form, with exorbitant rates to register domains. Here’s the price list:

Single registration fee:
(.cn/.com.cn/.net.cn/.org.cn)Domain name:160USD/ 5 Years Per Name
(.hk/.tw)  Domain name:405USD/ 5 Years Per Name
(.mobi) Domain name:320USD/ 5 Years Per Name
(.cc) Domain name:340USD/ 5 Years Per Name
(.asia)  Domain name:840USD/ 5 Years Per Name
.Internet brand keyword: 705EUR/ 5 Years Per Name

And of course that gave it away right there.

I don’t think these scammers will score too many hits because they are just too greedy. They’d probably make more money by charging a “dispute resolution processing fee” or some other kind of innocuous service charge rather than going for the big score.

Please visit the original to comment.

September 9, 2010