A Fake/Scam Email about Protecting Your Trademark or Domain – China Edition

Back in August 2020, I looked at a fake/scam email a client of mine was sent about ‘protecting’ their domain/trademark.

In that post, I mentioned about emails claiming that your domain was being registered in China with Chinese domain ending (or sometimes some other asian countries). So I thought it was about time that I looked at one of those emails specifically!

This email came into me today about the domain of my Christmas site. It came from an @chinaregistrar.org.cn email account. The subject was just the main part of the domain, so in this case: “whychristmas” and the email went:

Dear Manager,

(Please forward this to your CEO, because this is urgent. Thanks)
This is Jason Liu, Senior Manager of a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Shanghai, China. On April 6, 2022, we received an application from Luoke Holdings Ltd requested “whychristmas” as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names( whychristmas.cn whychristmas.com.cn whychristmas.net.cn whychristmas.org.cn). But after checking it, we find this name conflict with your company name or trademark. In order to deal with this matter better, it’s necessary to send email to you and confirm whether your company have connection with this Chinese company or not?

Best Regards

Jason Liu
Senior Manager

China Registrar Headquarters
w w w[.]chi nare gistrar[.]org[.]cn
8008, Tianan Building, No. 1399 Jinqiao Road,
Shanghai 200120, China
[Phone numbers removed for privacy]

This email contains privileged and confidential information intended for the addressee only. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy this email and inform the sender immediately. We appreciate you respecting the confidentiality of this information by not disclosing or using the information in this email.

If you’re reading this post having got a similar email, here is my very simple advice: PRESS THE DELETE BUTTON. This is a scam to waste your money on registering versions of your domain you’ll (probably) never need.

No one is going to register the Chinese (or sometimes other Asian versions) of your domain.

How do I know? Because I’ve been getting these sorts of emails for YEARS and the domains have NEVER been registered!

In the email, they give their website as: w w w[.]chi nare gistrar[.]org[.]cn

Only spammers trying to fool spam filters using tactics like that.

Having a quick look at their site sets off lots of ‘alarm bells’:

There’s no privacy policy/terms & conditions/legal information. That’s, erm, bad.

The site doesn’t use HTTPS/SSL (doesn’t have a padlock). Any half decent site – especially one dealing with things like domain registration will have a padlock!

That domain was registered in 2019 but the copyright on the site says 2016 and on the about page it says they started in 1997. So they’re either being not exactly truthful with their numbers or they’ve gone through multiple versions of the site as various ones have been shut down…

There’s social media icons in the site’s footer – only they’re not actually linked to anything. (And one icon is for Google+ which closed years ago.)

They also claim to offer web hosting which is RIDICULOUSLY expensive.

Conclusion

So it’s a scam. If you get an email like this. Don’t Panic. Don’t Waste Your Money. Hit The Delete Button.

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