Saturday, July 31, 2010

Owner Beware: Chinese Domain Name Fraud

How sweet . . . I just received an email from Angela at YGNetwork in Shanghai who is concerned that someone in China is trying to register my domain name with one of the many new extensions available to internet websites. It ain't just a .com world anymore.

Wow, I better respond. Maybe someday I'll be bigger than CraigsList or Amazon and really, really need those new-fangled extensions. I'll be so big that I'll need someone to manage all my domain names for me. I mean I'll be so busy going to meetings and flying all over tarnation I just won't have time. What's a girl to do?

I can picture Shanghai Angela, a pretty young Asian woman, wearing an impeccably tailored suit in her modern high rise office sipping green tea, and scouring the internet doing her due diligence for her sparkling reputable company, sending each unsuspecting domain owner a saccharine-laced email:

Dear Manager,

We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Shanghai, China. On July,30th,2010, We received HUATAI Company's application that they are registering the name "xxxxxxonline" as their Internet Trademark and "xxxxxxonline.cn","xxxxxxonline.com.cn" ,"xxxxxxonline.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!

Kind regards

Angela Zhang

Angela Zhang

Registration Department Manager
3002, Nanhai Building 854.Nandan Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai
Office: +86 216296 xxxx
Fax: +86 216296 xxx

Should I hit respond? Maybe I should call Angela? No, First I'll forward this to my attorney and see what he has to say. DONE.

Well, first I should have put my thinking cap on, as Miss Nancy at Romper Room used to say, and Google "ygnetwork" -- OMG! It's a SCAM! How could that be? My faith in humanity is destroyed (sniff).

Instead of discovering I had a new cohort in Shanghai Angela, I found Angela was trying to Shanghai my domain name.

Domain owners beware!