Over the years I’ve seen many scams running on the net. Ranging from the ever annoying chain mails to the ever popular Nigerian Sting – Internet fraud is all around us. Lately, I’ve been hit by a new type of fraud attack, a domain registration fraud attack – mainly located in China and Hong-Kong.
As you may know, I’m the owner and CEO of a company called GreenfieldTech, dealing with Asterisk and VoIP application and platform development. Now, we operate world wide and render services to some of the world biggest brand in the telecom industry. So, we take our copyright and brand very seriously, when we receive an indication that someone is or may be infringing our copyright or brand, we take a stand for it.
So, today I’ve received this email:
Dear CEO, We are a domain name registrar centre in HongKong,and in charge of the registeration in Asia, We have something important need to confirm through your company. We received a formal application from a company called "Hempus International Holdings Ltd" applying to register Internet keyword : greenfieldtech Domain names : greenfieldtech.asia greenfieldtech.cn greenfieldtech.com.cn greenfieldtech.hk greenfieldtech.in greenfieldtech.mobi greenfieldtech.net.cn greenfieldtech.tw In China and also in Asia on January 21 2010. During our auditing procedure we find out that the alleged "Hempus International Holdings Ltd" has no trade mark,Intellectual property, nor patent even similar to that word. As authorized anti-cybersquatting organization we hereby suspect the alleged "Hempus International Holdings Ltd" to be a domain grabber. Hence we need you confirmation for two things: First of all, whether this alleged "Hempus International Holdings Ltd" is your business partner or distributor in China. Secondly, Whether do you need to protect the intellectual property right which should have belonged to you?. (The alleged "Hempus International Holdings Ltd" will be entitled to obtain a domain not needed by original trademark owner.) If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to appropriate dept.in order to deal with this issue better, please let someone who is responsible for trademark or domain name contact me as soon as possible. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Confidentiality Notice: This is a letter for confirmation. If the mentioned third party is your business partner or distributor in China please DO NOT reply. We will automatically confirm application from your business partner after this audit procedure.we have to notify you,and our registration organization are not responsible for any dispute questions about trade mark,intellectual property nor patent after they succeed in registration.hope you can understand.thank you. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Sincerely, kaka.xu Sponsoring Registrar:sk holdings company ltd Web:www.sk-dns.org/www.asia-gov.com Tel:00852-95660489 / 00852-95660103 Fax:00852-30696940 Email:email@example.com/ Address: 3A, Units 20/F, Far East Consortium Bldg, 121 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong
So, this is obviously a scam, as when I searched the alleged company, I couldn’t find anything. However, the term “International Holdings Ltd.” had produced many scam alerts and related information popped up everywhere. Now, bear in mind that this is the 10th time them past 2 months that I’m receiving such emails. So, I’ve formulated the following response to them, and you are welcome to use it:
Dear Kaka, Thank you for contacting us in regards to this matter, to be completely frank with you, we’ve received over the past 2 months a similar request/demand from various Asian registrars in China/Hong-Kong. Through our contacts in the far-east, we’ve concluded that your request/demand is fraudulent, and that the company you indicated doesn’t even exist. Please note that your approach to us claiming that someone wants to infringe our copyright and brand had been noted and passed to our legal department. In addition, we’ve forwarded your email and general company information to various SPAM, Abuse and Security teams that are in contact with us around the world (mainly, [Mention your really BIG business partners and large customers here - also through in some ISPs in the far-east, specifically China). Should your company register ANY of the below mentioned domain names or keywords, following this email, we shall be forced to follow legal actions in accordance to the laws of the state of [Put your country here] and other countries where our company has representatives or local business engaged partners. P.S. [Always add a personal note - and refer to something in the mail they sent, for example] On a personal note, when sending emails to anyone in Israel, I would suggest that you choose a different name, other than Kaka. Kaka in Hebrew is directly related to the bodily function of purging waste – also known as taking a dump in the toilet.