If you get an email like this, hit the delete button.
Let’s take a quick look at a common domain name scam that is very effective. I know it’s effective because over the past year I’ve received e-mails from smart friends who are CEOs of companies here in Austin asking if these emails are legitimate.
The scam is a trademark scam, where a company emails you saying someone is trying to register domains that include your trademark, and wants to offer you the chance to register them first. Sometimes they are sent based on trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other times they are based on other business filings.
The emails typically come from a company purported to be in Hong Kong and are written in broken English. Some recent ones I’ve seen use the company names Asian Internet Domains Register Dept and Hong Kong Network Service Company Limited.
Here are examples of two of the e-mails, including one I received just this morning about one of my trademarks. If you receive an e-mail like this, don’t take the bait.
We are Hong Kong Network service Company Limited, a domain name registration center in Asia.
Yesterday we received an application from another company for the domain names “[trademark]â€ , but later we found your company is their original owner and this may involve your company name or trademark and this may cause confusion between your products and others’ , and bring about negative effect on your company.Therefore we decided to inform you of this and check out your attitude toward this matter. We would appreciate if you can spare some precious time to settle this issue.
Thank you for your cooperation and looking forwards to your early reply.
From: Alva.Huang [mailto:Alva.Huang]
Subject: [trademark] -Intellectual property rights(To 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 “SafNetwork Service holdings LLC” applying to register Inetnet brand name: [trademark]
And the domain names:
in Asia on Oct.,20,2008.
During our auditing procedure we find out that the alleged “SafNetwork Service holdings LLC” has no trademark, Intellectual property, nor patent even similar to that word. as an authoritative registration organization, we have the duty to inform you this matter. If you do not know this company, we doubt that they have other aims to buy these domain names.
Now we have not finished the registration of SafNetwork Service holdings LLC yet, 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.