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Chinese Domain Name Scam For $1476!!

Unfortunately I have yet another domain name scam to report on – this time featuring China-based domain name registrars. The concept, which is explained in my original video, revolves around a Chinese domain name registrar reaching out to you, via email, and stating that someone wishes to purchase the name of your company as a domain name, with one of several chinese domain name extensions. Things seem like they are doing you a favor by reaching out to make sure that nobody goes off and registers a domain name similar to yours.

We are the domain registration and solution center in China. On August 7, 2017, we received an application from Jiaxun Ltd requested “companyname” as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names (companyname.cn, companyname.com.cn, companyname.net.cn, companyname.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 relations with this Chinese company or not?

The second email continues the helpful nature of things, stating that they’ve tried to tell this mystery buyer to not use your business name, unfortunately there is nothing they can do. Except try to sell the domain names to you first.

We have already advised them to choose another name according to your company that have no relationship with them, but they insist on this name as China domain names and internet keyword. In our opinion, maybe they do the similar business as your company then register it to promote his company.

For me, these emails came from a Jerry Zhang, service & operations manager over at China Registry (http://www.chinaregistry.net.cn). A website which, after a few minutes of exploring, raised all kinds of red flags for me. All static HTML pages? Forms that submit even when empty? HTTrack tags in the source code?! A domain name search tool that looks like someone’s free PHP script from 1999?!?!

A quick Google search for Jerry’s company confirmed my suspicions as I found an article from The Naming Dude which talks about these same chinese domain name scams. There he shows the same email being sent out – but by an Angela Zhang. Must be a family run business.

Back to the scam. Jerry continues on, finally sending over a pdf document which tries to sell you each domain name registration for $38.80/yr, with the minimum registration period being 5 years. And then there’s also the internet keyword – which runs you $140/yr – and I couldn’t even begin to try to explain to you what it does. It sounds alot like AOL keywords which would let you enter certain keywords to immediately access a specific website. However the actual description for this $140 internet keyword – sounds like it could be anything. Chances are – it’s entirely nothing, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Internet Keyword, a newly emerged technique for visiting network names, is a convenient way to realize the visitation of the browser by establishing a corresponding relationship between Internet Keyword and URL. You only need to use the language you are familiar with to tell the browser the address of the Internet Keyword you want to go.

So, in the end, Jerry wants your personal information, and your payment details, AND $1476. If you’re wondering where that comes from:

  • 4 Domains @ $38.80/yr = $155.20/yr
  • Internet Keyword @ $140/yr
  • Total Yearly Cost = $155.20 + 140.00 = $295.20
  • Cost For 5 Years (minimum registration length) = $295.20 * 5 = $1476

So, What Do You Do?

First off, if you do not do any business in China, or with China, and have no plans to do so. You can ignore these emails entirely.

However – if you are bothered by the concept that someone out there might potentially register a chinese domain name using your business name, or if your business does maintain some sort of presence in China, register these domain names yourself. Use a reputable registrar like GoDaddy. It will cost you a lot less ($9.99/yr/domain), and you’ll know exactly where your personal information is being sent.

Hopefully this helps someone out before they give out their hard earned money, and personal information, to these scammers. Share this post, or my video, with anyone you feel might be at risk.

About Michael Boguslavskiy

Michael Boguslavskiy is a full-stack developer & online presence consultant based out of New York City. He's been offering freelance marketing & development services for over a decade. He currently manages Rapid Purple - and online webmaster resources center; and Media Explode - a full service marketing agency.

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