Over the last 10 years or so, we've received various forms of domain name scams. They usually involve some sort of fear tactic stating one of the following:
- Your domain name will (expire / be overtaken / be transferred) unless it's renewed through a certain registrar
- Other variations of your domain will be registered with other top-level domains (such as .net, .org, .biz, .info)
- Your trademark or tradename may not be protected unless you register other variations yourself
- We (a domain registrar) are giving you a certain period of time to stop this activity or we'll allow our client to go through with the registrations
There are so many issues with this that it's not even funny:
- Anyone can register any domain name at any time without seeking your permission
- ICANN, the international oversight body on domain registrations, has rules governing registrations that are abusive or not done in good faith
- So what if someone else publishes web sites with these other domain names? It's highly unlikely that they would affect your business unless you have a significant on-line presence.
All one has to do is search for "domain name scams" and find all sorts of resources on the topic such as http://www.firetrust.com/en/blog/chris/domain-name-scams and http://successfulsoftware.net/2008/04/19/chinese-domain-scam/ .
Here's the one I just got this morning:
Dear demtron ,
We are Beijing Himense Technology Co.,Ltd, a domain name register organization in china. We received a formal application from a company who is applying to register” demtron ” as their domain name and Internet keyword on Nov 17，2008. Because this involves your company name or trade mark so we inform you in no time. If you consider these domain names and internet keyword are important to you and it is necessary to protect them by registering them first. Please contact us within 7 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the their application unconditionally.
Beijing Himense Technology Co.,Ltd
If you have any other examples of the scams, post them here and help get the word out!
(Updated 14-Jan-2009 - find out if anything else happened in Part Two of this series!)