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Beware of Domain Scams

You may have, or may in the future, receive an email asking about your domain or "trademark". All of these emails that I have seen come out of China. They state that they have received an application or request from some company or person for a domain name that is similar to yours but has a .cn (for China) on the end of it. They then say they did some kind of research and found you own the domain or trademark and they want to know if you have any part of this or something along those lines. Here's an example of what one of these emails looks like:

Dear Principal,

We are a domain name registration and dispute organization in Asia,who mainly deal with global companies' domain name registration and internet Intellectual property right protection in Asia.Currently we have a very important issue that we need to confirm with your company.

On May.17, 2010,We received an application formally from one company named Yan Xi Investment Co., Ltd that wanted to applly for the Internet Name"*******" and some domain names from our organization.

After our initial examination, we found that the Internet Name and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company's name and trademark.These days we are dealing with this case,we were wondering whether you consigned Yan Xi Investment Co., Ltd to register these domain names with us? If it is true,we will complete the registration of these domain names.Do you know this company? Currently,we have postponed this application of this company temporarily.In order to deal with this issue better,please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

In addition,we hereby affirm that our time is limited for dissent application.If your company files no dissent within the time limit,we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by Yan Xi Investment Co., Ltd.

(PS:If you are not in charge of this matter,please transfer this email to appropriate dept.)

Best Regards,

Auditing officer

This would be followed by some Chinese phone numbers and email addresses. These emails look convincing but the reality is that this is a scam. Firstly there is a big difference between a domain name and a trademark. Registering a domain name does not mean you have a trademark on the name. In probably 99.999% if not all cases, there is also not going to be a company or individual looking to purchase a similar domain to yours. If you checked in a week or month or more you will no doubt find no one has registered "yourdomain.cn" or "yourdomain.asia" or whichever one they are claiming.

What they are attempting to do is to con people into purchasing domain names that they don't need and at highly inflated prices. These emails shouldn't be responded to and can just be deleted instead.

If you ever receive a suspicious looking email like this, that you aren't sure about, you can always check with us at ISOCNET and put your mind at ease.

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