Domain name scams

I have been around long enough to have seen a few pretty clever domain name scams. One of my favourites was the Domain registry of America (or a name similar to that) who sent domain name owners advertising in the mail that looked just like an invoice. Concerned website owners would eagerly fill out the form and post their cheque to make sure they didn't lose their domain name - of course the domain registrations cost 10x what they would normally through a reputable company.

We have a new winner

So yesterday I randomly stumbled upon Domains of course - they are able to sell you a .com domain name for the perfectly reasonable price of USD$100,000.00 per year. I had to refresh my browser to make sure that there wasn't a Javascript error, but no, that's what it says.

For those needing DNS services, you can also buy DNS hosting for "ONLY USD$1000 per year". Wow.

Just in case anyone doesn't see anything wrong with the above statement, Godaddy can do a .com domain name for less than 10 bucks, and DNS services are often bundled in for free with hosting accounts.

And then...

Today an email arrives concerning ragepank.com
Dear CEO,

We are CNBC Information Technology Co.,Ltd, which is the domain name registration organization in China, which mainly deal with international company's in china. We have something important need to confirm with your company.

On the July 09, 2008, we received an application formally. One company named " daxin Investment (China) Co., Ltd" applied for the Internet brand keywords "ragepank" and the Domain names "ragepank.cn" "ragepank.asia" etc. . which involve internet intellectual property right of your company.

These days we are dealing with it. In order to deal with this issue better, Please contact me by telephone or email as soon as possible.

Best Regards,
tony

Initially I'm wondering if this is serious, and if they are looking to assume control of ragepank.com (which would definitely spoil my afternoon). But then common sense prevailed, and I decided this was spam. So I googled for some exact text in the email, and sure enough, plenty of others have been getting a similar email.

Protect!

So, the intention of this email is to scare me into thinking that daxin Investment (China) Co., Ltd are about to buy some ragepank.xx domains, and that I should hurry and register them first to protect my brand - through them of course.

That's actually kinda clever - there are plenty of cases where people are too slack to register localized versions of their names - ragepank.co.nz sat around available for anyone to grab until I decided the name was worth more than $35 and I should probably own it myself. I guess this type of scam hits domain owners in a weak spot, and that's what makes it so clever.

Domain name scams

They are everywhere. It's best to find a good provider (I use Godaddy and Webdrive), and stick with them. And always apply common sense when reading mail from people you don't know.
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