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January 11th, 2011

Chinese Scammers Act As Registrars, Blackmail Domain Name Owners

Domain name scammers are once again targeting domain name owners in an attempt to generate some easy income by an unsophisticated blackmail.

Typically, the scam starts with an email to domain owners warning them about a foreign company that is trying to purchase websites using your domain and trademark names. However being the responsible and caring Domain Name Registration Service they are, they are first contacting you, the owner of the existing domains and, possibly, trademarks, and will give you the amazing opportunity to get these website names first and therefore protect your brand.

Here is one example of such scam email:

from Fnew Law
reply-to [email protected]
subject Concerning ” domainname ” Brand Name dispute

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward to the right person/ department, as this is urgent, thank you.)
Dear CEO,
We are the department of registration service in China. we have something which needs to confirm with you. We formally received an application on Jan.10th 2011. One company called “TSMI Research & Development Corp” is applying to register ” domainname ” as Brand name and domain names as below:

After our initial checking, we found the Brand name and domain names being applied are as same as your company! So we need confirmation with your company. If the aforementioned company is your business partner or your subsidiary, please DO NOT reply us, we will approve the application automatically. If you don’t have any relationship with this company, please contact us within 7 workdays. If over the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by “TSMI Research & Development Corp” unconditionally.

Best Regards

David Ho

Senior Consultant

Domain WHOIS about shows the following:

Registrant Contact:
Shanghai Fengwang Wangluo youxian gongsi
He Ping Wei [email protected]
+86.2137529318 fax: +86.2137529316
No.258.North Yunhe Road Fengxian
shanghai Shanghai 201400


Created: 2011-01-04
Expires: 2012-01-04

A reputable “department of registration service” with a free webmail contact and a domain registered few days ago. Replying to such emails might not only make scammers send you bills and payment demands, but also encourage them and target you in the future, possibly in more sophisticated scams and blackmail attempts.

As you can see from an older list at Firetrust, the scammers got plenty of domains, which might indicate the fact this business brings certain income:

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