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The Asian Domain Name Scam

Published December 29, 2010

Some companies register hundreds of variations of their brand name as domain names to cover all country code extensions. Most small Australian businesses don't find a need (and can't afford) to register more than a and perhaps a .com equivalent, but a domain name scam doing the rounds for the past couple of years leads them believe they also need to register other extensions.

The scam email reads something along following lines, although it's often more detailed - and usually in poor English. The approach is often referred to as the Asian Domain Name scam as Asian extensions are usually involved:


Dear Sir,

We are a major registrar of domain names. On December 7th 2010,we received an application from someone who wants to register domain names that may conflict with your brand. The domain names are: 

If you do not wish to register these names in order to prevent the other party from doing, please let us know within 14 days and we'll allow the other party to proceed.

If you would like to prevent the other party from registering these names and possibly confusing your clients and impacting on your brand, the only way you can do so is to register them yourself. We can offer to expedite the process of you acquiring these domain names.



The "example" in the above is replaced with the target's domain name. The idea behind this approach is to create a sense of urgency in the registrant that otherwise wouldn't have existed. The "other party", even if named in the email (as it often is), doesn't exist. 

Emails like this are best ignored - or if you do suddenly find a burning need to register additional domains with various extensions; do so through a registrar you can trust. Responding to this sort of unethical canvassing only encourages the parties in question to continue perpetrating the fraud.

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