Michael Lerner

Tuesday - Oct 5, 2010

Chinese domain scamI’ve been writing about Chinese domain name scammers since last May. In fact when you Google “Chinese domain scams” the blog post comes up second on the search results. Evidently Rensis Ho didn’t take the time to do this, because the other day I received an all-too-familiar e-mail from him:

(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  Sept. 24th,  2010. One company called “Kurer Research & Development Ltd” is applying to register “learnthenet” 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 5 workdays. If over the deadline, we will approve the application  submitted by “Kurer Research & Development Ltd ” unconditionally.

Best Regards
Rensis Ho
Senior Consultant

Here’s my reply:

Dear Mr. Ho,

We have no relationship with Kurer Research, so kindly deny the application.

And his response:

Thanks for your confirmation. If your company does not have any relationship with “Kurer Research & Development Ltd”, according to our work experience, either they just invest these domain names. Just like a company named Beijing national network company registered google.cn & google.com.cn in 2005, and then they made lots of return from these two domain names. (Google Company failed to make a arbitration and paid 1 million USD dollars to redeem the two domain names.) Or they are just your trade, and confuse your clients to make profit. Because it seems that these domain names have no relationship with them, that’s why we send e-mail to inform you. As a domain name registration service organization, we have no right to reject any individual or entity register available domain names through us, because domain name registration is open worldwide, the policy is “ first register, first own”. I think you also know this. But it’s our duty and responsibility to avoid the registration in bad faith, so we inform you this issue in advance before the registration starts.

Now, what you need to consider is that whether these domain names are important to your company? If important to you, we will apply the priority to register for your company; meanwhile, we will send you the dispute application form. Due to time is limited, if you have any other question, pls contact with us in time. Thanks for four cooperation!

My next reply…

Dear Mr. Ho,

Kindly send me the dispute application form and advise as to the cost to register the domain names you listed.

…and his response:

The cost list is as following:

Cost   list
Domain names Cost (USD/ Per Year)
www.learnthenet.cn 30.00
www.learnthenet.com.cn 30.00
www.learnthenet.hk 45.00
www.learnthenet.com.hk 45.00
www.learnthenet.tw 50.00
www.learnthenet.com.tw 50.00
www.learnthenet.asia 40.00
Brand name Cost (USD/ Per Year)

Following is the procedure, you can do follow these.

1.Your company fills in the application form and return it back, make sure the information in the form absolutely correct.

2.We will prevent other applicants to register at the first time, after we receive the application form from your company.

3.Our company will offer an Invoice to your company, enclosed a sealed application form by our company. Each party has a copy, and your company pays for the registration fees to our company.

4.Your company sends us the proof to payment from your bank after your company executes the payment.

5.We will finish all the registration work within 2 workdays after we receive your payment, and link these domain names to your website www.learnthenet.com which you use now.

6. Your company will receive the certificate awarded by the relevant department of China government within 10 workdays after the domain names and brand name are registered successfully.

Because time is limited, when you receive our e-mail, pls fill in the application form and return it to us soon, so we can arrange the following work. If you have any other question, pls contact me at any time. Thanks for your cooperation.

Needless to say, I’m not sending the $385 to register the domain names. I suppose that in the world of Internet scams, the amount of money involved here is relatively modest. But these guys are preying on people’s fears, trying to peddle an unnecessary service. If you’re one of their targets, please forward the e-mail you received so I can post it on the blog to expose this nasty business.