07 May 2009

Watch out, scammers about - Asian domain name emails

by Philippa Hore, Mark Krenzer

A proper domain name strategy will make sure you have the domain names you need online, and stop you being tempted by registration scams.

auDA, the Australian domain name administrator, has warned that .au domain name holders are being targeted with unsolicited emails from companies that appear to be based in China and Hong Kong. The emails generally state that the Asian company operates a domain registration service and has received an application for the recipient's domain name in an Asian domain (such as .cn or .hk), with the suggestion that the Australian domain name holder should register their name in that Asian domain, to make sure that it is protected.

A couple of examples (taken from the auDA announcement) are reproduced below.

auDA has advised that it considers that the emails are probably false and misleading, and recommends that people ignore them. auDA states also that it has been advised that authorities in Hong Kong are investigating at least one of the companies sending the emails.

Scam emails inviting domain name registration in other jurisdictions are not uncommon. We expect that most of our clients would take them with the appropriate grain of salt.

One thing we do recommend, however, is that you should periodically revisit your business's own domain name strategy (as part of a regular review of the business's branding strategy). Make sure that the strategy covers all of the brands currently used by the business (as appropriate), and that your business has secured the necessary domain names in the appropriate domains. If you receive an email about domain names that fall within the strategy, then it would be appropriate to register them (if this has not already been done). Of course, this should only be done directly through an authorised domain name registrar! If the domain name is not within your strategy, the email can safely go where we all know it belongs.

We are of course happy to assist with any queries you may have about domain name strategies, or with any other branding and identification issues that you may have.

Examples provided by auDA

We are a domain name registration service company in Asia,

Last week we received a formal application submited by [company] which wanted to use the keyword [domain name of recipient] to register the Internet Brand and with suffix such as .cn /.com.cn /.net.cn/.hk/ .asia/ domain names.

After our initial examination, we found that these domain names to be applied for registration are same as your domain name and trademark. We aren't sure whether you have any relation with this company. Because these domain names would produce possible dispute, now we have hold down this registration, but if we do not get your company's an reply in the next 5 working days, we will approve this company's application

In order to handle this issue better, Please contact us by Fax ,Telephone or Email as soon as possible.


We are a professional domain name registration center in asia, mainly dealing with the domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection.

We received a formal application from a company who is applying to register [domain name of recipient] as their domain name and Internet keyword on [date]. Because this involves your company name or trade mark so we inform you in no time. we would like to confirm if this company is your partner, subsection or some one you authorized, if it is not, pls inform us if these domain names and internet keyword are important to you and it is necessary to protect them by registering them first or not, thanks for your cooperation, looking forward to your reply.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.