“Web Brand” Scam From Hong Kong

· · · Blog

Since I am managing my mom’s business domain, firstfood.com.sg, the email I received below looks very legitimate.

#1 – About ” firstfood ” (TO CEO&Manager)

Dear CEO & Manager,

We are a domain name registration and dispute organization in Asia, which mainly deal with the global companies’ domain name registration and internet Intellectual property right protection in Asia. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.

On January,07,2013, we received an application formally.One company named ” Duan Holdings Ltd ” wanted to applied for the Web brand” firstfood ” and some domain names through our body.

Now we are handling with the registration of these domain names and find that these names and Web brand is identical with your company’s. So we have to confirm with you at two points:
1. If your company consign Duan company to register these domain names and Web brand, we will send application form to them and help them finish the registration at once.
2. If your company has nothing to do with Duan company, they maybe have other purposes to register these names and Web brand.

We haven’t finished the registration of Duan company yet, and we have postponed this application of this company temporarily already. In order to deal with this issue better, I want to confirm that are you the corporate representative of this company? If you are, I will feedback some problems to you; if you are not, please forward my letter to your company’s corporate representative.We need your definite answer . please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

Waiting for your reply ASAP.

Best Regards,

Anne Chen
Auditing Department
——————————–
Tel: + 00852 2272 2617
Fax: +00852 3073 2663
Email:Anne@pnsl.hk
Website: www.pnsl.hk

So I replied without Googling for more information and this is what she replied:

#2 – Her Reply

Dear Lester,

Thanks for your reply.
If you have no relationship with them. According to our working experience, there are 2 possibilities:
1: Duan Holdings Ltd company is a domain name investment company who wants to register some domain names containing ” firstfood” and then sell them back to you to gain profits.
2: It may be a commercial method. Duan Holdings Ltd company was consigned by your competitor to register these names by taking advantage of international domain name registration principle.As an authorized domain registration and dispute organization in Asia, we have the obligation to inform you of this case.

We knew you have registered the domain name” firstfood.com.sg” and own trademark. This is the reason why we informed you. But now Duan Holdings Ltd company wanted to apply for other domain names and Web brand you have not registered yet.

Following are all the domain names and Web brand which were submitted by Duan Holdings Ltd:
Domain Names:
firstfood.asia Asia
firstfood.com.hk Hong Kong
firstfood.com.my Malaysia
firstfood.co.jp Japan

Web brand:
firstfood

Because domain name takes open registration, everyone can register every unregistered name,So we have no right to stop their application.But as the owner of the keyword of ” firstfood”, you will get the priority to register these domain names and Web brand. If you think their registration will confuse your clients and harm your intellectual property rights & Trademark, we can send a dispute application form to you and help you register these names within dispute period. This is the best and only way to stop these domains and Web brand from being grabbed. If you don’t think their application will affect your company, you can give up and we will finish their registration.

Your decision is badly needed and greatly appreciated. Then we can better handle the next step.

After several email correspondant, what gives her away is the last email that she sent as pasted below. There is no such thing as a web brand, and seriously what does China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has to do with this?

#3 – Her Final Reply

Dear Lester,

Sorry to bother you.
I don’t know whether this is your final decision. As a domain name professional, I have to confirm it again. there are too many domain names in the world. It is too costly to protect them all. So I suggest you protect your Web brand.
I think the Web brand is very useful to your company because once you register this Web brand, nobody else can register any domain name related to your Web brand without your authorization.
Once you find anyone illegally registers the related domain names,you can report them to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) and cancel their registration.
Are you sure you are going to give up this Web brand?

So I went to Google for “web brand scam”, “Anne@pnsl.hk”, “pnsl scam”, “duan holdings scam” and I confirmed that my suspicion is correct and that it is indeed a scam. Something that I should have done earlier!

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