The Chinese ‘Internet Keyword Scam’

There is spam and then there are scams. It is often interesting when you get such an email pass through your junk email filters, and appear in your inbox. Not that it matters as much, but we oalways find it amusing when we spot a new scam or spam.

Recently we were contacted by a Chinese company (or so they claimed) saying that they have been contacted by a local company who’d like to register the ‘internet keyword’, ‘OxGadgets’, and they were just checking if were associated with them. They also told us that they’d like to register all the Chinese domains with our name in front of them.

Dear Manager,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)

This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally in China.
We received an application from Huayuan Ltd on March 31, 2014. They want to register ” oxgadgets ” as their Internet Keyword and ” oxgadgets .cn “、” oxgadgets .com.cn ” 、” oxgadgets .net.cn “、” oxgadgets .org.cn ” domain names etc.., they are in China domain names. But after checking it, we find “oxgadgets ” conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?

Best Regards,

 

Jim
General Manager  
Shanghai Office (Head Office) 
3002, Nanhai Building, No. 854 Nandan Road,
Xuhui District, Shanghai 200070, China 
Tel: +86 216191 8696 
Mobile: +86 1870199 4951 
Fax: +86 216191 8697 
Web: www.ygregistryltd.com

While very interested, and mostly amused, I looked it up and was a bit disappointed that this seemed to be a scam and not somebody about to offer me a lot of money to me to let them use the OxGadgets name. So I wrote back to them, to keep th ball rolling, and see if it leads somewhere. I must note here that this email, in its exact same words apart from the word ‘oxgadgets’ has dropped in a lot of other inboxes as well.

As expected, and predicted by all the other forums on the internet, I soon had an email from the company who were showing interest in our name.

Dear Sirs,
 
Our company based in chinese office, our company has submitted the “oxgadgets  ” as CN(.cn/.com.cn/.net.cn/.org.cn) domain name and Internet Keyword, we are waiting for Mr. Jim’s approval. We think this name is very important for our products in Chinese market. Even though Mr. Jim advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name.
 
 
Best regards
 
Jiang zhihai

Now, since I still wanted to hope that somebody was trying to make me an offer, I just wrote back to them saying that while the name and keyword is not for sale, they are welcome to make me an offer. However, things didn’t go as planned, and I got the third email, word to word, as predicted by the internet and the forums.

Dear Sami ,

Based on your company having no relationship with them, we have suggested they should choose another name to avoid this conflict but they insist on this name as CN domain names (cn/ com.cn/ net.cn/ org.cn) and internet keyword on the internet. In our opinion, maybe they do the similar business as your company and register it to promote his company.
According to the domain name registration principle: The domain names and internet keyword which applied based on the international principle are opened to companies as well as individuals. Any companies or individuals have rights to register any domain name and internet keyword which are unregistered. Because your company haven’t registered this name as CN domains and internet keyword on the internet, anyone can obtain them by registration. However, in order to avoid this conflict, the trademark or original name owner has priority to make this registration in our audit period. If your company is the original owner of this name and want to register these CN domain names (cn/ com.cn/ net.cn/ org.cn) and internet keyword to prevent anybody from using them, please inform us. We can send an application form and the price list to you and help you register these within dispute period.

Kind regards

Jim
General Manager
Shanghai Office (Head Office)
3002, Nanhai Building, No. 854 Nandan Road,
Xuhui District, Shanghai 200070, China
Tel: +86 216191 8696
Mobile: +86 1870199 4951
Fax: +86 216191 8697
Web: www.ygregistryltd.com



And so the cat was out of its bag. They wanted to offer me a price list so I could pay and make sure that I protected the keyword OxGadgets, and the associated Chinese domains. I insisted to Jim that I was willing to hear his offer. Unfortunately I have not heard back from him.

Unfortunately nobody on the forums has posted what happens next. I imagine at this stage they find out that people have found them out and do not respond. If I hear back, I will definitely let you guys know. However, since they go with the Copy Paste approach, I imagine they will not go any further unless you bite.

Sami Mughalhttps://www.oxgadgets.com
Can be found somewhere between designing new tech as an electronics engineer or testing new tech as a technology enthusiast. Lives mostly on Twitter, and would love to have a word with you there as @smacula.

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