New Domain Name Scam

I am usually used to picking up on spam from a mile away. But the email message in my box this morning had me pause for a moment–perhaps it was legitimate? A quick search on the web, however, showed it to be a new type of scam, possibly as recent as March. This was the message I received from a company called “Asia DNR”:

Subject: Crosbygroup-Intellectual property rights (To President/CEO)

Dear President/CEO:

We are the domain name registration organization in Asia, which is mainly responsible for domain name registration and dispute. We have some points need to confirm with your company on intellectual property right on Internet. On Nov 9,2008, we have received an application form on domain name registration from one company named”Mengta company”. They put forward to register the following Domain names:

Internet brand:


through our body.
After our initial examination, we found that the Internet brand and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark. These days we are dealing with it. If you do not know this company, we doubt that they have other aims to buy these domain names. Now we have not finished the registration of Mengta company yet, in order to deal with this issue better, Please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to some appropriate dept. This would affect your company’s reputation, image and benefit, etc.

Best Regards,


Hong Kong Office:Tel: 00852-8122 6293
Fax: 00852-8125 7328

A quick look around the web here, here and here shows others have received similar messages. Apparently the “scam” part is that once contacted they will offer to sell you the domain names. I learned in my travels that domain name registrars will not seek out and contact you when someone is trying to register a domain related to your name. A couple of “best practices” I also gleaned:

  • when you are first setting up your domain name, be sure to register domains for all the different jurisdictions in which you think you will be doing business. This will prevent someone else from squatting on that domain and then selling it to you later when you really need it;
  • as with any scam, do not respond to these messages. Just delete.

There are a number of names being used for this type of scam in addition to Asia DNR.

Update: This scam has been running at least since August 2007. Thanks to lawyer Eric J. Heels for the link!


  1. This might be wrong-headed of me, but I would have had my suspicions raised by the grammatical errors. I realize that there are different types of English used in foreign countries, but I assume (again, perhaps incorrectly) that a reputable company wishing to do business with native English speakers would have someone check and double-check correspondence and advertising to such persons.
    Although there are manuals from big-tech companies I’ve seen with poor grammar in them, I wouldn’t expect it in sales materials.
    So, while such an email might have been legit, ONE of the things that would have made me suspicious is the grammar.
    Anyway, thanks for the heads up on this!

  2. You are very right, Rick. Other clues:

    – the name of the company (Asia DNR) does not match the company’s domain name in the email address (

    – there seems to be a whole chunk of text missing in the middle (where it says “through our body.”)

    – the company name was given in a graphic but not in the person’s signature.

    I always wonder why, when people go to the trouble of putting these scams together, they don’t go the extra mile and proofread them just as you would a real business email?


  3. I can confirm that this scam has been around for more than a year. It coincides with the release of some new domain name extensions in Asia(ie. .com, .ca, .org are all “extensions”). In fact, similar scams seem to emerge every time a new domain name extension is released.

    As a TM agent, I routinely tell my clients to ignore or forward to me any correspondance that they receive concerning their TM applications/registrations as the only correspondance they should receive about their applications will come from my office when I’m their agent of record.

  4. That is a nice way to distinguish it, Michele.