Beware of “URGENT Brand Confirmation” Emails

I receive about one call or email a month from one of our clients who see this scam email and worry that it may be legitimate.  I received an email this morning from a client and just happened to have one of these sitting in my spam folder too this morning so I decided to do a quick PSA. 

The theme of these spam emails is that someone in China wants to register your domain name in China, and this “selfless company” is giving you first crack at it since you own your brand in the United States.  Worry not, this email has been making its rounds in email inbox’s for years.  When you see it or any of its variations you can click the spam button and go about your day.

Here is a sample email so you can be prepared when they arrive:

Dear CEO/Principal,
I’m sorry to disturb you so abruptly.  This is Barton Liu—Head of Registration Department of domain name registration and solution center in Shanghai, China, which mainly deals with the global company’s domain name and Network Brand registration and internet Intellectual property rights’ protection in asia. Currently, we have a pretty important issue need to confirm with your company.
On July 16th, 2012, we received an application formally. One company named ‘Sonila In’t Co. Ltd’ had been applying for the Network Brand ‘webtivitydesigns’ and some relevant domain names in the asia market through our body.
Now we are handling this registration and we found that the keyword of these domain names and net brand are identical with your company’s. So now we need to confirm a couple of things with you:
1. If your company consigns ‘Sonila In’t Co. Ltd’ to register these domain names and net brand, we will send an application form to them and help them finish the registration at once.
2. If your company has nothing to do with ‘Sonila In’t Co. Ltd’, they maybe have other purposes to register these domain names and network brand.
We haven’t finished the registration of ‘Sonila In’t Co. Ltd’ yet, and we have postponed the application of this company temporarily already. In order to deal with this issue better, please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.
Best Regards,
Barton Liu
Registration Department

A good rule of thumb to follow for most business owners:  if you receive an unsolicited email from someone you don’t know you should view it with a very skeptical eye.  If you receive an unsolicited email from someone outside the country, be doubly vigilant.  (Except when you’ve been told you just won the lottery….   I’m Joking!!)




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