tsservice.net Chinese Domain Scam

I received this rather official and alarming email the other day from a Chinese domain registrar:

(If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to your President or appropriate person, thanks)

Dear President,

We are the department of Asian Domain registration service in china, have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on July,29 2011. One company which self-styled “Penier investment Co.Ltd” were applying to register “dealush” as Network Brand and following domain names:

dealush.asia
dealush.cn
dealush.co.in
dealush.com.cn
dealush.com.hk
dealush.com.tw
dealush.hk
dealush.in
dealush.net.cn
dealush.org.cn
dealush.tw

After our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Penier investment Co.Ltd”.

Best Regards,

John He
Registration Dept.
Tel: +86 28 8591 5586 || Fax: +86 28 8591 2116
Address:5/F,The East Building, No.4 HaiJiaoShi Street,JinJiang District,ChengDu.China
Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail.

OMG, I am in charge! Blooming Cybersquatters, how dare they try and squat on my Cyber! I’ll show them, I’ll register these domains immediately. Thank goodness the kind folks at the “Registration Dept” let me know.

This is a very clever form of marketing. It is also a scam. The reason it is a scam is not that if I tried to register these domains with tsservice that they would just take my money and run. I actually believe that they would register those domains for me. The scam is that this is that “Penier investment Co.Ltd” is not really trying to register those domains.

These jokers are trying to prey on my desire to protect the trademark of Dealush and the widely known problem of domain squatting.

All in all the email is quite cleverly put together, it even has one of those inane please consider the environment pleas at the bottom of the email. How could someone who cares about the environment not have the best intentions?

Anyway, why do I think this is a scam? Could these guys just trying to be helpful? Well apart from the fact it has a distinct odor of SPAM, there is also a wonderful thing called the internet to check these sorts of things. Thanks to the thoughtful members of the bloggosphere one doesn’t have to look far to see that I am not the first person to receive an email like this. Hopefully this blog post will also help people avoid being taken in by this scam.

So if you own some domains, don’t be surprised to receive an email like this. Best thing you can do is to send it to the spam bin where it belongs.

Cheers,

-James