An interesting scam

I received an interesting scam email this morning from a person claiming to a representative of “Domain Registry China”. I thought I’d post it and hopefully prevent any business owners potentially falling victim to it. This is what it said:

Dear CEO,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO, because this is urgent. If this email affects you, we are very sorry, please ignore this email. Thanks)

We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in China.
We received an application from Hua An Ltd on September 11 2017. They want to register “jacksimpson .net.cn”, “jacksimpson .org.cn”, “jacksimpson .asia” domain names, they are in China and Asia domain names. But after checking it, we find “jacksimpson” 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?

A few thoughts on this strategy and why it could be effective:

  • They discovered my email by looking up the domain name details associated with my own personal website – this was targeted.
  • The email potentially contains a grain of truth that may worry some business owners (it is certainly possible someone is trying to register .cn and .asia versions of my domain name).
  • They have an excuse for the bad English – they stating upfront that they’re based in China.
  • They’re trying to act as though they’re acting in good-faith.

In reality:

  • I very much doubt anything they have said in this email is true.
  • They’re trying to cause a business owner to panic and buy domains off them at inflated prices that they probably never wanted in the first place.
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Computational biology PhD candidate at the Australian National University. I love writing (both articles and software), learning more about the world around us, and beekeeping. I also write for BioSky.co

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