Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Internet copyright dispute and domain registration scam


Internet scams and frauds claiming that you have one lottery for an astronomical amount or that a stranger is willing to share few million $ with you are not new. Such fraudulent emails have become a part of our online lives. I receive such emails every alternate day and I faithfully guide them to trash can. But the scam I am going to discuss is novel in its approach. Rather than promising any freebies, it targets your hard work and knowledge by taking your website domain as hostage. This is completely new internet copyright dispute and domain registration scam.

As many of you might be aware, I run a small consulting website www.aac-india.com . I get decent number of visitors with tons of queries. I try to answer them to the best of my knowledge. Everything was going well and out of the blue I received email mentioned below:

Subject: RE: Urgent Inquire aac-india (about trademark)

Dear CEO,  

We are an organization specialized in dealing with Internet Copyright dispute and registration in Asia.
On April,16, 2013, a named "Haoxiao Investment Co" company  submitted an application to our company  for  registering these top level domains:
 aac-india.asia 
 aac-india.cn 
 aac-india.com.cn 
 aac-india.com.hk 
 aac-india.hk 

Whether you consigned this company to register these top level domains, or are they your subbranch? 

Because these domain name may relate to  the use of trademark. I hope you can give me a reply as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

John King
Manager of Auditing Department

Now, if I was a very smart person, I would have called the bluff from the language and grammar of this email. But I panicked initially and replied to him as given below:

Dear John,

Thank you for informing me about this development. I hereby declare that I am no way related to "Haoxiao Investment Co" nor have I authorized them to register any domains.

Regards,
Vishal Kansagra

I guess Mr. John King is not one of those scamsters to give up easily. He shot me another email mentioned below:

Dear Vishal,

Thanks for your reply. If you have not consigned with them, according to our working experience, there are 2 possibilities for your reference:

1. That company may be a domain investment company; they want to register these names before you and sell its back to you to gain profits.

2. It may be a commercial method, that company is consigned by your competitor to register these domains and confuse your clients. 

Domain takes open registration according to the international registration principle,So that company has right to register it. As a domain registrar, we herewith are required to inform your company to protect your interest by our government.

As the owner of "aac-india.com", you have the priority to register these domains. Of course, each company has its own idea. If you don't think their application will affect your company, you can give up, and we will finish their registration.  But, if you think their registration will confuse your clients and harm your profits, we can help you protect and register these domains within dispute period. This is the only way to prevent domain from being grabbed. Hope you can give me your decision ASAP, so that we can handle the next step.

Best Regards,
John King /*Note his designation disappears*/

He gave away his game when he expressed that he was way too concerned for my domain and my money. He was interested in my money for sure, but he wanted it in his pocket rather than mine. By now I had got over panic attack and it was time to start having fun. There we go:

Dear John,

Whoever they are, let them have fun. I am not interested in buying these additional domains. Thank you once again.

Regards,
Vishal Kansagra

Mr. John King, full marks to you for your persistence. Here he gets back:

Dear Vishal,

If that is the case, we'll help them complete registration in the near future.As for any results caused, we won't bear any legal responsibilities.

Best Regards,
John King

Now, words like legal and responsibilities are enough to scare a normal Indian on their own, but when clubbed together, they seem like ‘Qayāmat’ (the day of judgment). So I hit him back with his weapon:

Dear John,

I am ok with legal responsibilities as Indian jurisdiction or that of International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherlands) would apply. It should give me a great opportunity to practice my legal skills. I just completed my Masters in International Law from University of Washington and got my attorney’s license. Kindly get me contact details of legal representative(s) of concerned entity.

Regards,
Vishal Kansagra

With that bombshell, I don't think Mr. John King is going to reply any time soon. And in case it does, it would be a great opportunity to travel to Europe :D


15 comments:

  1. hi vishal,

    Even i got the same email ( the first email) referred in your thread. What should i be doing? just ignore it ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Natarajan,

    It is best to ignore such scams.

    Regards,

    Vishal Kansagra

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think its an Indian or paki .
    Who tried to make people fool over internet.



    We are an organization specialized in dealing with Internet Copyright dispute and registration in Asia.

    On Jun,10, 2013, a named "Haoxiao Investment Co" company submitted an application to our company for registering these top level domains:
    hwbtechnologies.asia
    hwbtechnologies.cn
    hwbtechnologies.com.cn
    hwbtechnologies.com.hk
    hwbtechnologies.hk
    Whether you consigned this company to register these top level domains, or are they your subbranch? Because these domain name may relate to the use of trademark. I hope you can give me a reply as soon as possible.

    Best Regards,

    John King
    Manager of Auditing Department
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HONGKONG IP Network Limited
    T: 00852 3069 7434 (English)
    00852-3050 6949 (Chinese)
    F: 00852-30697409
    Email:john@hkipnet.net
    Web: www.hkipnet.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RE: Urgent Inquire anjibio (about trademark)
      Inbox
      x
      john

      9:00 AM (2 hours ago)

      to sales
      Dear CEO,

      We are an organization specialized in dealing with Internet Copyright dispute and registration in Asia.

      On Jun,10, 2013, a named "Haoxiao Investment Co" company submitted an application to our company for registering these top level domains:
      anjibio.asia
      anjibio.cn
      anjibio.com.cn
      anjibio.com.hk
      anjibio.hk
      Whether you consigned this company to register these top level domains, or are they your subbranch? Because these domain name may relate to the use of trademark. I hope you can give me a reply as soon as possible.

      Best Regards,

      John King
      Manager of Auditing Department
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      HONGKONG IP Network Limited
      T: 00852 3069 7434 (English)
      00852-3050 6949 (Chinese)
      F: 00852-30697409
      Email:john@hkipnet.net
      Web: www.hkipnet.net

      Delete
  4. hi vishal,
    please let me know if any online gaming company create fraud domain registration and create website in India. Like example on website mention that camera, laptop, pendrive like ele goods and cost 1000,2000,3000,4000,5000...etc. but they just collecting money and doing gambling website. they no shipment. just create fraud website and doing well business. so if they nothing shipment so government know it? how about internate crime law? They watching list all activity?
    Please let me know sir.

    Thanks,
    Vijay-gujarat

    ReplyDelete
  5. A website is a global thing and can be hosted at a different country and can be accessed in other country then the host country and It might possible that the country which is hosting the site is not the prey of the scam but the other country. Domain names and hosting services should be regularized by some organization who have equal power at each country of the world.

    ReplyDelete
  6. thanks for taking the time out to do this , I got Email from hkipnet.hk like this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah,

      I hope you gave them a fitting response.

      Regards,

      Vishal Kansagra

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the tip Vishal, I was about to reply when I decided to google the email address and the first google result was this site. Cheers Bert

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Bert,

    I am glad that my post helped you.

    Regards,

    Vishal Kansagra

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vishal, thanks for the info. This scam is still going around. Just received their ugly email

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the info, the scam is still going on! Just received their email, luckily I googled.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Really nice blog ! i would like to appreciate the stuff. Find the best Chinese Business Lawyer services : Chinese Business Lawyer

    ReplyDelete