18 Jul

Search Engine Submission Scam

It appears another variation on the domain registration scam and the Domain Registry of America scam, that I have previously discussed in this blog, is appearing via email to domain owners. In this version, an official-looking email informs the domain registrant that they need to register in order to be found in search engines. Of course this is a complete fallacy; there is no obligation on a domain owner to register with a third party for search engine inclusion. The originating company doesn’t even identify itself in the email, merely providing a generic Yahoo email address, and contact details.  Hardly a bona fide company to do business with!

The email text varies, but is generally in this form:

Attn: [DOMAIN OWNER] As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration.  This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration and save.
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering.  Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission.  You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: [DOMAIN NAME] will expire on [Date] Act today!

Hidden in the text after the alarmist notice are the words ‘you are under no obligation to pay’ – those of course are the most important words in the email – do not be fooled by the rest of the mumbo-jumbo!

 

23 Nov

World Company Directory scam

Here’s another sneaky scam with hidden charges that will make your eyes water! If you receive an email from info@worldcompanydirectory.com with the subject ‘Registration of the World Company Directory 2009/2010’ do not fill in their form or you are liable to be billed for 980 Euros. It’s all in the small print as you can see from the following:


BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, YOU ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS AND THE CONDITIONS SPECIFIED IN “THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ENTRY” ON WEBPAGE: WWW.WORLDCOMPANYDIRECTORY.COM. YOUR SIGNATURE IS LEGALLY BINDING AND ENTITLES YOU TO PLACE AN ENTRY IN THE ONLINE DATABASE OF THE WORLD COMPANY DIRECTORY LTD., WHICH CAN BE ACCESSED VIA THE INTERNET. PURSUANT TO THE CONTRACT CONDITIONS STATED IN “THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ENTRY” ON WEBPAGE: WWW.WORLDCOMPANYDIRECTORY.COM, THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT IS THREE YEARS AND COMMENCES ON THE EIGHTH DAY AFTER SIGNING THE CONTRACT. THE ENTRY IS GRANTED AFTER THE SERVICE PROVIDER HAS RECEIVED THE SIGNED DOCUMENT. I HEREBY ORDER A SUBSCRIPTION WITH SERVICE PROVIDER WORLD COMPANY DIRECTORY LTD. I WILL HAVE AN ENTRY INTO ITS DATABASE FOR THREE YEARS. THE PRICE PER YEAR IS EUR 980. THE SUBSCRIPTION WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY RENEWED EVERY YEAR FOR ANOTHER YEAR, UNLESS THE SERVICE PROVIDER OR THE SUBSCRIBER RECEIVE SPECIFIC WRITTEN NOTICE TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE SUBSCRIPTION EXPIRES. YOUR DATA WILL BE RECORDED. THE PLACE OF JURISDICTION IN ANY DISPUTE ARISING IS THE SERVICE PROVIDER’S ADDRESS. THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN SERVICE PROVIDER AND SUBSCRIBER IS SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS STATED IN “THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ENTRY” ON WEBPAGE: WWW.WORLDCOMPANYDIRECTORY.COM.

Keep your eyes peeled for these sorts of emails – they prey on the unwary, but then who’s ever heard of the World Company Directory?!

07 Oct

Domain registration scam

Don’t be fooled by emails from abroad asking to register domains incorporating ‘your’ keywords – it’s an old scamming trick whereby the perpetrator makes out that they have been approached by a third party seeking to register domains incorporating a company name, and then they will seek to charge inflated prices and most likely skim your credit card details as well.


The email looks generally like the following, although I have substituted where appropriate:

From: michael.hexel
To: Yourname
Sent: Tue Oct 06 16:03:14 2009
Subject: yourdomain notice
Dear yourdomain
We are a domain name registration center in Hong Kong, mainly dealing with domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection. On Oct 05,2009 we received a formal application from a company who is applying to register several domains, using “yourdomain ”as the keyword. After investigation,we find that you are the original user of the keyword. Such similar domain cases may involve your trademark and company name,and may cause website confusion and conflicts. For a responsible attitude, we inform you here and ask for your opinion. If you don’t mind,we will finish registration for the third company.
Regards,
Michael hexel
Tel:+852 31757930(ext.8014)
Fax:+852 31757932
Email:michael.hexel@hk-nsc.hk
Website: www.hk-net.hk