Protection Racket

This just makes me nuts. What gets me is that there’s an actual human involved in this. If it was just a robot-spammer, I could shrug it off.

It’s an email one of my customers received recently. I’m listing out all of this bozo’s information so you (or your customers) don’t get scammed:

Dear Manager
We are a professional intellectual property rights consultant organization, who mainly deal with the global domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection.

12th,3,2012 we received an application from Matas export trade Limited. They want to register () internet brand and CN domain names. But after checking it, we find this name conflict with your company name or trademark. In order to deal with this matter better, it’s necessary to send email to you and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner?

Please let me know whether you let they use or register them by yourself. Waiting for your reply.

Kind Regards,
Jerry Lan
Brand Registration Department Manager
HongKong Newname Net Service Co., Limited
Tel: +00852-8193 0858, Fax: +00852 8193 2728
4A, Units 19/F, Far East Consortium Bldg., 121 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong

My customer was (understandably) agitated and, believing this to be a real situation, responded. This is what he received back:

Dear Sir,

Since you have no relationship with this company, we assume that they have other purposes to obtain these domain names. Matas export trade Limited want to register the following Domain name:
Internet brand:(<yourdomain>)

If your company do not want other to register them, and need to protect by yourself. I will send you an application form to fill out. Then we will use it to reject Matas export trade Limited’s application and help your company to register it. If you think that it is not influences your company and give up it, we will help Matas export trade Limited to register it according to the registration procedure.

That’s when my customer got me involved. Here’s my response to him, and my take on the entire situation.

“My opinion is that the best way to deal with this is to ignore it. It’s meant to scare you into hasty action. Note the wording. He’s contacting you with an offer to PROTECT you from this other company infringing on your brand. What’s that sound like? Yep, Vinny and his cousin are standing in your store, saying what a shame it would be if there was a fire.

Those domain names are – in my not-so-humble opinion – less than useless to someone UNLESS they are going to actually develop it into a website.

If I just buy “.biz” and stick a single web page on it, it’s not going to show up on the search engines and it’s not going to do any good (or harm).

My advice is to either:

  1. let it drop.
  2. buy up all those domain names at $15 per name per year. It’s not THAT much if it’s really going to concern you. If you do, I would only buy the .net, .org and .biz variants. The ones he’s listing – .cn (China), .hk (HongKong) and .tw (Taiwan) are really less than less than useless.

One thought on “Protection Racket

  • April 26, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Just received the same email, argh!

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