Domain name scam alert: safe to ignore?
With the rise of the internet and technology, there has been a big increase in the number of scammers coming out of the woodwork, looking to target individuals and businesses.
Businesses and their IP are not unharmed.
Recently, a number of people have received an email regarding their trade mark and another’s attempts to register it as a domain name.
These normally originate from China and Hong Kong and can differ in form but on the whole normally are worded as follows:
“This is a letter to confirm the registration of your company name [WELL KNOWN MARK], please read it thoroughly. Today, our centre received an application from [MADE UP COMPANY, USUALLY STARTING WITH AN ACRONYM] and they applied to register [WELL KNOWN MARK] as their brand name and some top-level domain names (.CN .HK. .TW, .ASIA, etc)
We found the main body of domain names is same as your company name. I am not sure about the relationship between you and them.
We are dealing with the application and we need to confirm whether you have authorized them? If you don't authorize them, please reply me an e-mail. Looking forward to your reply.”
“We mainly deal with IPR registration internationally. We received a formal application from a company who is called [MADE UP COMPANY] are applying to register the international trademark [WELL KNOWN MARK] on [YESTERDAY].
We checked and found the keyword is similar to your company's name. So we inform you to confirm whether you authorized the company registered the international trademark. If you have authorized, then we can finish registering for them as per our duty. If not, we hereby suspect the company to be an international trademark grabber. Please contact us by telephone or email within 10 workdays, so we can better handle the issue.”
“We have something to confirm with you. On [YESTERDAY], we received an application in which a company by the name [NAME] applied to register [WELL KNOWN MARK] as their Brand Name and some Asia domain names through our firm.
Now we are handling this registration. After our initial checking, we found that the name are identical to your company's. We need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you have authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If not, please let us know within 7 workdays, in which case we will discuss the matter more thoroughly. If not otherwise advised within that time limit we will proceed with the registration. We will be waiting for your reply.”
Those of you that may have received one of these emails will undoubtedly be worried about the consequences and whether it should be taken seriously or not.
In the majority of situations, the emails are scams and should be ignored. However, it is always recommended that you commit some sort of research to confirm that the source of the email and any businesses mentioned in it are not legitimate.
However, if you do have concerns, contact Jane at The Trademarkroom. However, do so if you are sure that the claim is not a scam.
By Ellis Sweetenham