Chinese Phishing Scam

Today I received a legitimate looking email from a Mark Yang of CN information center.  The email looked authentic and it seemed that the business was doing very legitimate activity of researching the domain name of our business Jaya Teas before registering similar domain names to a different company.

(Letter to the President or Brand Owner,thanks)

Dear President,

We are CN Network Information Center,which is a trademark agency in China.Here we have a very important issue to confirm with you. We formally received an application on Aug 20, 2012. One company which self-styled "Macima Investment Ltd" were applying to register "jayateas" as internet trademark keyword and following domain names:   

After our initial checking, we found the name is conflict with your company's name or trademark, so we need to send this email to you and confirm with your company whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China? If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for "Macima Investment Ltd".

Waiting for your reply ASAP today.

Best Regards,  
Mark Yang  

Auditing Manager

ChengDu Office (Head Office)

Tel: +86 28 8315 5738 || Fax: +86 28 8315 5738
Address:21/F Dongcheng International No,98 XiAn Road,Jin Niu District,Chengdu City,China.

Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail.

At first, I thought, why would anyone be interested in registering the domain name of Jaya Teas?  It's not a big company, its not a big brand and especially since some of the common associated domain names (eg. .org, or .us) haven't even been registered.

Then it occurred to me that this might be a scam.  So, a quick search in the name of CN Information center revealed that indeed this is a scam.

Chinese Domain Scam

In reading the comment section it became quite clear that the MO of this scam is to encourage you to register additional domain names in the guise of protecting your brand equity and some people did fall for it loosing hundreds of dollars.  It is sad that this should happen, but in today's day and age of quick google searches, there is really no need to fall for this kind of scam.  If you ever get a mail of this kind, or any other phishing scam, do a quick search to see if there are others who have received this kind of email.
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