Domain Listings: Another Scam

For a while now, people have been receiving deceptive solicitations from a company called “Domain LIstings, PO Box 19607, Las Vegas, NV 89132-0607.” I got one just last week.

You can see the letter they send out below:

domain1domain2

The letter is designed to think that you have to pay to re-register your domain, but this outfit is nothing more than an American version of the “World Business List” – offering worthless services for an outrageous fee.

Please note that these bottom-feeders offer you virtually nothing that Google doesn’t do for free. Their “directory” will not give you a whit of exposure. They offer 24/7/365 exposure, which is exactly what you get when Google and the other search engines crawl your site.

Customer reviews at Yelp, just as an example.

If you get one of these letters, it’s not an invoice. Just throw it away, and stay away from these scum-eaters.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Domain Registraton Scam – Bad Actors from China

Be careful out there. I just got this email the other day, and while it looked dodgy from the outset, I thought I’d follow it down the rabbit hole to see where it went.

Dear sir or madam,

We are a registrar for domain names authorized by Chinese government. Today, we received an application from Daoc International ltd applying to register [domain] as their brand name and some top-level domain names(.CN .HK etc). After our initail checking, We found the main body of domain names is same as yours.

We are handling the application and we need to confirm whether or not you authorize them to register them? Let me know your positon ASAP so as to solve it promptly. Looking forward to your reply.

Best regards,
Elvin Lee
Tel:+86-551- 6349 1191
Fax:+86-551- 6349 1192
Address:No.413,Changjiang Road,Hefei City,Anhui Province

OK. So I simply responded and said, “These domains are not authorized, thank you.”

Next up:

Notice: regarding this case, we did not receive any of your reply until now. Concerning the mentioned brand name please confirm whether you need to register by yourselves? If need, please let us know in time, we can send an application form to you. If you think the registration of that company or the use of the brand name will not bring any negative effect to your company, i suggest you can give up the brand name, then we will accept that company application unconditionally. Further questions please contact me in time.

Followed the same day by this:

Notice: hi, i am Elvin Lee. We had discussed the case about disputing your company’s brand name. You have never registered the brand name, the dispute period will come soon. If your company does not register the brand name, we will start aforesaid company registration within 2 workdays. That company will become the legal owner of the brand name in the world. We had notified you, so we are not responsible for any dispute question about your intellectual property right and trademark after they succeed in registration. If you have any questions, pls contact us within 2 workdays.

Basically telling me I’ll lose worldwide rights to my domain name if I don’t quickly take action, or alternatively, I should abandon my own domain so that they can legally register it with other companies.

Lastly, today:

Thanks for your confirmation. As soon as receiving the application of that company, we checked and found [domain] is your company’s using name. We are concerned that your name might be affected negatively by their applications, this is why we informed you. Following brand name and domain names are applied by that company:
Brand name:
[domain]
Domain names:
[domain].asia
[domain].cn
[domain].com.cn
[domain].com.hk
[domain].com.tw
[domain].hk
[domain].in
[domain].net.cn
[domain].org.cn
[domain].tw
[domain].co.in

You know that the domain names registration is open in the world, that company also has the right to apply for the available domain names. You only have the preferential rights to register them.

At present, we haven’t passed their application, we need your opinion. If your company consider these names of importance to your company’s business or interest, i suggest that your company register these names first so as to avoid confusion or speculation. Of course, If you don’t think their application will affect your company in the future, you can give up these names so that we can finish registering for them. Please give me your company’s decision as soon as possible.
Uh, no. While I have no doubt that there are many good and honest Chinese businesses, this is not one of them – in fact, falls under the rubric of “morals of a honey badger.”
Above and beyond the standard advice, “Never deal with spammers,” I’d add that you be extraordinarily careful when unsolicited business proposals come from China – in other words, be doubly vigilant.
The Old Wolf has spoken.

More Domain Registration Jiggery-Pokery

I’ve mentioned domain registration scams before. Here’s another one to watch out for. The scumminess just drips off of this one.

Domain Notice <info@quickdomainsubmit.net> Feb 9 at 1:28 AM
To: [Name redacted]

Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name: [redacted]

ATT: [Name Redacted]
Response Requested By
10 – February – 2016

PART I: REVIEW NOTICE

Attn: [Name Redacted]
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.
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 registration includes domain name search engine submission. 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 redacted] will expire at 11:59PM EST, 10 – February – 2016 Act now!

Select Package:
http://www.quickdomainsubmit.net/?domain=%5Bdomain redacted]

Payment by Credit/Debit Card

Select the term using the link above by 10 – February – 2016
http://%5Bdomain redacted]
unsubscribe:
Please reply with UNSUBSCRIBE subject.
———————————————————————————————————————–
Disclaimer: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask mailers to stop spamming them. The above mail is in accordance to the Can Spam act of 2003: There are no deceptive subject lines and is a manual process through our efforts on World Wide Web. If you send me an UNSUBSCRIBE email we ensure you will not receive any such mails.

A couple of comments:

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.

This is the purest garbage. Unwitting businesspeople will get the idea that unless they pay for this “domain registration,” people won’t be able to find them on the internet. The major search engines all crawl the web on a regular basis, and unless you have a robots.txt file on your website which blocks search engines, it will automatically be indexed. I am reminded of an old scam my mother (born in 1916) introduced me to as a child – the drone who puts a classified ad in the paper, “Today is the last day to send in your dollar!” and lists a Post Office Box. Nothing is promised, yet people send in their money anyway, fearing that they’ll miss out on something good – and the scammer cleans up.

Search Engine/Directory
1.Google 1 9
2.Bing 23 8
3.Open Directory 1,877 7
4.Yandex 2,323 7
5.ScrubTheWeb 4,926 6
6.EntireWeb 5,817 6
7.ASR 6,273 5
8.Viesearch 7,411 4
9.SWD 7,860 6
10.A1WebDirectory 8,217 5
11.ExactSeek 8,578 6
12.Sites Web Directory 8,740 6
13.SecretSELabs 9,169 4
14.Gain Web 10,790 4
15.Online Society 11,494 4
16.1WebsDirectory 11,681 4
17.W3 Catalog 11,917 4
18.24/7 Web Directory 11,977 4
19.SoMuch 12,750 5
20.9Sites 12,879 4
21.AceWebDirectory 14,331 4
22.Synergy Directory 14,494 4
23.OBLN 14,703 5
24.Anoox 15,080 4
25.GigaBlast 15,572 3
Search Engine/Directory
26.Pegasus Directory 15,921 4
27.SonicRun 16,325 5
28.DirectMyLink 17,001 3
29.Directory Free 17,327 4
30.HotvsNot 17,670 3
31.FyberSearch 18,579 4
32.Elite Sites Directory 19,476 4
33.Nonar 19,614 4
34.IS 21,315 3
35.Info Tiger 21,371 4
36.LinkRoo 21,633 3
37.The Web Directory 21,969 4
38.Triple W Directory 22,775 3
39.BusinessSeek 22,929 4
40.Thales Directory 23,161 4
41.Cipinet 23,185 4
42.LinkPedia 23,717 3
43.Bhanvad 23,846 5
44.Amfibi 24,722 5
45.oneMission 26,602 5
46.MasterMOZ 27,263 5
47.OneMillionDirectory 27,306 3
48.10Directory 28,426 2
49.Link Centre 28,475 4
50.Botid 29,441 4

The above list shows the search engines that this service claims your domain name will be submitted to, for the following prices:

TOP 25 Engines Registration
1 Year – $47

TOP 25 Engines Registration
5 Years – $197 (SAVE : $38)

TOP 50 Engines Registration
1 Year- $97

TOP 50 Engines Registration
5 Years – $297 (SAVE $188)

But notice the Alexa and Google rankings for these sites – aside from Google and Bing, none of these search engines are accessed to any extent at all, making them virtually useless – and the first two will index your domain automatically. You are paying these criminals between $50 and $300… for absolutely nothing.

Be smart. Don’t send in your dollar.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

Another “Domain Registration” Scam

Here’s some junk email that showed up this morning:

ATTENTION: IMPORTANT NOTICE
Domain SEO Service Registration Corp.
Order#: 780438
Date: 12/14/2014

EXPIRATION NOTICE

DOMAIN: [redacted]

Notification Offer
EXPIRATION DATE: 12/22/2014

Bill To: [Redacted]
Domain Name: [Redacted]
Registration SEO Period: 01/05/2015 to 01/05/2016
Price: $64.00
Term: 1 Year

SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT

Domain Name: [Domain Name Redacted]
Attn: [Owner Name Redacted]

This important expiration notification notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for mydistilpuremsm.com search engine submission. The information in this expiration notification may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain SEO Service Registration. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above.
If you fail to complete your domain name registration mydistilpuremsm.com search engine service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this domain name notification offer notice.

PLEASE CLICK ON SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT TO COMPLETE YOUR PAYMENT.

Failure to complete your domain name registration [redacted] search engine service process may make it difficult for customers to find you on the web.

CLICK UNDERNEATH FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT

PROCESS PAYMENT FOR
[Domain Redacted]
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT
ACT IMMEDIATELY

This domain registration for [Domain Redacted] search engine service notification will expire 12/22/2014.

Instructions and Unsubscribe Instructions:

You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification offers. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, please unsubscribe here or mail us a written request to Domain SEO Service Registration Corp., 5379 Lyons Rd. 452, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to stop receiving notifications notices. We are a search engine optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A NOTIFICATION OFFER. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS NOTIFICATION OFFER. Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

Notice several things about this garbage:

  1. The emphasized text in the spam disclaimer, written in tiny, gray print so as to be ignored, states clearly that you are signing up for worthless services, not domain registration. This shows the blatant deception being perpetrated here.
    disclaimer
  2. It’s designed to look like an invoice. There are, sadly, many unwitting office managers and secretaries and even executives who will take one look at this, pay the invoice, and kiss their money goodbye.
  3. The “registration service” being offered comes from http://www.domainrseo.net/, which has been flagged by Web of Trust (WOT) as Phishing, Scam, Potentially illegal, Misleading claims or unethical, and Spam site. The two posted comments are informative:

User Carl Legg posted on 11/29/2014

WARNING: New Internet scam out of a shoebox office in Florida. Called Domain SEO Service Registration Corp. It’s the same, tired old false flag operation.

1.) Perpetrator looks up domain names (owner contact information is public)
2.) Perpetrator e-mails domain-name owner with an official looking “Payment Notice”
3.) Threatening “expiration” deadlines are made in the Payment Notice
4.) Payment notice written in legal-technical gobbledegook to scare people into paying.

The perp makes it look like you are renewing your domain name, but in reality, and through some seriously twisted use of English language (that leaves one’s head swimming), you are signing up for one year of expensive search-engine optimization. Many people would not understand this, and the perp wants it that way.

Registered in Florida, but likely owned by a Hong Kong firm? Hard to tell. Here’s the registration data:

Florida Profit Corporation DOMAIN SEO SERVICE REGISTRATION CORP.
Filing Information Document NumberP14000093458
FEI/EIN Number NONE Date Filed 11/17/2014 State FL Status ACTIVE
Office/Director/Agent: TAUBERT, MATTHIAS (Matthias Taubert)
Principal Address 5379 LYONS RD. (452), COCONUT CREEK, FL 33073″

User eden-g posted on 11/29/2014
“Scam site engaged in misleading illegal activity owned by Chinese criminal Zhu Bing.”

I can’t speak to the source of the name in the second comment, but whoever is behind this scam is a dirtbag.

Be very careful out there. Domain registration scams are rampant, SEO firms are, for the most part, offering useless and expensive services, and most unsolicited commercial email is deceptive.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

How the Search Engine Scammers Get Your Money

Earlier I posted a warning about the “Search Engine Registration” scam. As a follow-up, here’s an illustration of what happens if you happen to fall for this camel ejecta.

Image1

Of course, the email you received includes a coupon code. Wow. Such deal.

Image3

Not only are they offering you a worthless service, something that happens automatically with the largest and most-used search engines, they’re asking you to pay $97.00 to make “nothing” happen even faster.

Image4

Good, you’ve taken the bait. Let’s see how far they can push you. For $197.00, they’ll keep offering you “nothing” forever.

Image5

Not content to scam you out of $300.00 thus far, they now want you to shell out more money to “register” your website. Bang goes another $97.00.

Image6

But wait! There’s more! Not only will we charge you $97.00 to make “nothing” happen to your website, we’ll also charge you $49.95¹ to do “nothing” every month. Thanks for being such a fine sucker!

Image7

Now that we’ve squeezed your cojones so hard that you’re singing soprano, we’ll finish off by kicking them through the top of your skull. For another $297.00, we’ll send 10,000 “visitors” to your website. These, if they even happen, will likely convert into zero additional sales.

So let’s sum up: If you’re a big sucker, you’ve spent $737.95 (plus another $49.95 monthly) to do something that would have happened automatically for exactly 0¢. Probably not the best expenditure of your hard-earned money.

Stay away from scams and cons like this, run by people who have the morals of a honey badger.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

————-

¹ If you’re really old, like me, you’ll recognize this as the price of that charcoal-grey suit you keep getting icky-sticky gook all over.