Chinese Domain Scam

This is very much outside the usual sphere of gaming chatter I drop onto this blog, but I feel that it’s important to bring up, especially since it’s something I’ve come across and done some research on.

There is a Chinese domain scam that’s been going around- one such thing I’ve read on this is here.

This whole thing started with an email that I received on Tuesday night. This is what it says:

Dear CEO/Principal,

This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on February 22,2017. that a company claimed “Aicte Ltd” were applying to register “esterior” as their Network Brand and some “esterior” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.

Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aicte Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

(This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)

Best Regards,
Vince Lee
Senior Consultant Manager

At first, I took it at face value, but when I come back to it later, I found myself a little more confused and wondering about it because there are things that do not line up.

Let’s start with the email itself.

I did some looking around and found that the domain being used in my reply to email is this: ttipr.com.cn. A quick check of the domain sends me to tomitt.org, which claims to be a server farm of some sort, but there are some oddities on the site.

There are multiple issues I already see on the site. The logo/name, and especially the fact that the email icon in the upper right hand corner is not clickable. Doing some more research around this website, I keep finding more oddities. The help and support links, which took some time to find, are not even clickable.

I did some digging into the domain itself and found that it is tied to someone who registered it via a phone number, and connected to a tencent domain. Doing more research on that, I find that there are more domains, some that are no longer active, that have been registered to that person.

The next issue is that the only thing I can find about ‘Aicte Ltd’ is that I think it’s referencing AICTE – the All India Council for Technology Education. There are no signs that there are any need for the esterior.whatever domains through that site, especially considering the source of the name.

Besides, they’ll have a hell of a job trying to take rank away from my own domain, I suspect? A search for ‘esterior’ gets you sites in Spanish… and, unsurprisingly, Endless History.

So with this bit of evidence, and everything else I’ve read, I’ve decided I won’t answer this email- but good job for getting me with something I hadn’t seen before. It was fun researching it.

29 thoughts on “Chinese Domain Scam”

  1. Received the same email today but with my own domain inserted in the email and the company name “Aitel Ltd” used for the ‘interested’ company. Indeed looks like a scam. Perhaps the intention is to hurry you into purchasing the other domain names to prevent the company getting hold of them. Whatever the scam, I’m giving it a wide berth.

  2. I got the same type of thing too. I have a feeling it is a scam to make me buy names from them. I Googled and found your blog see you guys are getting the same thing.

    Dear CEO/Principal,

    This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on March 1,2017. that a company claimed “Aicte Ltd” were applying to register “organiclearskin” as their Network Brand and some “organiclearskin” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.

    Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aicte Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

    (This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)

    Best Regards,

    Vince Lee

    Senior Consultant Manager

    1. Philip
      I got the same email and thanks to your and others information it has confirmed my concerns
      Dear CEO/Principal,

      This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on April 25,2017. that a company claimed “Aerials Ltd” were applying to register “securitelsecurity” as their Network Brand and some “securitelsecurity” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.

      Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aerials Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

      (This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)

      Best Regards,

      Vince Lee

      Senior Consultant Manager

  3. Thanks for the blog post,

    I got the same email; supposedly (like in commentator Larry North’s case) a company named “Aitel Ltd” wants to register our domain.

    I suspected that some scammer wants me to do registration at some overpriced rate. Thanks to your post, Google led me here and somewhat confirmed my suspicion.

    –> I’ll ignore it.

  4. Thanks for flagging this up, I just got the same email and was puzzling over the validity of it
    ;-)

  5. My company received the same Email by Vince Lee. This time it was refered to Aerials LTD. I checked the web and i also founded strange things. Its also funny that if you check the availability of some domain names, you always receive the same reply.

    Somebody at my company replied the first email before I could read it. Since then we have received more emails threatening us about the legal property of the domains.

    We are a spanish company and now im trying to find the right method to report it to the authorities.

    Many thanks for the post.

  6. Hi:
    I am from Spain and I have received something very similar but a little different and also signed from another person or another name. I am not going to pay attention to it.
    Here you are.

    Dear Sir/Madam

    About the “neurocoachpatricia”, we have some thing to comfirm with you! We are an agency engaging in registering brand name and domain names, on March 30, 2017, we received an application named “Carebery Company” and they apply to register neurocoachpatricia as their brand name and some top-level asian domain names. But we found the main body of domain names is same as yours. We are not sure about the relationship between you and them.

    As the registrar, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Carebery Company” Looking forward to your prompt reply.

    (Please kindly foward this email to your CEO or appropriate person. Thanks a lot.)

    Best Regards,

    Roger Lee

    Senior Adviser Manager

    1. Thanks for posting! I recently received the Roger Lee/Carebery Company one as well…So glad I stumbled across this site, as I didn’t know if I should be worried…so sick of all of the scams!!!

  7. Thanks for the post. My company is located in France. Received the Vince Lee’s email today referering to “Aerials Ltd”. 100% scam.

  8. Thanks for the post. Same here, referring to “Carebery Company” but from Luke Wong. My company is in Malaysia.

  9. This is the one I received some minutes ago.
    Thanks for posting!!! 100% SCAM!!!
    My Company is in Italy

    From: “Vince Lee”

    Dear CEO/Principal,

    This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on April 4,2017. that a company claimed “Aerials Ltd” were applying to register “XXXXX.xxx” as their Network Brand and some “XXXXX.xxx” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.

    Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aerials Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

    (This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)

    Best Regards,

    Vince Lee

    Senior Consultant Manager

  10. Thanks for the information! My company is located in Estonia. Same here – received e-mail from Luke Wong and ” Carebery Company “

  11. Thanks for the information, was puzzling over it. Mine was from Owen Chen regarding ‘Carebery company’
    I’m in UK

  12. Thanks! We are located in Hong Kong. Same thing – received e-mail from Luke Wong and ”Carebery Company “. Thanks for the flag, most helpful!

  13. Thanks, same mail here and this thread has confirmed its a scam. Subtle difference is the name of the company wanting to register our domain.

    Dear CEO/Principal,

    This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on April 11,2017. that a company claimed “Aerials Ltd” were applying to register “******” as their Network Brand and some “******” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.

    Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aerials Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

    (This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)

    Best Regards,

    Vince Lee

    Senior Consultant Manager

  14. Received the same kind of mail today

    “Dear CEO/Principal,
    This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on April 18,2017. that a company claimed “Aerials Ltd” were applying to register “medwinmaritime” as their Network Brand and some “medwinmaritime” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.
    Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aerials Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.
    (This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)
    Best Regards,
    Vince Lee
    Senior Consultant Manager”

  15. Beware! This is what I received:

    Dear CEO/Principal,

    This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on April 5,2017. that a company claimed “Aerials Ltd” were applying to register “zouxou” as their Network Brand and some “zouxou” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.

    Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aerials Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

    (This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)

    Best Regards,

    Vince Lee

    Senior Consultant Manager

  16. Got the same email

    Dear CEO/Principal,

    This is Vince Lee—Senior Consultant of domain name registration and solution center in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on April 28,2017. that a company claimed “Aerials Ltd” were applying to register “prosourcecenter” as their Network Brand and some “prosourcecenter” Asian countries top-level domain names(in/hk/tw/etc) and China (CN) domain names through our firm.

    Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “Aerials Ltd”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

    (This is a very important case, so please transfer this email to your CEO or Principal. Thanks a lot.)

    Best Regards,

    Vince Lee

  17. Received a email from Vince Lee with the Aerials Ltd company name.
    Sent back an email with threats of legal action if they go through with the registration. Just for shits and giggles, wanna see what they reply.
    Thanks for the heads up!

  18. I too received the same email (with my domain plugged in)
    It’s obviously a scam but I don’t know what their angle is. I was going to play along just enough to find out but then I thought, “do I really care? I’ve got better ways to waste my time!”

  19. Just got one too. Vince Lee again but the company name has changed to Berries Ltd. Thank you all for warning us.

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