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:
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.)
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 Doing more research on that, I find that there are more domains, some that are no longer active, that have been registered to that person.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.