A number of our clients have received email like this from a domain registrar in China. Here is the exact email a client received. (we changed their actual domain name to the fictitious name plaxolabs to protect their privacy)

Dear CEO,

We are the domain name registration organization in Asia, which mainly deal with international company’s in Asia. We have something important need to confirm with your company.

On the Jan 3, 2008, we received an application formally. One company named ” HengTong International Holdings Ltd” wanted to register following

Domain names:


Internet brand keyword:


through our body.

After our initial examination, we found that the keywords and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark. These days we are dealing with it. If you do not know this company, we doubt that they have other aims to buy these domain names. Now we have not finished the registration of HengTong company yet, in order to deal with this issue better, Please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

Wow – what utter crock. What what I loved about this scam email is how honest it all sounds. You almost want to thank Mr Mars Zhou for being so diligent and bringing this to your attention.

The scammers behind this are using two of the greatest marketing tricks in the book.

The first is the “likability” trigger that Cialdina writes about in his book “Influence”. They make you almost like them by appearing to be nice, diligent and on your side.

The next is the scarcity trigger, also covered by Cialdini in “Influence”. You may never have considered registering your domain in China, but when you find that someone else is about to grab your precious name and it won’t be available anymore, you suddenly develop an irrational urge to buy this name.

More on these scams:

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