Dentists: Beware of the China Domain Registration Scam

China Domain Registration ScamDomain registration scams continue, both offline and online.

In the online version, a dentist receives an email, wanting to “clear up” ownership for their dental practice domain that someone else is allegedly attempting to register in China.

The emails usually look something like this -

Dear Manager,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)

This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally in China and Asia.

On September 26th 2011, We received Tianhua Ltd’s application that they are registering the name ” yourdomainname ” as their Internet Keyword and ” yourdomainname .cn “、” yourdomainname.com.cn ” 、” yourdomainname .asia ” domain names etc.., It is China and ASIA domain names. But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.

According to the principle in China, your company is the owner of the trademark, In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!

Best Regards,

John
General Manager
Shanghai Office (Head Office)
3002, Nanhai Building, No. 854 Nandan Road,
Xuhui District, Shanghai 200070, China
Tel: +86 216191 8696
Mobile: +86 136615 29704
Fax: +86 216191 8697
Web:

This is an updated email version of an old fax scam -

According to the FTC, consumers – many of them operating small businesses on the ‘Net – have received unsolicited solicitations stating, “URGENT NOTICE OF IDENTICAL DOMAIN NAME APPLICATION BY A THIRD PARTY.” The letterhead identifies the sender as either Electronic Domain Name Monitoring or Corporate Domain Name Monitoring.

The solicitation warns that an application for a domain name almost identical to the recipient’s has been “submitted to the National Domain Name Registry (NDNR) for registration,” by an unidentified third party. For example, the owner of a site “www.sobi-sky.org” was told that an application had been submitted to obtain the domain name “www.sobi-sky.net”

The solicitation says, ” Consequently, it is our opinion that this application may have been submitted in bad faith. . ..” The solicitation lists four reasons someone might want a copy-cat domain name, including “disrupting the business of a competitor,” or intentionally attempting to lure someone else’s customers by creating a confusingly similar Web address.

The fax solicitation offers to block the application by obtaining the copy-cat domain name for the fax recipient for a fee of $70. It warns that, if the consumer fails to act, “NDNR WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE LOSS OF DOMAIN NAME LICENSE, IDENTICAL OR CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR USE OF YOUR COMPANY’S NAME; OR INTERRUPTION OF BUSINESS ACTIVITY OR BUSINESS LOSSES.”

Often online scams come from successful offline scams that just get updated for online use, much like viral email hoaxes do. Remember the old paper chain letters?

Whenever you receive a suspect email, some great sites to check their validity are -

Google can be a great hoax research tool if you search the company name or website address offering to “help” you with your domain name registration.

By searching the website address on Google I see others have posted about this domain registration scam -

Using Google to search for scams

Also, when I attempted to visit www.ygnetworkltd.com I got the following warning about the website -

China Domain Registration Scam website

When in doubt always check with  your domain name registration company.  Never be in a hurry to answer an unsolicited email asking you for money from a company you don’t know.

To read more about this type of domain registration scam see: FTC Halts Domain Name Scam Thousands of Consumers Pay Up To Fend Off Fictional Poachers

Warning: Dentists Get Scammed for $50 Million

Dentists Get Scammed for $50 Million
Who can you trust?

Dentists and physicians are legendary for losing money to scam artists. But who would have thought two dentist would take their peers to the cleaners for $50 million.

What school did these guys go to?

Two Canadian dentists are being investigated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) for an alleged $50 million Ponzi scheme.

According to the Star, in 2006 Peter Sbaraglia, DDS and his wife, Mandy Sbaraglia, DDS joined forces with Robert Mander, the mastermind of a Ponzi scheme that snatched the $50 million from naive investors.

The OSC’s Statement of Allegations states, “Sbaraglia, acting on behalf of CO Capital Growth, used investors’ funds to repay other investors and to pay for his and his family’s personal expenses and not for the benefit of CO investors. In addition, Sbaraglia and his spouse received over $2 million as purported profits earned by them in the Ponzi scheme.”

Fifty investors, many of who were dentists familiar with the Sbaraglias, may have lost up to $50 million in the scheme. Regulators calculate the amount as closer to $40 million.

The OSC claims that as much as $7 million of investors’ money remained in the Sbaraglias’ personal accounts and was never properly invested. Approximately $2 million was considered profits by the Sbaraglias and used for personal expenses. Another $2.4 million was lost in poor trades, and $585,000 was used to buy open venture securities. Much of the remainder of the money was used for business expenses, according to the OSC.

Rick McIntosh, Mandy Sbaraglia’s brother and former head of the Toronto Police Association, also lost money investing with CO Capital Growth. McIntosh and his wife invested about $1 million with the Sbaraglias.

Both Peter and Mandy Sbaraglia claim they are innocent victims and blame Robert Mander for the financial collapse of CO Capital Growth. Still, in December, a judge put all the Sparaglias’ assets into receivership, which included their $2.9 million home.

It’s never a good idea to invest money with family or friends, but if you do invest, you should be aware of the possibility of losing your money.

Have you ever been approached to invest in something offering a crazy rate of return on your investment? Do you think you could be duped into investing in a Ponzi scheme?

For a full report on the Sbaraglias’ story, visit the Star.

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