Wednesday, November 18, 2009

West Technology Limited Internet Keyword Scam

So I am entering my most busiest of seasons and I get an e-mail that starts off with the following:

Dear CEO/Principal,
We are a internet service provider and based in HongKong, which mainly deal with the global companies' domain name registration and internet intellectual property right protection. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.

On Aug.25, 2009, we received an application formally, one company named "Vlekins Holdings Ltd." wanted to applied for the internet brand "sugarandspice" and some domain names with our body.

I skimmed this and put a star next to it so I could read it more thoroughly later. I mean I am really busy.

I finally get around to reading it and it sounded fishy. I then started to do some investigating to see if anyone else was receiving these.

All you have to do is google "Internet Keyword Scam" and you will get a slew of posts on the subject and just about all of them have this "company´s" name mentioned. Now, it may be a legit company or it may not be. I am not sure since they do have an address and a phone number and you can see all of this in the link I provided at the end of this post.

I decided to have a little fun. After a couple of e-mail exchanges I finally get a price for these registrations that they want me to do:

Dear Frank,
Vlekins Holdings Ltd just wants to register the following domain names(attach the corresponding price). 403 USD/Per Year 150 USD/Per Year 127 USD/Per Year 75 USD/Per Year 299 USD/Per Year 374 USD/Per Year
According to your request,you can list the domain names which you would like to protect,of course we can help you register.But you must know that,Vlekins Holdings Ltd currently just wants to register these domain names.Once they register successfully,they will become the legal owner of these domain names and you can't dispute them back,so I suggest that you should consider about these domain names first.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Best Regards,
Lebron Zhu

Obviously I responded that I thought these prices were a bit high. I also wanted them to register some other domain names and wondered if I could get a volume discount...

Dear Lebron,

Sorry for the delay. I am very busy and hardly have time to read so many e-mails. I mostly just skim read them and keep moving on.

Okay, the prices are a bit high. Can't I get a volume discount since I will be registering so many domain names and doing all of them through you?

I would like to register the following:

I might have some more, but if you can please add the same countries that you added for the other domain names that would be great and it would give me an idea as to prices.

I might be able to get some more customers for you so please take that into consideration as well.

Now I would like to see new prices. Meanwhile you can tell Vlekins Holdings Ltd. to take it in the ass while the real owner registers his domains.

Kind regards,

Frank E. Almeida

I thought that if I start writing like a mad man, they might get wind that the jig is up. Besides, anyone dealing with internet names should be able to tell what I was doing with those names I submitted to them.

Originally I just wanted to get a little info and have a little fun. I then thought, how could I get these guys to spend money.... I haven´t figured that one out yet, but I did get them to call me. They have now called me at least four times.

I think I might add some more names for them to register. I was thinking of something along the lines of;

Do you guys have any recommendations? Is there a funny Internet keword name you would like to "register"?

Of course, these guys could possibly see this post and it will be the end of the fun and games. At the very least I got them to waist a little time and hopefully they paid a little to their phone company.

If you would like to see their form you can download it here.
If you would like to see a post regarding Internet Keywords-brands click here.
And remember that you can google "Internet Keyword Scam" and read all about this scam that seems to be reeling in a few folks. (pure speculation but since the Nigerian scam gets them, this one must get somebody).


Maria Carra said...

Interesting post. Recently a friend with a blog dedicated to survival spanish lessons in Argentina was approached to give up her domain as others were interested in it. Seems like a different angle of a similar scam.

thanks for posting...

Unknown said...

Hi Maria,

No problem. Was your friend's scammers Argentine or foreign? I have not heard of that one before.

Unknown said...

i have laughed so hard.... i have tears in my eyes.

i got the same email today and thought WTF! why would somebody want to buy my domain name.

so i google the said company... nothing..... then i google 'internet key word scam' and... i got this....

i think it's so hilarious what you did.... am going to play around with them for a while.... i'll fire up aa reply right now....

Unknown said...

Thanks chz!

Maria's and now your message have made this worth while to me. This is exactly what I wanted to happen. If you mess with them and write about it and more and more people look them up then maybe we could have saved a couple of people from falling for this scam.

Protaras Cyprus said...

It is really a problem. I received thousands of such emails.

Unknown said...

Hi Protaras,

These guys are childish. Now they automatically post a message to all the new posts I have that link back to Asian porn sites.

I might have to look them up again and write about them some more...