Updated Notice: 27th August 2013
This particular scam has been going for at least 5 years now. If you Google '.cn domain registration scams' you'll find articles back to at least 2008.
ICANN are aware of it, although appear to have zero interest in actually proactively and positively addressing the situation.
It would seem at the least they could demand the deletion of the domain name behind the scam. This would effectively take their bogus websites off the Internet. In the unlikely event the scam is originating from an accredited Registrar they could be sanctioned, up to and including having their access to the Registry limited or cut. However, ICANN is simply doing what it does best, which is nothing remotely of value to anyone.
A slightly new twist has occurred on this scam over the past few weeks is that the 'Registrar' is now identifying themselves as "www.netregistry.org.cn" and have blatantly and knowingly ripped off our logo and trademark material. They are doing this to pass themselves off as being related to Netregistry in some way and to create confusion to recipients of their scam.
We advise all clients to ignore any emails from "netregistry.org.cn" and to actively delete them as they are a scam, they are not related in any way, shape or form to us, and are blatantly ripping us and Australian domain owners off.
Unfortunately as they are based in China, enforcing any kind of action to protect our rights, is simply impossible.
They also trade under a number of other grandiose names, claiming to hold various ICANN registrar accreditations. Naturally upon any search of accredited ICANN Registrars none of these entities nor their parent entity can be found.
Parent entity: Yi Guan Information Technology Company Limited (Shanghai)
All of these entities are scammers, who if you pay any sum of money will never fulfill any agreement you enter into with them. They simply disappear to trade as a new company/website address and begin fresh.
Originally posted December 2011:
Registrants of domain names should be aware of an ongoing Domain Name Dispute Scam coming from what appears as a "Registrar" in China.
In this scam, a registrant of any .com or a .net domain name is notified of "some company" who applied for the domain equivalents in Chinese and other Asia related domain TLDs, and the registrant is urged to secure their intellectual property on the web by registering those domain names immediately at their "registrar in China".
The registrants contact email address details are copied from Whois and in some cases also copied from the immediate websites associated with the domain names in question.
This is a scam because the claim is false and nobody actually applied for the domains in question. Registrants should merely ignore such emails as spam. However if the registrant wishes to truly secure those domains in the Chinese and other Asia based TLDs, the registrant is welcome to find a reputable Chinese registrar and complete their online branding portfolios.
More information on .CN registrars is available at the Chinese Internet Network Information Centre.
An example of the scam email is supplied below. Please be aware that the email varies slightly in wording, depending on which organisation is running the scam.
From: John To: sales@DOMAIN.com.au Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2011 4:50 PM Subject: Notice of Internet Intellectual Property 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 November 28th 2011, We received COMPANY Ltd's application that they are registering the name "DOMAIN" as their Internet Keyword and "DOMAIN .cn"? "DOMAIN .com.cn"?"DOMAIN .asia" domain names etc.., they are 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 we are 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: www.ygnetwork-ltd.com