Tag Archives: scam

Chinese domain scam

I got this email yesterday:

Dear Sir

We received a formal application from a company who is called Meiao Investment Co.,Ltd are applying to register “ oryxdigital” as their domain name and Internet keyword in China and also in Asia on Apr 17 2008. During our auditing procedure we find out that the alleged Meiao Investment Co.,Ltd has no trade mark, brand nor patent even similar to that word. As authorized anti-cybersquatting organization we hereby suspect the alleged Meiao Investment Co.,Ltd to be a domain grabber. Hence we need you confirmation for two things,

First of all, whether this alleged Meiao Investment Co.,Ltd is your business partner or distributor in China.

Secondly, whether you are interested in registering these domains. (The alleged Meiao Investment Co.,Ltd will be entitled to obtain a domain not needed by original trademark owner.)

If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to appropriate dept.

This is a letter for confirmation. If the mentioned third party is your business partner or distributor in China please DO NOT reply. We will automatically confirm application from your business partner after this audit procedure.

Bst Rgs


Registration Commissioner

Beijing HA ZD Networks Science and Technology Co., Ltd

Tel: +86-10-82772601

Fax: +86-10-82773610



Needless to say, it’s yet another scam. The “Meiao Investment Co” (if they even exist) have no interest in my domain. I am guessing the scammer just wants me to pay good money for a worthless .cn domain. Sigh. More details here.

Hopefully somebody Googling “Meiao Investment Co” or “ha-zd.com” will find this post and save themselves a few dollars.

Update 28-Oct-13: Christopher Hofman Laursen contacted me to say he has published a list of 200 Chinese domain name scammers at: scam.europeandomaincentre.com .

The software awards scam (update)

This is an update on my The software awards scam post in August.  Below is an updated list of the download site awards I ‘won’ for software that didn’t even run. 23 in total, and that is only the ones I am aware of.

awardmestars awards

The article got a surprising amount of interest, including front page mentions on reddit, digg, slashdot and wordpress and a mention in the Guardian newspaper (they were too mean to give the URL of the article). There were also some entertaining reviews posted on download sites. The page has so far had over 150,000 hits, 263 comments and has a Google page rank of 6. I hope this exposure will make a small contribution to ending this sordid little practice.

It has been quite instructive to be on the receiving end of the news, albeit in a small way. Much of the commentary was inaccurate. One ‘journalist’ from ZDNET Belgium/Holland even managed to get both my first name and last name wrong, which is quite a feat considering we had exchanged several emails. I don’t know how many other mistakes he made, because the rest of the article was in Dutch or Flemish. I wonder if the mainstream media is much better. Definitely don’t believe everything you read.