Asian Scam Deceives Business Owners into Paying Premium for Useless Domain Names

March 13, 2014

Scammers in Asia are targeting businesses, pressuring them into paying a premium for website domain names. Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns business owners and those who manage company websites to be wary of email messages that appear to be from a foreign domain registration service.

How the Scam Works:

An email that appears to be from an Asian domain registration service, claims a third party requested to register your company’s name as a website domain in China - or somewhere in Asia. According to the email, the “domain registrar” noticed your company owns the brand name and decided to do you a favor by offering to register the domain with you, instead of the other company.

The catch? There is no competing company and the price to purchase the domain is much higher than what you would normally pay. Often, the email sender isn’t even a domain registration business; they simply purchase the domain elsewhere for a few dollars and immediately sell it back to the company for an inflated price.

How to Avoid Domain Name Scams:

  • Know your top level domains. Scammers are using scare tactics to sell unpopular top level domains, such as “,” at inflated prices.
  • If your company has interests in Asia, consider purchasing URLs that end in country codes, such as .jp (Japan), .kr (South Korea) or .sg (Singapore).
  • Beware of high prices. Domain registration shouldn’t vary widely between registrars.
  • Select a single business to register all your domain names. 

About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona 
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews® on more than 4.7 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at  Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona is supported by over 11,400 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.