May 182019
 

Seriously, if you think this is a good way to earn some yuan, think again. I just got this email this afternoon:


Dear CEO,
(It’s very urgent, please transfer this email to your CEO. If this email affects you, we are very sorry, please ignore this email. Thanks)
We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in China.
We received an application from Hua Hai Ltd on May 14
, 2019. They want to register ” stuartl.longlandclan ” as their Internet Keyword and ” stuartl.longlandclan .cn “、” stuartl.longlandclan .com.cn ” 、” stuartl.longlandclan .net.cn “、” stuartl.longlandclan .org.cn ” 、” stuartl.longlandclan .asia “、domain names, they are in China and Asia domain names. But after checking it, we find ” stuartl.longlandclan ” conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?
 


Best Regards
**************************************
Mike Zhang | Service Manager
Cn YG Domain (Head Office)
Contact details censored as I do not wish to promote their business
*************************************

The wording is identical to that seen in this article on squelchdesign. Knowing this to be a scam, I did two things:

  1. As per my standard policy, I forwarded it to SpamCop. The source of the email was Baidu’s own network.
  2. I figured since it’s obviously a scam and since these people seemingly do not learn from the skirmishes with others, I’d have some fun with them:

On 18/5/19 11:46 am, Mike Zhang wrote:

Dear CEO, (It’s very urgent, please transfer this email to your CEO. If this email affects you, we are very sorry, please ignore this email. Thanks)

You want this to go to my CEO? Does every individual person in China have their own personal CEO? Is that why they have such a big population? Please keep in mind what the .id.au domain suffix is for: INDIVIDUALS.

We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in China.

Ahh, so you must know the rules around domain registrations, like the .id.au domain suffix being non-commercial.

We received an application from Hua Hai Ltd on May 14, 2019. They want to register ” stuartl.longlandclan ” as their Internet Keyword and ” stuartl.longlandclan .cn “、” stuartl.longlandclan .com.cn ” 、” stuartl.longlandclan .net.cn “、” stuartl.longlandclan .org.cn ” 、” stuartl.longlandclan .asia “、domain names, they are in China and Asia domain names.

They must be rich. They also wanted bellavitosi .cn, bellavitosi.com.cn, bellavitosi.net.cn, bellavitosi.org.cn, bellavitosi.asia, formula1-dictionary.cn, formula1-dictionary.com.cn, formula1-dictionary.net.cn, formula1-dictionary.org.cn and formula1-dictionary.asia.

What does this group do? Are they a subsiduary of BaoYuan Ltd? I hear pan xiaohong has wealth that rivals Jack Ma.

But after checking it, we find ” stuartl.longlandclan ” conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?

Well, this “company” does not exist, so can’t possibly have a partner in China. I say to them, go ahead and register those domain names, I dare you, it’ll cost you a lot more than it will cost me.

Errm, yeah… the SEO spammers are slowly learning not to mess with me as I’ll just report the email as spam and will tweak mail server settings to ensure you stay blocked. Or I may choose to publicly ridicule you like I have done here.

The worst they can do is actually follow through and register all those domains, which will cost them an absolute bloody fortune (.asia domains are not cheap!) and my content is already well known with the search engines — it’s not like I rely on my online presence for an income anyway as I have a day job. Anything I do here is for self-education and training.

All this mob is doing, is destroying the image of some innocent company in Hong Kong, which are likely nothing to do with this scam. Seriously guys, get a real job!

Sep 022018
 

Update: Real life intervened and I didn’t get around to reconfiguring Postfix like I said I would. I am doing that now, any longlandclan.yi.org or vk4msl.yi.org will start bouncing now.

Originally, when I started down the path of running my own server, I was an unemployed student, so the servers were hand-me-down second hand affairs and the domains I used were freebie ones.  I started out with no-ip.com, and when they changed their policies, I switched to yi.org (in 2007).

yi.org have been fantastic.  Not only is the domain short, but they also allow many record types including TXT (needed for SPF rules), AAAA (IPv6), MX (for mail servers) and NS, yes they’ll even let you delegate a subdomain to DNS servers of your choosing.

That said, they did have a spot of unreliability a few years back (around 2015).  Given that I now have an income of my own, it no longer made sense to just go for free services, so I bought a couple of id.au domains.  My email client was configured so that in the event someone sent me an email to the old address, they would see the following in my reply:

Reply-To: user@longlandclan.id.au
Subject: Re: …
References: <…>
To: …
From: "Stuart Longland (OLD ADDRESS see reply-to)"
 <user@longlandclan.yi.org>

I’ve been doing this for a few years now.  The yi.org domains now only receive mail that comes into two categories:

  • people who still use the old email address not realising I’ve changed
  • spammers that have harvested the old email address

From October November this year, I’ll be bouncing emails sent to the old domain, with a link to this page.  From November this year In 2019, the MX records for the yi.org domains will disappear.  In short I will not be receiving email from any of the old yi.org addresses from November 2018!

If you see yi.org in an email address for one of us, now is the time to replace that with id.au.  If you see one ending in hopto.org, then you are really out of date.

Please note, I might be able to give you instructions on how to update the email address in your client, but I’ll assume your client works exactly the same as mine does to the pixel, my instructions will be something along the lines of “Go to the Tools menu, click Address Book, type ‘yi.org’ into Criteria, press ENTER, then for each contact you see with my old address in it, double-click on it, change the address and click OK”.

I provide 0 support for email clients I don’t use: I’ll assume you know how to use your system or know how to research the problem, it’s not up to me to teach you as life’s too short.