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Just when you thought it was safe to go out on the web...

This week I almost got taken in by one of those scams. They keep thinking up new stuff! This one looked relatively legit. Starts out like this:

Dear Sir/Madam...I'm sorry to disturb you so abrupt. We are a domain name registration service company in Asia, On 26th May. we received a formal application submitted by Mr. John Wang who wanted to use the keyword "*****" to register the Internet Brand and with suffix such as .cn /.com.cn /.net.cn/.hk/.asia/ domain names.

After our initial examination, we found that these domain names to be applied for registration  are same as your  domain name and trademark. We aren't sure whether you have any relation with him. Because these domain names would produce possible dispute, now we have hold down his registration, but if we do not get your company's an reply in the next 5 working days, we will approve his application...

There was a first name, an address in Chiina and an e-mail address and website that looked "real." Just to be on the safe side I did a search for the website and discovered a) that domain name had expired, and b) several references to this scam and similar ones.

Since I manage several websites, my e-mail address is "out there" so perhaps this scam won't be as likely to hit you unless you're a webweaver. But...

I'm glad I followed my own advice and looked before I clicked. In addition, I researched the unknowns.

More words of wisdom: don't panic. If you get some kind of e-mail that pushes your panic button, that may be your first clue that it's spam, scam or just plain junk. Delete! Delete! Delete!