Fake/Scam Emails about Protecting Your Trademark or Domain

This is a somewhat different scam email to those I normally look at in regard in to dodgy SEO companies.

This time it’s a fake domain/trademark company and the spam they sent one of my clients.

(My client guessed it was a scam and forwarded it to me just to be sure. I confirmed their suspicions and asked if I could use it in this post – and they said yes.)

The email arrived with the subject: “Concerning your domain name”.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We have an importance message we would like to share with you. As a trademark authority we feel obligated to tell you we have received a registration request for the domain name www.kingdomdance.net. We, however, can see that you are the current holder of www.kingdomdance.co.uk. Therefore, we send you this email.

You have the right of first registration as the holder of www.kingdomdance.net. If you would like to prevent that a competitor uses the same name, you may register this domain name for yourselves.

This is a non-binding proposal, so you do not have to register this domain name if you do not want to.

However, we strongly recommend doing so. We have seen in the past that several competitors try to work with a similar name to benefit from name recognition of an existing brand.

If you would like to prevent this, you can register this name with us.

The total costs for this domain name are £269.50 for a period of 10 years (one-off payment for 10 years). You may cancel your domain name after one year, meaning you will receive the amount for the remaining years back into your account.

Do you agree to our one-time offer? Then please send your business name, business address, name and VAT number to this email address. We will reject the applicant and link this website to your current website.

I am looking forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Gary [name removed for privacy even though I’m sure it’s fake]

If you’re reading this post having got a similar email, here is my very simple advice: PRESS THE DELETE BUTTON. The whole email (and the ‘company’ which sent it) is a scam.

To help explain just why we can be certain about this, then read on!

The email purports to come from company called “Internet Domain Services UK” who specialise in ‘Domain Names’, ‘Trademark registration in UK’ and ‘International trademark registration’. However, if you put “Internet Domain Services UK” into a search engine, the ONLY site that appears is their own one. There’s no listings on any business directories, no listings on internet company sites, no social media accounts, NOTHING.

And a search on ‘Companies House’ (the UK Government directory of registered businesses in the UK) shows nothing for that name either…

On their about page, they claim “IDS UK was founded in 2009 in the heart of London”. Well that’s rather strange considering that their own domain was only registered on the 23rd February 2020 (so five and a half months ago at the time of writing)! And using the ‘wayback machine’ (a site where you can see archived versions of websites) it seems that in the early 2000s the domain they are current using was used for an online home electronics shop but it hasn’t had another site using it for about 10 years before this February.

There’s a photo of a smiling business man on their about page. But a quick reverse image search shows that’s he’s a stock photo that comes with the theme they’re using (which rather ironically for a not very real company is called ‘Cloaking’!).

On their contact page they list a posh looking address in the centre of London. But the address is for a rental office complex, which also offers ‘virtual offices’ – where you can pay to use a posh address. So at best they’re using a virtual office, at worse they’ve just used this address to look fancy and it’s really all fake, just like the rest of the company!

Also, rather unusually, for such a supposedly big and important company, they don’t have a phone number and actually say on their contact page “Unfortunately we do not offer telephone support”. Hmmmm, that also seems rather suspicious doesn’t it?!

Looking at their site from a technical point of view, things don’t get much better…

It doesn’t have any sort of privacy policy or terms of use (any half decent company would have both!).

It doesn’t use SSL/HTTPS (have the padlock next to the www bit). This is basically a ‘must’ these days and certainly any legitimate company offering the services they claim to would use SSL!

A quick google of some of the text on their site shows that it’s basically identical to another (very dodgy) looking site at dnsireland.org who claim to do exactly what IDS UK do but in Ireland – so that would be another scam then…

And that’s not all that’s dodgy about the site, some of the information on it is total rubbish!

On the page about ‘Trademark Registration’ (on both the UK and Irish dodgy sites) is says [the company] “is a member of the Madrid Agreement, the Madrid Protocol and the European Community.”

But not a word of that is true!

A company CANNOT be a member of ‘the Madrid Agreement’ or ‘the Madrid Protocol’ as they don’t exist as something you can belong to! Both of them are treaties within ‘the Madrid System’ – a rather complex international structure on all things trademarks. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrid_system]

Countries, like the UK and Ireland are members of the “Madrid Union” and adhere to the “Madrid Protocol” but again companies CANNOT be part of this because you’re a part of it at a national level through the government.

A company also CANNOT be a member of ‘the European Community’ for a couple of very good reasons. The first is that again only countries could belong to it; the other is the fact that the European Community was replaced by the European Union in 1993…

They also say “A trademark application must be submitted to the Intellectual Property Office in Madrid”. Again total and utter rubbish.

The Madrid system was so named because they were agreed at conferences held in Madrid, Spain (the first one was in 1891!). You DO NOT apply for a trademark in Madrid; you do so initially in your own country and then once you’ve got one at a national level in your own country, it can be processed onto international levels.

To apply for a trademark in the UK, you do so through the ‘Intellectual Property Office’ department of the UK Government.

In Ireland it’s done through the ‘Intellectual Property Office of Ireland’ of the Irish Government. In the USA it’s done via the ‘ U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’. And… in Spain it’s done via the ‘Spanish Patent and Trademark Office’ (they are actually located in Madrid, so Spain is the only country where you need to register a trademark in Madrid – but only because that’s where the Spanish Government does its business).

As well as the of the site for IDS UK being full of rubbish, so is their email/spam which was sent to my client!

Let’s look at some of the claims in that…

As a trademark authority we feel obligated to tell you we have received a registration request for the domain name www.kingdomdance.net.

First, as we’ve seen above, they ARE NOT a ‘trademark authority’. They also would not have ‘received a registration request’ for any domain name, because that’s simply not how domain registrations work!

NO legitimate domain registration company emails you because someone ‘wants to register’ the same domain with a different ending. It simply does not happen.

(You might have also got a similar email claiming to be from a Chinese looking domain/trademark company claiming that someone was registering your domain name but with various Chinese or other Asian based endings. These are also scams and the delete button is the best thing for them!)


You have the right of first registration as the holder of www.kingdomdance.net. If you would like to prevent that a competitor uses the same name, you may register this domain name for yourselves.

Again total and utter rubbish. If I wanted, I could register a domain with ‘Disney’ in it – if the domain ending was available (most aren’t!). Disney would not ‘stop’ me from registering it by getting a ‘magic email’ like the one my client got. Instead, once I had registered the domain, if Disney thought/found I was doing something that infringed on their trademark, THEN Disney would take legal action towards me.

They then offer to register the .net version of the domain for a ten year period for £269.50. Domains are often registered/renewed in one or two year periods, but you can go up to ten years.

However, you can also register .net domains for ten years for less than half the price that IDS UK are offering! I checked the cost for registering a .net domain on three big domain registrars and the costs were £98, £146.75 and £153.90 (different domain registration companies charge different amounts for different domain types).

They also claim that you can cancel your domain after a year and get the rest of your money back. Again, that’s not how domain registration works! If you register a domain for 10 years, it’s registered for 10 years – that’s it!

So not only do IDS UK want to scam you into getting a domain you probably don’t want or need, they also want to charge you well over the going rate to do so.

You can (and might well) get legitimate emails from the company where your domain is registered reminding you that your domain is due for a renewal. But they will never make any of the claims listed is these types of scam emails.


Emails from IDS UK (and other companies claiming similar things) are a scam coming from a company that seems somewhat less than legitimate. They also claim to be specialists in domains and trademarks but don’t actually seem to know how either of those system work!

So if you get an email like this. Don’t Panic. Don’t Waste Your Money. Hit The Delete Button.

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