Spamming in Europe

One reason it’s easy to identify spam in Europe is the challenge of writing in a local language. In one early spamming attempt here in the Netherlands an email purporting to come from a Dutch bank began with the Dutch equivalent of “Darling client”, which put the unsentimental Dutch immediately on their guard.

But today’s spam attempt took the language challenge to a whole new level.

screen grab of the problematic email showing text in Swedish, English, Dutch, Norwegian and Italian

For added fun there are at least a couple of errors in those languages.

So who clicks on the link? There’s a theory that spammers deliberately make their emails bad because they only want to attract gullible people. But I think even the most gullible would spot this!

Scam File; domain names

There are hundreds of scams online. It’s a dangerous world out there. One recurring one is the email from some (fake) domain name agency, informing you that someone is claiming domain names in Asia and you need to Act Now to avoid missing out on these names which include your brand name. Sometimes they refer to spurious trademark or intellectual property legislation.

It’s a scam. You can safely delete the email.

I get a question about this roughly once a week, yet the scam has been around for years. So how can you be sure you’re not caught? What if you see a domain name they’re offering and you think you want it?

First thing is to make sure you are proactive on your domain name acquisition. This requires knowing your company’s brand names and global footprint, and combining that with some knowledge of risk around various domain name registrars. (We used CSC Global to help us figure this out). You should also decide how far down the track of protecting similar spellings you should go – Siemens may regret not buying for example, given how many people have trouble spelling their name.

If you do this, and keep up to date with changes in your company and in the domain name industry, you can be confident that you have the domain names you need for your business to run.

So when the email comes in trying to scare you into paying for domain names you’ll be able to confidently ignore it. This goes for small and large companies.

Very, very occasionally there might be a domain name in the list sent you that you want.  What should you do?


Wait a couple of weeks.

Acquire it yourself – it will still be available.