Over the past week, several Sherpa readers received emails purportedly from Internet domain officials in various Asian countries. The letters explain that someone in that country is trying to register a local version of the domain the US brand already has registered as a “.com.” So, for example, if your brand held “widgets.com,” the letter might tell you someone is trying to register “widgets.co.jp” for Japan.
The letter then explains that you as the .com owner have first dibs on international versions, and can stop the other guy from registering your brand in that country by simply registering it yourself right away. “Just click on this link!”
Yeah, it’s a scam.
Whether to register your domain in other countries depends on the nature of your business. Someone in another country may register your domain name, but the country’s registrar would not email you a warning note letting you know what happened.
“It’s your job (or your legal department’s) to patrol domains, trademarks, and other branding conflicts internationally.”
While consumers and businesspeople overseas are used to going to websites with .com extensions, you may consider buying a local domain extension if you have a strong presence in a particular country, according to MarketingSherpa.