I received an email recently that I discovered is a scam, and I wanted to share this so you wouldn't fall for it -- or have to take the time to research it to find out it is a scam!
Here's the email I received (from "Matthew Zeng" -- all errors are from the email sender):
We are a service agency for registering domain names. Our center received an application from Sean Lim International Ltd. today. They applied for the registration of rwdigest as their Brand Name and some top-level domain names. But we found the main body of domain names is same as yours. We are not sure about the relationship between you and them. As the registrar, we have the duty to inform you the case.
Now, we are processing this application. Our center needs to confirm whether this company is authorized by your company. If so, we will continue the next step of registration. If not, please let me know as soon as possible in order that our center can deal with this problem timely. We await your prompt reply.
Tel: +86.5516 3491 191
Fax: +86.5516 3491 192
Address:No.1,Xingshun Building, Fengyang Road, Hefei China
I did a Google search for "received email from domain registrar saying someone has applied for domain similar to mine" and came across this Stackexchange thread that confirmed it was a scam.
There were several examples of similar emails -- but more important, it gives the "how" of this scam. How do the scammers monetize their emails?
The answer: Domain registration fees.
If you respond back to the email saying that you own the domain, you will receive one of two responses -- one from the company that purportedly wants to register the domains, indicating they intend to go ahead and register the domains ... and/or a response from the initial contact, saying you have "priority in the registration" of the domains during the "audit period." The company will offer to register the domains for you (rwdigest.cn, rwdigest.com.cn, rwdigest.net.cn, rwdigest.org.cn).
Of course, no one is really interested in registering your domain names. It's a scam to either get you to pay to register these additional domains (AND possibly to steal your payment information once you provide it).
So just IGNORE this email if you get it.