Search | View Active Threads | View New Posts
Current Time: 04:34 AM


+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Exclamation How to avoid stolen domains

    Here is some tips on warning signs to look out for. Obviously some signs are quite serious while others are more points to keep in mind. Feel free to add discuss. We will update this first post with more points over time.

    Checking the seller

    -Be wary of overly keen sellers and people looking to sell for seemingly very low prices.
    -Be wary of people who email you out of the blue offering to sell domains.
    -Be very wary of people with Western names and contact details who use poor grammar/English.
    -If you have doubts and are thinking about contacting prior owners is generally best to use the phone. Most domains are stolen by the thief taking control of an email address so if you email an old contact you may just be emailing the thief.
    -A very large % of stolen names are be done by a group in Iran so be very wary on any connection to that country.
    -Any connection to "imenhost" is a sign that the name is likely stolen.

    Checking the domain

    -Check historical whois records at, unfortunately the service isn't free though it is a must for anyone buying valuable domains.
    -Check the contact email on historical whois records, has the domain name used for contact details dropped? Go further and apply all these criteria to the admin contact domain.
    -Look for minor changes in the whois record, such as an email address change without a registrant change.
    -Check that the nameserver domains haven't recently been reregistered on domains that used themselves as the admin email address as newly reregistered nameservers would allow the thief to divert traffic sent to the email address providing a way for the domain to be stolen.
    -Has the domain recently expired and then been renewed, soon to expire names are often a target for thieves.
    -Look for recent changes of whois details, a domain that has been owned by a person for a short period of time is more likely to be stolen than a name owned for a long period of time.
    -Some thieves use stolen credit cards to pay for domains via paypal so it is possible that a prior owner may not even realize they have been scammed yet, until the paypal dispute comes in.
    -Search all domains forums and google for any link to the name being potentially stolen.

    Payment related issues

    -Investigate where you are sending the money. Have a close look at the account name if you have been asked to pay via wire. If you are using an escrow service ask them to check out the sellers payment details if you have doubts. What sounds like a bank account in a "safe" country might be a service which actually sends money to places such as Iran.
    -Be wary of requests to wire money to account names and locations which don't match the whois.
    -Be very wary of anyone asking for payment via Western Union of similar anonymous/paid in cash services.
    -If asked to use an escrow service only use a reputable and well known service (eg There have been instances of thieves setting up fake escrow sites.
    -Be wary of a seller who offers to transfer a domain before payment is sent, this is often a way of building false confidence that you are dealing with a legitimate seller.,, on greatdomains auction, low reserves, priced to sell!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    2 "Checking the seller" additions come to mind:

    1) One rule of thumb I learned long ago is the faster someone wants me to move the slower I go. This seems to often cause things to reveal themselves or people to disapear.

    2) Yeah, I know phone systems are archaic, but if you have any concerns demand to talk to the person on the phone with YOU calling THEM so you have a phone number. Then just see if they sound trustworthy, trust your instincts. Also be sure to call at an unexpected time and see who answers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Had an offer for several pretty good realestate names. They offered a large down payment if I would take monthly payments for the balance. I said "Sure, I retain the domains but you can develop them as you like, short of trashing them, and I'll transfer the names when they're paid in full." Haven't heard from them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Also on the flip side (ie people trying to steal you domain) never put up with bullies for any reason! Ask for some help in the forums or even better go into chat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Austin, TX
    This is very interesting because I am from Iran and I never heard of any organized domain thiefs in Iran. Also Iran is under US embargo and it is very hard to transfer money to a bank account in Iran from US. FBI will easily crack down on any company that deals with Iran (excluding corporations related to the Bush administration such as Haliburton).

    Please send me more information if you have any. I am very interested to find out whats going on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I can add a few tips:

    1) Beware of names sold via NAMEDRIVE. They just 'brokered' the sale of a stolen domain name between shadow entities.

    2) Use Google Maps to view a satellite map. The domain is supposed to be a corporation or large business but obviously the address is a residence? Red flag!

    3) Search the company name in Google. Google's never heard of them? Red flag! Company is found, but located in a different state/country? Red Flag!

    4) They claim to have recently purchased the name, but WHOIS has no updates for many months? Red flag!
    The only reseller brave enough to post prices:

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    Snoopy Very Good Thread

    Thanks Snoopy, always keep it on top. A good reminder.

    A Management Consultant specializing in Hospitality operations, people management, employee motivation, and customer service

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Common sense goes a long ways.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    upside down
    Good tips, thanks Snoopy!

    First thing I do when buying a domain is just do a google search on the domain - in most cases that's all you need


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Broken english is probably the best giveaway...

    Since there are numerous folks mass emailing domain owners nowadays most the domain theives who have hijacked email accounts just sit and wait for the buyer to come.
    Your domains are never completely worthless. They can always be used as a bad example.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    good reminder thanx for those

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Sponsors Domain Registrar, Marketplace and Revenue Optimizer
Trellian Direct Search Network
Domain Escrow Services

Industry Events

11-14 August 2019
Affiliate Summit East
New York, NY

4-6 March 2019
Las Vegas

15-18 September 2018
MERGE 2018
Orlando, FL


How do you invest in domains?
to see the Poll results!
Domain Tools | Domain Directory | Registrar Stats | Domain Glossary | Industry Events | FAQ | Members | Terms | RSS | Link To Us | Advertise | Contact Us
Other Related Trellian Services: Registrar  | Marketplace  | Domain Manager  |  Free Search Toolbar  |  Free Webpage Builder  |  Keyword Research
Direct Search Navigation  |  Search Engine Submission and SEO Tools
Copyright © 2002 a Trellian Company 2014 Bronze Sponsor - Internet Commerce Association