Godaddy and Afternic Domain Platform Glitches and Questions – BEWARE Buyers and Sellers
Well, things typically happen in threes and since that is the case for me regarding this topic over the last couple of days, I thought I’d write a post about it.
The first involves GoDaddy. Last week, I received a notice from GoDaddy about confirming an e-mail address for a domain name that was unfamiliar to me. Thinking it was part of the highly publicized phishing schemes, I deleted the message. A couple of days later, while reconciling my accounting records, I noticed a receipt in my account for a domain purchase that I never made. Looking at my list of domain names, sure enough, there was this domain name in my account that I had never seen before. I contacted GoDaddy and based on the receipt I had, it appeared that someone had got into my account and ordered that domain name. Further research, however, quickly revealed that the name was paid for by a credit card that was also unfamiliar to me and that card was now listed as a preferential payment method for my account in GoDaddy’s records. GoDaddy explained that I should change my password immediately, because the only way someone could register a name in my account would be if they had that password and matching account number.
Needless to say, I was a little freaked-out that someone was in my account. GoDaddy offered to delete the name form my account, but having noticed the person’s name, address and phone number on the receipt, I told GoDaddy not to delete the name and that I would call the registrant and try to get to the bottom of things, which I did.
When I called the person and asked if they had recently registered a domain name, they said yes and indicated it was for a new business endeavor. After explaining who I was, I came to learn that this individual ordered the name using her GoDaddy mobile app. She stated that this was the second domain name she had registered with them (which I confirmed through research), and that she had entered in her account number and password when she ordered the name. She indicated that she never took a close look at her receipt (which she provided a screen shot of to me), which clearly indicated my account number and VinsDomains, along with her name, address and credit card information.
GoDaddy’s has indicated that they have no idea how this could have happened. I’ve changed my password and will be pushing the name to this persons account. The lesson learned here is to pay attention to your receipts and records at all times. On my end, I may have had a security breach, on her end, her credit card info was sitting in my account for me to do what I wanted with. Either way, it does not appear that I was hacked, but appears to have been a glitch with the mobile app GoDaddy is operating, so BEWARE!
This weekend, I was visiting Afternic to do some portfolio cleaning, when I saw appear several really incredible names under the “Just Listed” category. They had Buy Now prices that were just way too good to be true, but in case they were true, I went ahead and purchased them using my American Express card, because I would have really kicked myself if I had let these slip through the cracks. In the back of my mind, I certainly had a feeling they might be bogus listings, but I’ve seen and heard crazier things in this industry already. Whois was private on each of the listings and there were no recent changes with the names, so nothing looked suspicious there. Anyway, I crossed my fingers and hoped they would hit my account.
When I awoke this morning, I had an e-mail from Afternic Escrow indicating that I needed to settle up on another name from the same buyer…however, I never purchased that particular name.
I immediately called Afternic, who had me forward them the message. They indicated that they didn’t know how this could have happened, because the name is not even listed on their platform. I indicated it was from the same seller that I had bought names from this weekend, which I was weary about. They took down all of the information and two hours later stated that the listings were fraudulent and that I would be reimbursed all of my money. This happens often in this business, as I previously wrote about in Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.
Anyway, the seller’s handle at Afternic was Ultimate Domain. As of the time of this writing, if you search BestVines.com on Afternic, you’ll see a very cheap buy it now button – don’t buy it…it is a scam…so BEWARE! My question is, why is Afternic taking so long to take down this guy’s fraudulent listings???