Blogger Pulls Off $30,000 Sting to Get Stolen Go Daddy Domain And Website Back

Blogger Jordan Reid, founder and host of the lifestyle site Ramshackle Glam, pulled off a $30,000 sting to get her stolen website and ramshackleglam.com domain name back where she found out that it was being auctioned off at Flippa.

She wrote an article today at Mashable.com explaining what happened to her:

For several days last week, RamshackleGlam.com –- the domain name that I have owned and operated since March of 2010 –- did not belong to me, but rather to a man who goes by the name “bahbouh” on an auction website called Flippa.com, and who was attempting to sell off the site to the highest bidder (with a “Buy It Now” price of $30,000.00). He promised the winner my traffic, my files, and my data, and suggested that I was available “for hire” to continue writing posts (alternatively, he was willing to provide the winner with “high-quality articles” and “SEO advice” to maintain the site’s traffic post-sale).

She found out about the hacking from her father when his friend while surfing around on Flippa noticed that her site was up for auction.

So what did she do?

1. She tried to resolve the situation directly with GoDaddy and HostMonster.

This did not work. The legal department at HostMonster informed her that in order for them to initiate a transfer dispute that would result in GoDaddy releasing the domain back to her, their “internal investigation” would have to turn up evidence that they had done something wrong in releasing the site. In other words, they would have to admit that they had screwed up…which would in turn open them up to a lawsuit. Needless to say, she never heard from the legal department again. Typical Go Daddy.

2. She called the FBI. This was a major step in the right direction.

She has not written a lot about the investigation because it’s still ongoing.

3. She tried to regain control by dealing directly with the “seller”.

This worked, but not without considerable drama. She agreed to purchase the website from the thief and started an escrow.com transaction. When the thief demanded that the funds were released before the domain name and website were delivered, she complied.
But when she received the domain name she called Escrow.com and placed a stop on the payment.

The result is the blogger has the domain name RamshackleGlam.com back in her possession. She doesn’t have her money back yet, but the man who stole the website doesn’t have it, either, and won’t be getting it.

The point is that she still very angry at GoDaddy and HostMonster and I can understand why. They did absolutely nothing to help her and they hid behind their legal department. They knew that the domain name was hers but they sit there and did nothing.

I have warned people over and over about Go Daddy. They have become too large to care about the individual customer. And from what I see the blogger has not moved the domain name to a different registrar and has not changed hosting provider. Good luck with that.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

16 comments

  1. Come on GoDaddy? Why even have a legal department if you “daddy’s” can’t help a victim of fraud get there website back?…WTF!..This is a very troubling development that proves the consistent decline of Godaddy……BTW “Aspen Dental” is looking into sponsoring Danica Patrick full time. Aspen Dental is very excited, as they should be…….

  2. Rule #1: never negotiate with the thief. Rule #2: never negotiate with the thief. Rule #3: never negotiate with the thief!

    I wonder what Flippa did with that listing, which was promoted as premium on twitter.

  3. Flippa apparently pulled the listing and banned the seller; they also remained neutral on the whole thing as they raised the possibility of the seller having acquired the domain from the thief. Really? So the domain changed hands twice during a weekend? What are the odds, Flippa?

    More info at http://www.ramshackleglam.com/2014/04/01/my-website-was-stolen-by-a-hacker-and-i-got-it-back/

  4. But shouldn’t this make me nervous that a seller can call escrow.com and cancel a transfer after i’ve paid in a legitimate purchase?

  5. Interesting find! Thanx! 🙂

  6. The FBI and Escow.com have a solid long relationship and a history together. It wii take the upstarts some time NAND experience before they could help a client like escrow.com did

  7. I am glad that this lady got her website back and she certainly took a huge risk wiring the money and then getting a reversal… The hacker should have sold it at a live auction.

  8. Wow, this is a crazy story but so helpful to all who own domains. Thanks for fighting the injustice and giving us all a guideline just in case it happens to us!

  9. Give Godaddy a break guys.. They are busy with other critical security issues like the whois confirmation emails LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.