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.