Namejet domain name auction front running continues. This time with an Oliver Hoger owned domain.

It seems that Namejet domain name auction front running is still continuing and going strong.

I received an email a couple days back about someone pretending to be the owner of a domain name that is currently in a Namejet auction. They offered to sell me this domain name for $100,000 (or $1 million? See email below.). Anyway the auction for a reserve between $25,001 and $50,000 so I was to agree to purchase this money they could buy it for less than $50,000 (if there was bidding war) and sell it to me for $100,000+.

The domain name is smoked.com and is in the Featured Namejet list. I got the email because I used to own smoked.info up until a few months back. I let that domain drop a couple of months back so this tells me that the front runner is using old whois records.

Emails

The 1st email came from alice@namaxis.net and Alice Smith:

“Hi There,

My client owns the domain name “Smoked.Com” and is considering putting it in market.It is keyword rich domain with good search volume,adword bidding and type-in-traffic.
Based on our extensive study,We strongly feel that you should consider buying this domain name to improve the SEO,online visibility, brand image,authority and type-in-traffic for your business.
Thanks for you time.
Best Regards,
Alice

Alice Smith
Domains Specialist, Client Outreach, USA
pioneernames and Subs. (A company headquartered in India with branches in India and USA)
910.8300.686 | www.pioneernames.com
1676,Monroe Ave, Bronx | New York | USA 10457″

The 2nd email came from alisha.namaxis@gmail.com and Jennie/Alisha Marie:

“Hi Konstantinos,
Thanks for reply. Asking price for domain name Smoked.com is $ 1,00,000. Please let us know what do you think?
Regards,
Jennie


Alisha Marie
Sr. Domain Broker, Client Outreach, USA
Namaxis and Subs. (A company headquartered in India with branches in India and USA)
910.8300.686 | www.namaxis.com
1676,Monroe Ave, Bronx | New York | USA 10457”

Of course their name are not Alice or Alisha and it is probably a guy sending these emails. And I don’t think they have any connection to New York or Washington that is on the Pioneernames.com whois. These people seem to be from India. I have found other cases with domain name auction front-running from India in the past.

More info

The smoked.com auction has 75 bidders at the moment and ends in less than 3 days. From my view this auction is tainted and not to be touched by ANYONE.

So let’s leave front running on the side now. The domain name smoked.com is owned by OLIVER HOGER that was involved in the Namejet shill bidding scandal. Oliver was caught bidding on his own domain names on Namejet. OLIVER HOGER is one of the 3 2 new owners of DNForum.com.

(So, leaving aside the front-running that Oliver doesn’t seem to part of, Oliver Hoger that was bidding on his own domain names on Namejet is still permitted to list his domains on Namejet.)

Back to front-running.

Pioneernames.com is an Efty domain merketplace while namaxis.com is a one-page with not much info except the address and phone number that was in the emails above. Namaxis.net is not resolving. All domain name were registered in the past 2 years.

I have written many times about domain name auction front-running. I have written about front-running and other scams in Snapnames, Namejet and GoDaddy.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

31 comments

  1. Thanks for the heads up!
    This is really surprising to know Oliver Hoger is/was involved in shill bidding scandal and is still allowed to list and sell domains through NameJet!

  2. I think Mr. Makrani meant this is disturbing and unacceptable. Shape up or ship out web.com

  3. Seems much of the news is negative these days in domaining. A shame really, but it is what it is. Thanks for the info.

  4. I’ve received a few similar emails. One for invisible.com and one for another one word.com that I can’t think of. I’ve since deleted the emails but was surprised as normally “Alice Smith” and other similar obviously fake names spam me with terrible domains.

  5. I don’t trust Namejet one bid, all their executives, and all these shill bidders should be in jail!

    How is this surprising, this has been going on for years, the people that turn a blind eye are profiting, I think it is time to take namejet to class action status!

  6. I’m not surprised because Adam Dicker does business with Oliver Hoger (fact) and Oliver Hoger does business with NameJet (fact). The corruption circle is clear if you connect the dots. Stay away from DNF, NJ and all connected actors. They’re all what’s wrong with this industry.

  7. Easy fix: Tell Alisha and Alice you’re happy to buy it for $90k.
    Let them bid it up on NJ and then tell them you’re no longer interested. That will teach them.

  8. There are plenty of front runners on Namejet. Namejet knows about it, too, and they don’t care as long as their cash register keeps ringing.

    The bidder using the name markmon is a known frontrunner. Level 2, LLC. Steen Hof is apparently the name of the guy in charge there but I don’t know if that’s a real name or a made up one. His company contacts people using different names and email addresses. Similar to what Pioneer Names appears to be doing. Or maybe they are all one and the same company.

    Who knows. But it is highly unethical by the perpetrators and by Namejet for turning a blind eye.

  9. Namejet also has the Estibot “appraisal” appear with listings last I checked.

  10. Oliver, and that Lars moron are the two crooks are part DNF, are 2 of the biggest scumbags in the industry. They are exposed, and only newbies they are trying to fool, but glad people are calling those bozos out!

  11. Oliver Hoger is one of the very few domainers I don’t care to close a deal without using escrow. These past 10 years I had several dozen of domain transactions with him and I never had a single issue. Apparently, it’s also the case of most domainers because I never had anyone who came to me complaining about a domain transaction problem. According to my experience, he only has one word and will honor his speech even if according to last minute changing circumstances he should lose money in a deal or make more much canceling the transaction. So I do not understand very well all this Namejet story but I can say I will be astonished he did not act correctly. Now if he really screwed you and you have strong evidence, open an case but please don’t bash people only based on rumors, hate or because you are having a bad day.

  12. I received an email today from “Alicia Marie’ I thought it was a bit fishy, a broker contacting me from a Gmail address.

    She/he requested the price of one of my domains, I think it’ll be better off ignoring them.

  13. Forget about leaving bad reviews or contacting BBB or rip off report…. Its time that this information is furnished to the FBI. Perhaps they can raid proper criminals this time… 😉

    Here is the FBI special agent in charge in Kirland, WA USA
    https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/seattle/special-agent-in-charge-jay-s-tabb-jr

    and other contact info page:
    https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/seattle

    Have at it folks. This sort of stuff wont get noticed unless its put under the noses of the correct law enforcement folks.

  14. DNF only has 2 owners now: Lars and Oliver, because Lars Lima drove johnn away, and johnn was the only good guy of the 3. Now it’s owned by 2 questionable characters that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

  15. For the sake of clarity, I think we ought to try to disentangle some of these issues:

    (1) Front-running based on active domain auctions.

    (2) Shill bidding in auctions.

    (3) DNForum ownership

    (4) Trustworthiness of individual domain investors.

    Even if each of these is a real problem, even if all negative stories are accepted as true in their entirety, these 4 issues can be logically separated and dealt with independently.

    A few remarks:

    – Front running can be done without permission of the domain owner or the auction platform. So it isn’t necessarily true that the owner or marketplace are participating in it. Indeed, they may object to it.

    – Shill bidding is (by definition) done with the domain owner’s participation. Whether or not the auction platform is turning a blind eye to it or is simply oblivious to it, the auction house has a responsibility to police shill bidding.

    So these 2 problems can be viewed – in some sense – as opposites. Those involved will usually (if not always) be completely separate groups of people.

    After all, the front runner wants to BUY the domain in order to resell it. So they want the LOWEST price. In contrast, the shill bidder wants NOT TO BUY the domain – but, rather, to force someone else to pay the HIGHEST price.

    Let’s not blur these 2 cases. We can’t analyze or solve these problems if we can’t distinguish them.

    Regarding DNForum ownership, there is a tendency among domainers to bash ANYBODY who owns that forum. This has been true ever since Adam Dicker was publicly outed. George Verdugo was attacked for various reasons because of his association with Adam. That may or may not have been unfair. I won’t express any view about the ethics of the new DNForum owners because I have no first-hand evidence or experience. But I think we should be self-aware – as a community – about the tendency to badmouth anyone who touches DNForum in the wake of Adam Dicker.

    It seems that many domainers are ready to prejudge any current or future owner of DNForum as unethical. This issue is complicated by the fact that the 2 owners have particular attacks leveled against them – in Oliver Hoger’s case, self-bidding at NameJet. My point here isn’t that he’s innocent. I haven’t taken the time to evaluate the fully. My point is only this: Ask yourself if you’re willing to believe that DNForum even COULD be owned by an ethical person. Some domainers, it seems, cannot entertain that idea.

    There are many people in the domain industry who are unethical and cannot be trusted. But it’s also true that this community has a lot of gossip. Whether or not you believe this person or that person is a scoundrel, it might be productive to sometimes focus on the general problems of front running, shill bidding, etc. That way, a general solution could be suggested and evaluated. Accusations against particular people shouldn’t be suppressed. I’m not advocating that. But they can be dealt with in a separate discussion. Specific allegations in 1 place … General industry problems in a 2nd place. We’d maek more progress that way – on both fronts – by not tangling the 2 issues.

    • (1) got me by accident to someone that was (2) and recently (3) that brings us to (4).
      Where does this leaves domainers when they are screwed by fellow domainers and the auction house does not even ban the people responsible?

      Is Namejet doing anything to find and ban the front-runners? No. Did the owner even cared in the slightest about the front-running? No.
      What does this tell us about (1) and (4)?
      How about the threats I received the next day that you of course know nothing about?
      I can tell you that things are way worse most of the times and you know it. This is a shitty industry with domainers trying to scam fellow domainers and threaten anyone that talks about it.

      The fact is that DNForum had a bad run. Just the facts. Everyone was judged on their own. If the next owner is different then he will be judged accordingly.
      The new owners had their problems way before they bought DNforum so it is not the forum’s fault as you claim that people see them in the way they do.

      Just explain to me how he is innocent of self-bidding when he has already admitted doing it? And has done it on brokering domains too and NOT via his API script only.

      • @Konstantinos,

        “How about the threats I received the next day that you of course know nothing about?”

        Why do you say that? I don’t remember reading about threats to you. But of course I care about such things, Konstantinos. You’re a friend of mine.

        “(1) got me by accident to someone that was (2) and recently (3) that brings us to (4).”

        That’s to be expected, isn’t it? NameJet is dominated by a few sellers who push a lot of inventory through the auction house. Given volume and some quality, wouldn’t we expect front runners to show up? That angle is quite separate from shill bidding.

        Really, it makes no sense to think that front runners and shill bidders are operating in tandem because they want OPPOSITE outcomes for the auction.

        It’s a small industry. With a lot of people accused of dishonesty. Relatively few people would be interested in buying DNForum or have the budget to do so. So there is a high likelihood that whoever the new owner of DNForum is would be a familiar face with accusations orbiting them. At the same time, I wonder if domainers are really open-minded about ANY potential owner of DNForum.

        I don’t see any necessary link between (1) or (2) or (3). What’s wrong with separating the issues to discuss each one on its own terms?

        “Just explain to me how he is innocent of self-bidding”

        Never said he was. My comment was about disentangling 4 issues – not about taking a position about any 1 of the 4 issues.

      • Yes, because I just first wrote about the threats today. I wrote a post and haven’t published it yet.
        I was not being sarcastic. You couldn’t know about the threats because I just mentioned this.

        Again, just because people accused the last owners of DnForum it doesn’t mean that they would accuse anyone else or any of the future owners. What you say is true if AD had not done all these things to domainers, etc.

        I don’t say that we should link all issues but in my situation and as I was writing the post several issues came up. Some were connected, some were coincidences, and some were completely unconnected.

        Sorry, I misread your “My point here isn’t that he’s innocent” part.

      • @Konstantinos,

        If you’re getting threats, by all means publish. Name and shame the people involved. The only way we can replace today’s version of the domain industry with something honest, courteous, and professional is to shine a light and send the rats scurrying off.

  16. I’m with you Konstantinos, a few days ago comment on Domain Name Wire subject Flippa.com. Profiles of people India make clear in my comment how to make the Flippa.com move so that these Indians buy single word premuy at $ 20 or $ 1 then sell at $ 100,000 or more.

    As you well write in your post those who pretend to be Western people it turns out that they are now from India now, before years ago from Turkey, twice occur to me, I present evidence without a lawyer to online auction companies and win to the companies, they give the reason later, but the damage is already done for the seller.

    I go from auctioned domains for another person who charges a commission agreed with a third party.

  17. @Francois

    How about come and check this?

    https://www.namepros.com/threads/is-mr-francois-right-or-wrong-you-decide.884120/

    Why this clown stands up for a shill bidder,
    because they are both the same kind of bastards.

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