Not sure if this comes as a surprise or not but frontrunning is alive and well on domain name coming up for auction on Namejet. It is not the first time I write about frontrunning I write about frontrunning.
A few days ago I complained because a domain name I had won the previous year on Namejet and had transferred out of Network Solutions was coming up for an expired auction at Namejet.
The domain biosafety.com had a ghost record at Network Solutions (although the domain had transferred to Epik months ago) and was the domain with the most bidders on Namejet. I was up to 222 bidders in the day it was coming up for auction.
A couple of days before the day it was coming up for auction I got an email from someone claiming to be a broker selling my domain name biosafety.com.
So someone was frontrunning on a domain I was NOT auctioning on Namejet!
The email came from someone called “Dave Smith” (probably a fake name) and from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The domain hdomains.co.uk was registered in May 2020 at Dynadot and does not resolve. This is what it said:
How are you doing?
We recently got an opportunity to broker the domain name “BioSafety.com”
and I thought to write to you to check before sending mailers to all other
Please let me know about your interest and I would be happy to share the
price with you.
Somehow they managed to email me at the email on whois (that is a privacy email forwarding to my email address) and a potential buyer from Australia using BioSafety.com.au.
I emailed the fake broker and asked for a price but didn’t hear back. Maybe that was because Namejet didn’t go through with the auction of the domain that was NOT expired and I was NOT selling on Namejet!
The guy running the Australian website emailed a few days later asking me to purchase the domain. The domain is not for sale as it is for a family project together with Biowaste.com.
Thanks for sharing.
That’s ridiculous and ruining the reputation especially who does genuine outbound marketing for their domains.
Sadly people doing “outbound” (aka spamming) about domains which they don’t own and which they have no authority to try and sell, particularly on names at auction sites is a regular event – whether they’re hoping to profit from arbitrage, are from teh auctionhouse drumming up higher commissions or more likely just to scam is unknown.
I’ve had calls from “brokers” attempting to sell me domains that I already own (and have listed for sale) – usually with the “I see you own blah.tld, I’m selling blah.com” boilerplate, not knowing that I am the owner of the .com and the one selling it !
Whilst annoying, even worse is the constant scam of people attempting to list my domain names (which may or may not be for sale) on places I don’t ever list them or plan to, like Afternic etc – I can only assume these scum are banking on enough registrants being stupid enough to authorise the “fast transfers” which then allows the names to be stolen and sold on, that they can “vanish” and start the scam again under a new name from the payout(s) each time
There is now a place to publicly report domain auction front runners: