Archive for the ‘Domain Name Scams’ Category domain thief gets 5 years in prison

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Today computer hacker Daniel Goncalves was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing the domain name from Internet entrepreneur Marc Ostrofsky and selling it on for $121,000 to former NBA basketball player Mark Madsen.  Goncalves is the first domain thief in history to be criminally prosecuted in the United States. Ostrofsky and his partners Albert and Lesli Angel worked to track down Goncalves with the New Jersey Cyber Crimes unit. Goncalves was sentenced before Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim in Union County, N.J. following a guilty plea to multiple criminal counts.

This case sets a major precedent in that there are no laws currently in place to protect domain name theft. States like California consider an internet domain name similar to a piece of real estate – if it’s stolen, although it’s a long and expensive process, the owner may have a remedy to get it returned.  But most other states like New York or New Jersey consider the domain name a piece of “intellectual property” similar to a copyright or trademark, and owners have no legal recourse to get back that stolen asset.  Domain name owners hope that this case will instigate new legislature that will protect these valuable properties.

Ostrofsky, author of the New York Times best-selling book Get Rich Click!, The Ultimate Guide To Making Money Online, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having bought the domain name for $150,000 in 1995 and sold it a few years later for a world record $7.5 million.   Transactions like the one involving helped to make transactions in domain names a hot investment prospect.  But laws creating remedies for victims of domain theft have lagged behind market progress.

Albert Angel, who spoke at the sentencing, said “in our effort to redress the injuries inflicted on us, we came to appreciate how undeveloped this area of the law is, and how victims of domain theft face an unmarked and totally uphill battle to get a remedy. Today’s sentencing helps to define a path for other victims and law enforcers to follow, and reinforces the likelihood that the theft of a domain can and will be prosecuted.”


Nominet calling for more stakeholder engagement

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Nominet, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for .uk Internet infrastructure, today announces an update from its policy team, including a call for contributions to current policy proposals.

Nominet is taking a more consultative approach to policy development, and has published more details of its new process framework at

The policy process is designed to ensure participation from the broadest group of stakeholders possible. It can involve the development of an ‘issue group’ to discuss issues relating to .uk policy, which encourages participation from relevant stakeholders around the UK. These groups will discuss specific issues and provide policy recommendations to Nominet’s Board for consideration. This ensures that Nominet hears the considered opinion of relevant stakeholders prior to making any policy decisions.

The policy process is managed by the Nominet Secretariat and all interested parties can sign up for updates at

In addition, Nominet today announces updates on two current issues.

Criminal Activity involving use of domains

The Dealing with domain names used in connection with criminal activity issue group is being formed, in response to a proposal submitted by Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The publication of this proposal led to a wide range of stakeholders expressing an interest in being involved in the discussion. Nominet is calling for those wanting to put themselves forward to take part directly to register by 23rd February.

It is anticipated that the group will be selected by 2nd March, and will meet for the first time later that month. An independent summary of the issue has been commissioned and will be circulated to stakeholders and issue group members in advance of first meeting of the issue group.

Expired Domain Tasting

Expired Domain Tasting is a proposal for an issue group.

The policy process was started with a proposal submitted by a Nominet member regarding the monetisation or traffic monitoring on expired domains by registrars.

Nominet is calling for stakeholders to comment on the proposal, or the treatment of expired domains more generally, by 2nd March. A decision as to whether this issue proposal will progress to the constitution of an issue group will be based on the feedback received. Comments can be submitted at

Eleanor Bradley, Director of Operations at Nominet comments: “We’d encourage anyone that wants to be involved in the process to get in touch and have their say. We want to gather the broadest range of feedback possible across all matters of .uk policy and feed it into our policy development process.”


Nominet instructed to take down 1200 domains by the Met Police

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

This week Nominet received an instruction from the Metropolitan Police’s Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) to take down around 1200 domain names. These domain names have been under investigation for criminal activity.

As part of Operation Papworth, the PCeU have targeted web sites run by organised criminal networks that purported to sell designer items – clothes, jewellery and electronic goods.  Many of the sites involved supplied counterfeit goods or in some cases simply failed to supply any goods to the consumers who placed orders.  Nominet worked with the police and our registrars to quickly carry out the instruction to shut down access to these sites.

The scam websites were offering high demand, high value items such asUgg Australia Boots, ghd hair straighteners, and jewellery from Tiffany & Co and Links of London. Innocent shoppers were duped into making what appeared to be bargain purchases, but received either nothing at all or counterfeit products.

Let’s hope this quick action has not harmed the reputation of the UK domain registry or indeed the growth in online shopping.


Don’t fall for this Domain Name Scam

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Don’t fall for this domain name scam.  We just received the following email – we own the domain hence their interest in informing us of this useful service!

We are a Domain Name registration service company, which is a professional Internet Domain Name Registration and dispute resolution organization in China.On November.27th,2009, We received HUATAI Investment company’s application that they are registering the name “royal-jelly” as their Internet Trademark and “”、”” 、””domain names etc.,It is China and ASIA domain names.But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.According to the principle in China,your company is the owner of the trademark,In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!

Looking forward to your reply.

Kind regards


Oversea marketing manager

Company: YIGUAN(CHINA)IT Co.,Ltd
Tel:+86(0)21 6296 2950
Fax:+86(0)21 6296 1557

More information about this scam here.