With the name Chris Bailey being quite popular, when I was looking for a domain for this personal site, I had to go with the .info as .com and .net were taken.
Well, thanks to a domain registrar spammer/scammer, I was actually able to pick up chrisbailey.net a couple days ago.
Here is the email:
Jim Horvath <email@example.com>
To firstname.lastname@example.org Nov 7 at 6:58 AM
We just wanted to let you know that domain CHRISBAILEY.NET is being released back to the market.
Since you own CHRISBAILEY.INFO, we believe that you might have interest in securing CHRISBAILEY.NET as well.
If you are interested, please CLICK ON THIS LINK to get more information and confirm your interest.
All the additional information is available on our web site, but feel free to reply back to this email and we will be more than happy to help you.
Domain Brokers Team
– Opt-out from all future e-mails: here
This email was routed to my spam folder, so there were no active links in it, but if there were I certainly would not have clicked on them.
However, what I do when I receive these spam emails from domain registrar scammers and spammers is check to see if the domain they mention is actually available(if it’s one that appeals to me).
In this case, chrisbaily.net had lapsed and was apparently out of the renewal period for the old site holder, so I snagged it up.
If you fall for their trick, you just end up potentially paying a ridiculous amount for a domain that they are too cheap to actually buy in advance.
Instead, just check availability by logging into your current registrar and start going to the purchase domain process. In this case, when I checked availability at pcnames.com like I usually do, it wasn’t showing as available. It was only when I went through the buying process at my regular registrar that I found out I could buy it.
So, thank you and piss off spammers. 😀
Update for August 11, 2016
Although for some reason it never made it to my email, I received the following via my contact page:
My name is Nadia Torres and I am a Customer Support Specialist @ World Name Domains.
Some of our customers our pointing to your blog post (http://chrisbailey.info/971/saying-thank-you-to-this-domain-registration-scam/) before purchasing their domain name and it is hurting our business.
World Name Domains makes every attempt to carry out its work flawlessly, including both human and machine processes. Such attempts notwithstanding, it cannot be ruled out that errors may occur on occasion, despite all efforts to avoid them. I have just checked and the domain chrisbailey.net was listed due to a system error and has been removed. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused.
I would like to kindly ask you to remove your blog post saying that we are a scam because we have helped hundreds of happy customers and we are definitely not a scam. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time.
While I appreciate the explanation and courteous tone in Nadia’s email, based on the few comments here and a quick search online, I have my doubts that this is a “system error” issue. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Either way, my original advice stands. Before paying a company like this premium dollars for a domain, check to make sure they didn’t have another “system error” and possibly save yourself a significant chunk of money.
As a courtesy, I have altered the title of this post slightly.
IMO, the World Name Domains business model at the very least borders on low level cybersquatting and/or typosquatting. They certainly aren’t the only entity that does this. There’s pretty much a whole industry based on it.
I didn’t get much in the way of search results when I entered the email address Nadia used, but I did stumble across another potential “system error” on their spam of a contact page at a site which appears to be defunct.
While the hlewisdesigns.com domain gives me a message that states “This site has been temporarily disabled, please try again later.”, you can clearly see that WND essentially spammed their contact page with an offer for the domain hlewisdesign.com
Well, let’s see if there is another “system error”.
Golly gee, what do you know, there is. 😉
hlewisdesign.com is available for purchase at a normal, non-inflated price.
Or you could go to the url spammed to that contact page and make an offer.
Naturally, World Name Domains gives you this advice:
Keep in mind: The higher the offer the better chance you have of acquiring the domain
Yeah, right. Or I could just go buy it for $10 or less and circumvent your “system error”.
I get this type of spam in my email and contact forms frequently. This article could have been about dozens of different companies that do this. World Name Domains just happened to catch me on a day that this type of spam prospecting finally got on my nerves enough to post about it.
Remember, always check your registrar first to see if the domain name is actually available before giving in and offering to pay a premium to predatory business models.