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Front Running Domains

Labeled as question in General Domain Discussion, started by mr-x, Nov 17, 2016

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  1. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Interested in others opinion on contacting companies to sell a domain you don't own. Either miss-representing ownership or exclusive opportunity.

    In example, Mr Blue calls Company X and negotiates as the owner of the domain. Then tries to buy the domain from the real owner without disclosing his identity, using a service like a Godaddy domain broker.

    Not quite front running but didn't know how to describe the method.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  2. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com ICA Member

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    Sounds pretty sketchy to me. I would say don't do that.
     
  3. Kuffy

    Kuffy Name Stag VIP

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    I trhink it is always worth using the email addy in the whois as at least a part of the contact during negotiations.
     
  4. Blueforever

    Blueforever Established Member

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    Someone did this and caused the real owner of the domain to get a udrp....This is a bad idea!
     
  5. Kuffy

    Kuffy Name Stag VIP

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    That could be a ploy to try to grab a name that isn't in breach of fair use.
     
  6. Ted.T

    Ted.T Top Contributor VIP

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    Selling a domain you don't own is the dirtiest possibility to earn money. End-users are not so stupid as you think, and many of them check the WHOIS prior answering your email. I had such a situation when an indian spammer was selling me the .com version of my domain, for a crazy amount of money, even if I knew who the real owner was. After this situation, I had a bad feeling about the .com domain and stuck with my .org, never thinking again about buying the .com.
     
  7. deez007

    deez007 The More I Learn The Less I "Know" VIP

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    I think this would be the same as walking around a wealthy neighborhood and looking for nice houses. Then taking a few pics and advertising them for sale some where online (even though they are NOT for sale) When you get someone who is interested, then you try and contact the owner and convince him to sell.

    I think it's totally unethical and will no doubt create lots of problems/drama...
     
  8. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Representing yourself as the owner of a domain you don't own is fraud, I don't know if there are criminal penalties but the person in the middle would be liable civil penalties to the real owner.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  9. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I agree. Fraud if you represent yourself as an authorized agent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  10. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for your comments. I think this is better described as a man in the middle attack.

    Middle man would need to hide yourself from the buyer, possibly using a broker.

    They would also have to hide their identity from the buyer. I always send follow up email, thanking the buyer, letting them know if I have similar domains for sale.

    Risky business unless you're a cop or live in a country that makes it impractical to prosecute.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  11. Kuffy

    Kuffy Name Stag VIP

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    Surely it's only fraud if you represent yourself as the owner of the name, or if you take money for the name if you aren't sure you can deliver. Markets these days are full of sales when the seller doesn't own the product. Just think of put options in the share market, and I beleve that something like 100 times the total world supply of gold has been sold in forward contracts.
     
  12. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If someone represents themselves as an authorized agent, when they are not, that is fraud. It's also risky for the buyer.

    Both the owner and end user are being defrauded. One or both have financial damages.
     
  13. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Do you know the domain name?
     
  14. Kuffy

    Kuffy Name Stag VIP

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    If you don't represent yourself as anything other than a person submitting an invitation to treat, then I don't think you are committing anoffence. However it's a very risky process, as at some time you will have to own the name without a guaranteed sale, or you will have to persuade one of the parties to appoint you as agent. Of course, the most likely situation is that it's an appraisal scam.
     
  15. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Agree with the first part, in this scenario there wouldn't be an appraisal.
     
  16. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    *edit / update

    Man in the Middle would have to hide their identity from the seller. This is pretty easy using a broker service.

    Hiding your identity from the buyer would be harder b/c the payment is traceable.
     
  17. deez007

    deez007 The More I Learn The Less I "Know" VIP

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    maybe it was: UrbanLegend.com :-D
     
  18. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    As domain owners we see numerous scams and thefts. A companies marketing or IT dept may not be as suspicious.

    Also, domainers are cheap :) Most don't have the funds to make a purchase worth the trouble. The ones that do, would check who the owner is as you did.
     
  19. promo

    promo Member

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    Why is this not quite front running? Sounds exactly like front running to me?
     
  20. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Front running is the exploitation of knowledge or secrets to buy or sell securities before the knowledge is made public.

    A good front running analogy might be:
    an employee learning about a marketing plan, then buying the domain name before the marketing dept.

    This is scheme doesn't require prior knowledge or secret information. Just unauthorized outbound marketing of a product that is already for sale. The person is acting as a broker or middle man.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  21. promo

    promo Member

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    Oh OK.

    But in domain sales context front running has always been interpreted as being: trying to sell a domain before you own it. At least in my network. Not that its a daily topic.

    We got a huge amount of "brokers" making offers, getting names in Escrow at a certain price point and THEN trying to sell them higher. Not making payment before( and if) their other sale goes through. Thats the classic domain front running scenario and that is what makes knowing your business partners paramount in this industry.
     
  22. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Front running or as I described it, Man in the Middle Attack could be classified as

    Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, ... and the other specific to business relationships or activities (irrespective of whether they involve a contract).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

    This allows for legal recourse. So front running SOB's trying to sell other peoples names without a contract might consider if bankruptcy is worth a few thousand dollars.
     

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