Located in Drop Catchers and Expired Domain Services, started by Arca, Oct 28, 2017
I wonder if globalenergy.com will be paid for. Up to 19k..
@DropCatch Support @JBubba
Hi, I am a regular customer as well, and have become one because of the good customer service and trust I have in the system. However I have not followed any of these developments nor bid on these auctions. I was surprised today to see this thread continue to grow. The public identification of the shills, non paying bidders, default bidders, whatever you want to call them is crucial to track.
There are quite a few valid concerns here, please give them an update and respond here even if it’s to state that you are investigating this further and update the posters concerns so this thread.
I am sure DC does not want this thread to grow and become like another “Bidding on your own names on NJ”, scandal thread, which still is ongoing.
Did you recognize the username? It is a nice domain, but to throw down $20K, and if you sell thru a platform like sedo, godaddy, you need $25K just to break even.
A naive front runner will think there is many users for the domain out there, but it could take, weeks, and months to get the right deal, not over the course of the weekend. Then to get past all the gatekeepers to get to the right party who is going to pay mid 5 figures, is not an easy task.
Not only the fraudulent bidder, but the second highest bidder during the original auction mysteriously lost all interest in the name even though he could have bought it for much less this time around.
For those not familiar with this name, Lumeo.com was won by a fraudulent bidder who passed himself off as end-user g o l u m e o (.) c o m (using bid handle "golumeo") and attempted frontrunning the name. He bid the domain up to $14,072 but did not pay as he was not able to find any end-users willing to pay more than that.
The restarted auction for that name ended today at a significantly lower $2,275 (the auction was won by k a m i s a m a, second highest bidder was g r e e n m o u n t a i n).
Notably, the second highest bidder in the original auction, w a r l o r d, who bid it up to $14K at the time, right behind bidder "golumeo", was also in the auction today, but obviously he did not match his bidding on Oct 21.
I'm surprised that he was willing to pay $14K for the domain on Oct 21, yet today, merely two weeks later, he is not even willing to bid above $2,2K (in fact, w a r l o r d did not place a single bid above $59 - what a difference 2 weeks can make!).
GlobalEnergy.com was won by bidder P o s t P o s t for $18,900 today. Anyone know anything about this bidder? I personally can't recall seeing this handle before. A new account or an established bidder? Will this winner pay or will it turn out to be another fraudulent bidder?
Second highest bidder was w a r l o r d at $18,850, the same w a r l o r d who was second highest bidder in the original lumeo.com auction at $14K. So while his budget for lumeo.com suddenly shrank from $14,000 to $59, he was still able to budget $18,850 for globalenergy.com on the same day.
Great info, I have never seen PostPost, I have seen warlord in many high $ auctions, rarely any in the small auctions, he always tends to bid for the 4-5 figure ones, not so in the 3 figures which is weird now that I think of it. Warlord has been around for a while, I am sure someone here can ID him to a caught domain.
I think the $$$'s really went down today, because of the TM discounting, even moreso because it is Novartis, whose lawyer is relentless in UDRP filings. Lumeo.com had some risk, at $2K ok fine roll the dice, at $14K to much risk.
I would of paid 5-6k for it but that kind of price is crazy unless you are an end user in my opinion. I also noticed some strange usernames like postpost, newnew. I think i've seen warlord before. I should of screencapped it.
He uses private WHOIS on won domains. Evertrust.com and iceberry.com are names won by w a r l o r d at dropcatch.com.
NewNew stopped bidding at $2,250.00.
dnforce is a regular, I have never seen marco123 before though.
newnew did win powerofart.com for $573
@Jasonn - Another detail about globalenergy.com, postpost did not backorder the domain (open auction latecomer) and joined the bidding with a $2,858 bid.
Unfamiliar bidding nicknames in one and the same auction may well indicate various competing frontrunners. With no real changes @ Drop Catch, such bidders should soon become prevailing auctions participants, as there would be more and more frontrunners, and, at the same time, less legitimate domainers participating.
I like that, who needs to worry about competing domainers, you have different front runners competing against each other, that is a whole different ball game, and another level of craziness.
A fat cat newbie, whose last name may or maynot rhyme with reyberry, could get fleeced very quickly, making his domaining career just last barely a weekly.
Maybe a new reality show, who can outwit, outlast, and outbid...
Thanks @Arca and @wwwweb for posting the details and user names.
Plain and simple, fraudulent accounts create headaches for everyone. We are working to be better about this.
The recent re-auctions are primarily due to 3 specific users. (and one more to come.)
The first user was the fraudulent bidder for Lumeo.com. This user slipped through our detections; are we are increasing our abilities to identify fraudulent users before they ever get into auctions. We will not go into details on our process, but it is quite extensive.
The second two users did not complete payments prior to the cutoff date, thus both of these accounts were automatically suspended and domains re-auctioned. Both of these accounts caused 21 re-auctions in October. We had no reason to believe these users were not going to pay – as they both had good history and made many payments in the past. One of these accounts for a very long time. Both of these users had auctions spanning multiple days in a row – this is why re-auctions have been occurring each day over the past few days.
In addition, we have one other user (WittyNut) who has not paid for 69 domain auctions, dating back to May of 2017. There was a glitch in our system which allowed this user to continue winning auctions, even though he had outstanding items in his shopping cart. We identified and fixed this issue back in August and suspended the account. We have been in communication with this user and extended a grace period to pay for all of the auctions due to our partial cause in this mistake. (Granting the user the benefit of the doubt here.) Even though this user has promised to pay for these winning auctions, he has only paid for a few, and 69 auctions remain outstanding. We now believe there was intent of fraud on behalf of this user, with no interest in actually paying for the domains. We will be re-auctioning all 69 of these domains very soon.
We want to point out that re-auctions are TINY compared to the total number of closed auctions. Almost all of our auctions close and are successfully paid for by the winning bidder. Nobody is talking about the 98% of the other auctions that are successfully paid for each day.
We have been working very hard to enhance and refine our new user verification process and we have made great improvements, even though this thread suggests otherwise. Approximately one month ago, we added a mobile phone number via SMS or voice verification. Unfortunately, this did not stop the Lumeo.com fraud. We know we can do better and are working on it right now.
Soon we will be requiring all users to provide us with a valid credit card and rolling out additional fraud detection and mitigation tools for our team.
Our goal is to have zero re-auctions. We are committed to making re-auctions a thing of the past. And we are sorry for the issues these bidders have caused.
Wittynut caused you to profit by tens of thousands of dollars, by using this loophole to bid up your customers as he knew he was not expected to pay. He gamed the system, and he cost other bidders tens of thousands of dollars. I know of one auction where he caused a domainer at least $2000 in back, and forth bidding, how will you be compensating innocent bystanders who play by the rules for your own platforms pitfalls?
WittyNut owes about $30K, doubtful he comes up with the $$$, and cost other bidders many tens of thousands more. You will reauction, and probably make more doing so, but your customers are on the losing end. To allow WITTYNUT 3 months grace is unheard of, he was bidding with an unlimited payment schedule, and could care less if he paid, or not, or if he bid others up for the fun of it.
A platform with only a 20-40names being auctioned everyday, not locating the WITTYNUT issue is very troubling. How did this single account get UNICORN status? You profited from this, how do you go about to make this right?
If you admit he was committing FRAUD, you need to refund these users immediately.
Talking about making things right, and doing the right thing are two different things. Obviously the cookie cutter statement your customer support stated was not going to fly, we all knew something was not right, Thank You for doing the right thing, and taking the first step to make things whole, but now you need to compensate your customers for allowing this fraud to happen, and continue for many months.
This warlord thing has me fascinated, the fact he was willing to pay $14k for lumeo.com last week, but not even $2.6k today is very strange, essentially a fraction of their prior bid, makes very little sense. Came in same position in global energy auction. Right up there bidding it up, but once again settling for second place, always in the game, but rarely a winner. On reauction not willing to pay a fraction, of previous bids, very troubling patterns.
Wow! 69 unpaid auctions? How many auctions was he the second highest bidder on? Winners should be refunded some money on those at the very least. This is worrisome on multiple fronts..
69 unpaid auctions, is over 100+ affected honest bidders, let's see if Dropcatch does the right thing here, or we go down the Halvarez Snapnames road here, as we know Howard Nelson Brady.
This the affects of Halvarez's actions
5% of auctions were bidded on by employees
Less than 1% of SnapNames auctions during this period were won by the employees
Brady’s bidding affected approximately 1% of SnapNames’ auction revenue during the full period.
"We want to point out that re-auctions are TINY compared to the total number of closed auctions. Almost all of our auctions close and are successfully paid for by the winning bidder. Nobody is talking about the 98% of the other auctions that are successfully paid for each day."
We are talking about it now, according to your support teams message, everything is under control, and being monitored, clearly it wasn't.
People are going to start doing the calculations, and coming up with hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars in damages caused by leaving WittyNut on the loose.
The right thing to do, would be to cancel his bids, and offer it to the second highest bidder taking out WittyNut's bids. BUT, NO you chose to enter into more games, and agreements with WittyNut, and continue this charade, and Dropcatch/NameBright/HugeNames must do the right thing now.
I don't know if you have it in you to do the right thing, and you probably won't. In turn I would tell dropcatch clients to start reviewing their transactions of reuactions, and non actionable auctions, and start taking screenshots, to see who, and how much. We already know Wittynut had a significant bidding history. The KEY number is he won 69 auctions, but if you take into account the auctions he did not win, and artificially inflated the price one these unwon auctions, it is an ugly number for the consumer. This however would be a great, even more profitable number for Dropcatch. Unpaid auctions by WittyNut can always be reauctioned, or moved over to HugeNames, or what a great social experiment to leave this NUT on the loose.
Funny, how this 1 account suddenly got a magical cart that allowed him to keep stockpiling names without paying. Some would say wow, I owe $10K, $20K I better stop, and pay, this person kept bidding, and Dropcatch kept allowing it to happen. The damage this person was doing by Dropcatch not having the proper checks, and balances done on their won auctions is very concerning.
It’s great that you are working on improving this issue, but I’ve been getting emails about fraudulent bidding since I started using your platform in 2015. With that in mind, I’ve never seen more fraudulent bidding than what is going on right now - and as you said in your post, there is a lot more to come in terms of auctions that will be restarted due to non-paying bidders. Those are not very promising results after 2+ years of working against fraudulent bidding activity.
I am shocked that wittynut was able to bid and don’t pay with impunity between May to August 2017. In addition to the 69 (!) auctions he won and did not pay for, his activity on the platform have surely affected the prices in other auctions in this period as well. When one bidder bids prices up to crazy levels, the other outbid bidders will divert their funds to other auctions, and this drives up prices across the board. And most directly, such a bidder obviously drives up prices for legit bidders in auctions they bid in but don’t win:
Guys there is a lot more at work here, you need to self audit your accounts, and take screen grabs immediately.
I am going back, to won auctions, and seeing in bidder 2 position the username line is BLANK, or has been erased. This is not WITTYNUT, as he still shows. The person who was bidding me up, is now a blank line, no username exists, almost as if I was bidding against myself.
This is other bidders, who they have erased from the system recently, going back
into September auctions alone.
Dropcatch has some serious issues to address here, these problems run deep, and they go way back.
I have seen several instances like the MyMagazine.com auction above, in instances like this Dropcatch was directly profiting from the illegal actions of Wittynut, and their inability or willingness to stop it.
It's not hard to prevent.
Except for the will to do it.
If you require 'LIVE FUNDS' for bidders, would solve the problem.
Not likely to happen unless you all stop bidding, not likely to happen at all without outside litigation.
I just don't waste my time. Rarely does a name come forth that presents true value.
When a username is blank, I assume this means that bid handle is now banned for non-payment?
Yes, I would assume fraudulent bidder, but why erase this data from the system, data integrity is compromised. I have no idea to confirm what it really means, maybe no bidder existed, maybe another system error.
Just looks like I was bidding against myself, or a ghost, makes you sick.
These numbers are comparable. 2% and 5% are statistically close. Snapnames elected to do the right thing and hired and external auditor, Rust Consulting I think, to check all their system transactions. Will Drop Catch elect to be audited by a third party?
Good to see Drop Catch here again. Hope that the above quote is not the only reason for them to reappear (it is hard to imagine an outcome of 69 "dropcatch re-auctions" emails, in aspects of opinions that could be posted in this thread, without this early "warning")
69 auctions is what Wittynut has not paid for, they have given him many months to make payments for others. Outside their own TOS, which customer support stated earlier they have no plans to evade from. It is just to convienant that this number of auctions went unaudited for this period of length. It was almost easier to look the other way, as we sure know it was a lot more profitable.
It was just to apparent, and obvious. The real number of auctions bid up, affected, and disrupted by Wittynut is much higher than 69.
I recommend everyone review, and take
Screenshots, as data integrity is very important here. An independent verified auditor is definitely needed as damages are substantial across the board.
Separate names with a comma.