NameLot

More Fraudulent Bidding Activity at DropCatch.com

Located in Drop Catchers and Expired Domain Services, started by Arca, Oct 28, 2017

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  1. Arca

    Arca Top Contributor VIP

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    Some of the auctions won by WittyNut: wittynut winner 9.png wittynut winner 8.png wittynut winner 7.png wittynut winner 6.png wittynut winner 5.png wittynut winner 4.png wittynut winner 3.png wittynut winner 2.png
    Additionally, CannabisHQ.com was won for $3500 on July 21, and has not yet been paid for, yet also not reauctioned despite non-payment. Probably another fraudulent win by wittynut considering his predilection for marijuana names.
     

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  2. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Funny Dropcatch accounting didn't miss these tens of thousands of dollars from their accounting checks, and balances.

    This is just a small sample, but great work Arca.

    Dropcatch support a few days tried to discredit us, but the patterns, and behaviours were to obvious that is as outsiders we could spot it, yet the people on the inside were totally blind to it. Or were trying to cover it up.

    Tony's idea of a independent auditor is a good one, or this one is looking to get legal real quick.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  3. main

    main Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I have more than a handful of auctions where I'm bid up by a blank banned bidder now.
     
  4. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    That is your hard earn money out the window, and money you could have used to fund other purchases, or go pay bills. That is entitlement enough for damages, plus recovery of fake bid amounts.

    Please take screenshots of this, you will most certainly need them down the road.
     
  5. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Here are legal Violations that seem to have taken place in

    -Violation of Auction Law
    -Violations of Civ. Code (having to do with deceit and fraud)
    -Violation of . Bus. & Prof. Code (Unfair Competition Law)
    -Breach of Fiduciary Duty
    -Fraudulent Concealment
    -Restitution/Unjust Enrichment
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  6. Jeff Reberry

    Jeff Reberry TurnCommerce, Inc NameBright Staff DropCatch.com HugeDomains.com VIP ICA Member

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    Thank you for bringing these things up. We see and recognize the issue here. We are working on a plan to rectify this, please give us this week to fully figure out what is needed programmatically and allow us to give you all an extremely fair proposal on how to resolve this. We will be fully transparent.

    Xxxweb: please be aware that we have an extremely strict company policy that no employee or employees friends/family are allowed to use the DropCatch platform. What has happened in this thread is in NO WAY similar as our company does not have any connection to such non-payers and fraudsters.
     
  7. Jeff Reberry

    Jeff Reberry TurnCommerce, Inc NameBright Staff DropCatch.com HugeDomains.com VIP ICA Member

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    Those blank/missing bidding aliases are an error and this should not have happened. They are related to the removal of the xdaydreamx account (which caused re-auctions this week.) This user, who has been a very long, active, and loyal paying member of DropCatch did not make payment for 11 domains in their shopping cart. As a result, this user was suspended after years of being a paying user. And it is our belief this was purely an administrative error on this user’s behalf, and not fraud. They simply di not make payment before the cutoff date.

    Needless to say, the user has been suspended.

    After this automatic suspension happened – one of our technical support representatives removed the bidding alias from their account – and this is why you currently see blank records. This should not have happened and we will get this rectified by one of our engineers on Monday. All of those blank aliases will change back to what they should be, “xdaydreamx” on Monday.

    Jeff
     
  8. Rebies

    Rebies VIP Member NameBright Staff DropCatch.com HugeDomains.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    All,

    a.) What Jeff said above is absolutely correct. Especially with our making this issue right and figuring out a workable solution to where people were bid up by fraudsters.

    b.) The blank username is a COMPLETE MESS. I was brought into this issue yesterday around 3pm, and during that user’s termination, XdaydreamX, his alias was deleted by our team. Lets just say I was extremely upset with this, and was a mistake by our team!! This user is fully suspended and we will reinstate his username on Monday so everything above can be seen transparently. Again, reiterating what Jeff already said. And I will say this user was one of our biggest accounts over time, and unfortunately he failed to pay for just a few weeks. (Wow, what a harsh system to kick one of your top users out like this.)

    If you want to claim fraud, please know I have stated on here in the past, and continue to state, NOT ME, NOT OUR COMPANY, NOT OUR EMPLOYEES. Not in the slightest chance. And if fraud is happening as you are claiming, I SHOULD BE IN JAIL, just like Halvarez should be. (In my opinion.) That is absolutely not the case. Much of what is here is speculation but far from a conspiracy as some are suggesting!!

    Trust me, we care a lot, and we want to ensure you all are taken care of!

    Please understand we are working on this. And the blank username, XdaydreamX was a MAJOR mistake by our team and not something I am even remotely happy about. However it was an honest mistake and not malicious in any way.

    Andrew Reberry
     
  9. VRdommy

    VRdommy Top Contributor VIP

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    One other method for prevention (if the will was there) would be a TOS change giving the winner 10 days to pay, then it automatically slips to the next highest bidder who has 5 day (without obligation)
    and so on down the list of bidders.

    A absolute auction is just that. There has to be a winner.
    I do not take part in auctions that are not absolute.

    When a owner comes to me after a auction from a non-paying bidder with the same offer, I will only offer-up as much as the bid where me and the non-paying bidder first crossed tracks. Not later bids unless there were a 3rd bidder. Preventing reward from shrill bidding.

    But the only way you will get their attention is to boycott them and most of you will not do that if you 'think' you can make money on a name.

    I contend it is a waste of time that could be better spent finding jewels listed as BIN that have been overlooked on DLS's. But you have to be willing to do the work. And you can find the likely buyers before you purchase it. It's like being a unknown impromptu broker.
    But as always, most will fight over stale bread crumbs.
     
  10. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    "he failed to pay for just a few weeks. (Wow, what a harsh system to kick one of your top users out like this.)"

    When you say things like this, you go against your own internal controls, and TOS, and put clients on your platform at risk of fraud. This is exactly what happend, and I am sorry you lost a whale of a client, b

    Yes, we live in a cruel, harsh world, but you had a good run with what you called one of your top buyers, and I feel for you for losing them. I have no idea on their situation, maybe they robbed Peter to pay Paul, maybe their credit cards got cut, maybe their daddy cut off their trust fund, I don't know, what we do know is they stopped paying, and you guys kept the juice going, and the outbid notices flowing. Their account should have been suspended after the 4th day of non payment, at 8AM. No exceptions! Let them work backwards via support to let you know the situation after the fact, and make it right, not carrying on the normal course of business, and creating a platform that can be gamed.

    I really hope you take a step back, and not think about yourself, but your reputation, your goodwill, and most importantly your client base in this coming week.

    In all fairness, this thread is the main reason that these instances are coming out is because you broke your own rules, in not following the rules you had set out for all clients. This we found out at 3pm yesterday stuff doesn't really fly, if that was the case it should have been fixed by 5pm yesterday also.

    You should really remove all fraudlent, and deadbeat bids, and award the second highest legit buyer the domains at the legit bid price, for all remaining inventory held for reauction for this instance. As well you should do the same for the non paying bids, by non paying bidders when you chose to keep their accounts active after they violated, and failed to abide to payment deadlines. They should be given a credit in the amount of the overbids caused.

    You inaction, caused this direction action. Going forward you can do whatever you like, but if you truly want to make this right, you should see what if feels like to pay out of your own wallet, and take one for the team. I am sure others will agree with these terms to make things right.

    I want to believe everything you say, but I will let your actions do the speaking for you, and I hope you make things right for your client base, and maybe bite the bullet, and give them the benefit of the doubt because in all fairness they deserve better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  11. offthehandle

    offthehandle . VIP

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    Thank you both @Jeff Reberry and @Rebies for immediately responding to the concerns of the above bidders who were caught up in this mess. It goes a long way to maintaining the trust and good customer service DropCatch is known for.

    As I have stated before I remain a happy customer, I trust the well designed software, the Namebright interface and batch controls are the fastest and best in the industry for large portfolios, your system of grabbing names is the most powerful and I only wish the best and much continued success now and in the future! Thanks also to Natalie who also is the normal point of contact and always responding to phone calls and doing a great job there too.
     
  12. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks OFFFTHEHANDLE, you proved my point!

    Dropcatch needs to do better for clients like you, You are loyal, and supportive throughout, because once they lose that trust, and support, it is very hard to regain.
     
  13. Arca

    Arca Top Contributor VIP

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    The blank usernames is really not the big issue here. Besides, in terms of transparency, a much bigger issue is that you wipe the entire auction history when you consider fraudulent bidding to have been involved. When you restart an auction, you also delete the entire original record of that auction (we, as regular users who bid in those auctions, can no longer access the original auction records), thereby leaving us no way to go back and see which bidder was suspended which legit bidders were bid up by the fraudulent one, the bid patterns in those auctions, etc. This really muddies the water surrounding these auctions (why are they erased from our view? what is there to hide?), and this lack of transparency undermines trust. The only reason we can exmamine wittynut's auction activity is because you haven't banned him yet. Once you ban him and restart those auctions, his actions on the platform will be completely hidden from view as well. If you aim to be transparent you should leave auctions records up for auctions that involved non-paying winners.

    Now, the big issue here is the continued issue of non-paying winners, frontrunners who abuse the open auction system, and the case of wittynut bidding and not paying for months with impunity, in other words, the things that are really compromising the integrity of your platform and costing us $. The existence of these bidders is having a far bigger impact than you seem to acknowledge, and the effects of fraudulent bidding extends way beyond the 2% or whatever of auctions they win (they cause more damage in auctions they don't win than in those they do win). While everyone out of dropcatch is saying you are working hard to fix these issues, auctions have regularly been restarted every since I started using your platform in 2015. And fraudulent bidding activity seems to be at an all time high now, so while improvements are being made behind the scenes, it's hard for regular users to detect any kinds of improvements being made towards mitigating fraudulent bidding activity. From a user perspective, it feels like things are just getting more and more out of hand in terms of fraudulent bidding activity.

    I appreciate the input from Jeff and Andrew, and hope that we will see some concrete action that will be more effective in terms of getting rid of these issues.
     
  14. Arca

    Arca Top Contributor VIP

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    3 auctions got restarted today due to non-paying winner(s) on October 25:

    goodfruits.com sold for $620
    labee.com sold for $450
    noomoo.com sold for ?
     
  15. Jasonn

    Jasonn Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Lets hope we see a lot less of this happening going forward. I really do think that the auctions that had bids by the non paying buyers should be reduced to the amount it would of been without them and refunds made. I know I was effected by this and bidding against wittynut and xdreamdayx.
     
  16. offthehandle

    offthehandle . VIP

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    @Arca, This is speculation, but I believe Dropcatch as a small company I would expect is experiencing the growing pains like most small companies. They recently added the 3rd party sellers platform in addition to the drop platform. That in itself is a huge new situation to manage. I don’t know about you but I have been in small companies struggling with growth situations where you become overwhelmed with new added responsibilities and reorganizing, deadlines and demands. Then as the company grows, new employees are delegated duties the past owners did and need to be trained. That takes time. You don’t simply hire someone experienced off the street to manage an online auction platform. It does not happen imho, it takes time to be trained.

    Then in the case of sales growth, it appears that a huge new batch of customers have been coming into bidding on the platform with the new accounts, burdens existing staff with verification systems and I would expect new QC procedures in place. Now you add in the extra burden of increased day to day operations AND then get hit with jerk fraudsters attempting to exploit the system. It’s all a rough process to get through.

    I agree too with maintaining access, but limited to registered users in good standing to the closed but unsuccessful auction results and user id’s publically and permanently.
     
  17. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    History of Drop Catch / Huge Domains in domaining business in pre-DropCatch times ("older" domainers may remember whois records of new- and afterdrop- regs showing andrew dot reberry at hotmail or something similar) is, in fact, postive. Unlike some other domainers, owners of Drop Catch were never "caught" knowingly doing anything illegal. This is not questionable.

    However, with all the sh$t happening in our small industry (namejet with its shill bidding is just a small
    example, a tip of an iceberg) - a positive reputation in other business aspects is not necessary enough to gain 100% trust in endusers eyes, especially if one is operating such a specific business like domain auctions. Snapnames _voluntary_ elected to hire an auditor after halvarez fiasco, this means a lot.

    If Drop Catch wants to be considered as trusted supplier in domainers community, and also for endusers - isn't is obvious that they should now do the same? ( and the results of this audit should become public). Failure to do so in todays circumstances would possibly mean that they have something to hide, if not in auctions process - then in other aspects of their businesses that may affect other domainers or other domainer-servicing businesses in one way or another.
     
  18. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    @offthehandle your answer would be speculative, but if you read Arca's response this is something that has been happening since 2015, and gradually ramped up to a point which it could no longer be ignored, or swept under the rug. It became a daily event, with multiple instances, people were being fleeced, and it had to be brought to the front burner. At the end of the day it doesn't matter if it was the nicest guy in the room, the best customer of 2 years, or the son of a billionaire, it should never got to that point, and internal controls were not followed against the better judgement of management causing harm others who play by the rules. The little guy essentially got screwed, and kept getting screwed, until Arca spoke up.

    Let me tell you any company that owns roughly 3,000,000 domains names is not a small company anymore. That is besides the point, integrity, and the integrity of your data are two of the main strengths an internet business has, when they start to falter, so does the company in itself.

    As we can all see ownership has commented on this page, and is looking to address the issues in the coming week, we should give them the opportunity to make the situation whole. I realize many people are angry, when one messes with their bankroll, monies they use to go on vacation with their families, pay their mortgage, or buy extraordinary things with it has an impact in a very negative way. Nobody likes to be cheated directly, or indirectly.

    So let their actions speak louder than their words, and lets all see how they make this right. Tony's idea of an independent audit is very good, but I have a feeling that will never happen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  19. tonecas

    tonecas Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    sorry to rain on your parade, but regarding a well designed software I was sometimes logged in to others accounts... Two times it was an account in the name of Andrew or Jeff Reberry, i do not recall now. No, I was not able to do much with the bug...

    Then there was a simply but annoying issue when login in on DropCatch for the last several months. You could only login by using the top right login box. If you used a direct link or tried to login when bidding on an domain, the hover/pop-up login would not work. This seems to have been solved but now, try bidding on a domain name, from the list of current auctions without being logged in, let the hover/pop-up login window appear, log in, and when it asks to confirm the bid close the pop-up and then click on the "My Account tab". Let me know what happens next...

    people should stop being nice to friends... this is a plague in our industry that leads to silent pacts and hiding scams. call the things as they are. The Reberry brothers are not new to the industry. They have - with all merit - built a huge portfolio in a short time and develop some cutting edge drop catch systems with hundreds of affiliate companies registered to be allowed to participate in the drop, that cost a lot each year to keep. They are not naive, poorly funded nor poorly connected.

    The bugs and the issues reported in this thread don't bode well to their platform and are serious. I hope they can come up clean with all this and do the right things. We don't need more small talk and say how people are nice and honest and then get them caught with the cheese on their mouth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  20. tonecas

    tonecas Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    it will not end it unfortunately, but would make it more difficult. that was the route taken by Chinese but they live in a "different world"... normally to bid on a domain on any of the several platforms that exist there one has to deposit a portion of the bid amount.

    I do not see this being viable on the western world, unless for premium auctions/events.
     
  21. Donnyd

    Donnyd Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Here is how to eliminate all of this.

    Apply penalties to the bidder.

    All bidders should provide at least 1k-5k in a deposit account to even start bidding on these platforms. Fake ones will lose money.

    Also each bidder should have a domain rating based upon past history of buying and paying for names.

    If they end up not buying the name or wish not to pay for it then the next bidder should be able to buy that name at the very last price they bid before the first bidder ran it up. "Never should re-auction anything"

    Waivers could given to buyers that have bought at least 10 or 20 names in past year. No deposit required.

    This can all be stopped with additional steps.
     
  22. AbdulBasit.com

    AbdulBasit.com DomainsWeb.com AbdulBasit.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Instead of re-auctioning the domain, it's better to award the domain to 2nd highest bidder. Similarly what GoDaddy does when the 1st bidder fails to make payment. That will also save everyone's time.
     
  23. AbdulBasit.com

    AbdulBasit.com DomainsWeb.com AbdulBasit.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    After checking my account, I have won several domains with fraudulent bidders coming as 2nd highest bidder in past which currently shows blank username and I ended up overpaying in thousands of dollars!! There should be compensation made by DropCatch either by refund the difference or best way to credit in account so that can be used to buy domains using their platform.
     
  24. offthehandle

    offthehandle . VIP

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    Tonecas, I don't understand if you are referring to me but assuming you are, I have only been at this about a year. I don't know *which* plague you refer to as there are quite a few on other threads, perhaps you did not read my comments elsewhere. I have called out "Things as they are elsewhere".

    For the record, I have never met any one at Dropcatch, I have no affiliation nor friendship, nor contacts with DropCatch. None. Zero. I have no axe to grind. In fact, by choice, I do not network, I have not been to any industry events., nor plan to. I was simply defending what I see as a small growing business, with an error that is being corrected. I disagree that this is scandal or scam that is being brought to light.

    With that being said, I am simply pointing out that I trust Dropcatch, I trust Namebright and while their software may not function well for you, it does for me. Sure there are some bugs and delays here and there that occur. But all software has bugs.

    Your/our criticism should however be directed at conflict of interest situations and self serving "how to sell domain names" websites and daily blogs with advertising affiliations that need to preserve those income streams.

    The "silent pacts" and "hiding scams" you are suggesting have recently been documented elsewhere in great detail by @Grilled . I don't need to post the threads. The musical chairs of whois changes from domainer-1 to domainer-2 to domainer-3 to artificially create a market- that is fraud. Unfortunately, it seems that his hard work of exposing those involved isn't that interesting or popular lately.


    Anything I have shared on this forum in the hundreds of posts is done in good faith, with integrity and based on my owning a business, all hands on. I have nothing to promote or sell to you or anyone else here. I simply wanted to state that I am happy with their company, meanwhile everybody is slamming them. This isn't a shilling issue, like over on the other "bidding on your own names" threads.

    Have you employed people like I have?
    Have you owned several successful companies like I have?
    It isn't easy, some employees can really foul up and be the bane of business anyway. That's why
    Tesla wants robots. lol.

    In fact, I wonder if anyone in this thread has ever grown a company. Speak up if you have.

    Let's be optimistic that this situation is addressed and handled the coming week.
    Keep the faith.
     
  25. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    At the end of the day you have to sacrifice profits for the security measures you presented.

    Everything you stated will help lessen the effects of deadbeat bidders, and front running, but it comes at a cost to the bottom line of dropcatch. These are not sacrifices they will ever make, as many times the reauctions of deadbeat bidders has yielded higher selling price. Now front running bidders, has yielded considerably less, and for good reason.

    Prefunding much like a margin account is great, as you have to own your bid, and follow thru as their are forfeiture consequences if you do not in regards to deposits.

    Everything you suggested will never be implanted because it will lead to lower overall prices, and less profit for the company, so wishful thinking.

    As stated before the company profits greatly with a lack of internal controls, as you see many people get bid up, or front runners mix it up with legit bidders who sometimes get caught in the crossfire.

    You have people that can create an account, bid $15K, and simply walk away. As in lumeo.com auction warlord was second highest bidder at $14k, they were also present bidding on other auctions on day of lumeo.com reauction, and couldn't be bothered to pay $2.6K for it, after willing to pay $14K...I don't get it? Warlord was second highest bidder on globalenergy.com again which closed in the $19K range. Now if this one doesn't get paid, and resells for $10K, and warlord is nowhere to be found again, would be odd once again.

    So there are lots of questions, there will be lots of angry bidders. A username I used to see a lot of, but not recently is that of James Park from South Korea his username was AIRANCGNT or something, all his bids are now blank. He used to mix it up in a lot of auctions, and knew when to bid up, and bail out. I am sure many here who check their accounts will see his username is blank also.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017

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