Client X sells widgets, and has an extremely unusual company name. Client X has me check for companynamewidgets.com which is available. They make their site down payment (including a fee for .com and hosting) through Paypal, I decide to wait 2 days before paying for the hosting. Before the money clears my account, a bulk register has acquired the domain.
There is no way on earth that any company would think to register this .com, the name is too unique. Yet within two days of a company asking me to secure a .com for them, a bulk register has. How could someone working for a bulk register have determined that I was going to register this .com? It seems just impossible that its a coincidence, between the odd .com and the timing.
I've done whois lookups on godaddy and register, the client did a few on other sites (not sure which ones). The registration is under the name of a bulk register right now. Its still showing up as available with register.com, but not with godaddy or other registrars.
Msg#: 3361 posted 10:43 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)
Try whois.thur.de as whois server. First, you can use it to query all available TLD's, second it's owner - Lutz Donnerhacke - is a respected individual and goes a long way in Germanies early hacker and grassroots internet community. I can't imagine him abusing whois queries.
That's pretty scary that companies would bulk register domain names searched for in their whois system. I guess I'll stick to registering domains immediately after doing a whois or at least finding a reputable place (hopefully godaddy is safe considering I do most, if not all, of my searches there).
Wait about 10 days and then look the domain up again, you often find the bulk register has let it drop. They have a relationship with the registrar that enables them to buy it and drop it without paying anything. They are hoping you will pitch in with an offer to buy it from them. It's important you don't offer them anything because it encourages this bad practice.
By the way, I'm seeing quite a few people on various forums complaining about this practice but I've never once seen any verifiable evidence that this practice (scanning and registering whois searches) actually takes place.