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I Sold My Domain to A Cheater

How can I get it back?



5:59 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is really a very bad experience:

I got a deal with a guy and he wanted to purchase my website, including the domain name.
So, he sent the payment through a Verified PayPal account. Since it is Verified, I thought it could be no problem to start the domain ownership transfer.
And I asked him for the domain registrant information, such as first name, last name, street address, state, postcode, etc. The information he sent me did match the Verified PayPal account, it is a USA resident.

Then I spent 5 minutes to complete the domain transfer through Godaddy. Suddenly I got a call from PayPal said that the payment is considered fraud. I contact the domain buyer, he promise to contact PayPal to solve the problem, he also asked me to send him the FTP and website data to him as soon as possible. I felt something wierd, so I didn't send him the website information.

It's been 24 hours, and I called PayPal a few times, they still not able to confirm whether the payment fraud or not, still waiting for the buyer's response.

I contact the buyer, never response. Then I checked the new domain owner information through whois, damn, it shows the new registrant is in Romania.

Now I'm pretty sure that my domain was stolen,
So what should I do? Anybody encounter similar experience?

I did receive an email from Godaddy after I completed the domain transfer:


But when I contact Godaddy, they said that the only way I can do is to contact the buyer to get my domain back?

Anybody help please!

Thank you.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 9:19 pm (utc) on Sep. 20, 2007]
[edit reason] sorry absolutly no email quotes on WebmasterWorld... see tos. [/edit]


6:26 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Since the first of January 2007 Romania has been part of the EU. I'd be digging out a lawyer.


6:31 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

if he's put through a fraudulent payment, then it's highly unlikely that his whois information is correct. so maybe that is something you could take up with Godaddy. handing dodgy data over is grounds for having the domain taken away.


6:38 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just got a reply from Godaddy:

<sorry, no email quotes please>

[edited by: encyclo at 9:34 pm (utc) on Sep. 20, 2007]
[edit reason] see above [/edit]


6:48 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

if you can still FTP your site then back it up quick. and then delete the whole lot from the server.
there's not much sense in letting him have it. maybe stick a robots.txt file on there as well to get it de-listed from the search engines. if you block the entire site in robots.txt then you can use google's url removal tool to wipe it from their index for 6 months.


7:04 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

How much your domain worth, maybe you have too forget it.


7:11 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It is a good domain name, I sold the domain name and website together at $2200.


7:13 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I host the site on my own server


7:22 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I should had used ESCROW for the website(domain) selling.
Paypal not safe


7:43 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Never, ever, use paypal for amounts over $100
(or any other amount you are not willing to lose)

Always use an escrow service.
Then it's their problem if something gets fishy.
Escrow.com has never let me down but there are other sites as well.


7:50 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

<email quote removed, see above>

Personally, I would take Godaddy to task over this statement from them especially if you responded as they instructed you to. Otherwise, this statement by them is meaningless and beyond misleading insofar as implying that there is a safety built in to domain name transfers. Last time I transferred a domain name (different registrar), I had to confirm the transfer via an email they sent me, and even then, they give me time to dispute it.


[edited by: encyclo at 9:35 pm (utc) on Sep. 20, 2007]


6:53 am on Sep 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You could also contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

This is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.

On the IC3-website you can file a complaint and it will be forwarded to "federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies with jurisdiction".


9:44 am on Sep 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I really wonder how Godaddy can shirk off their responsibility when the domain transfer is handled via them.

The domain transfer was to a contact information belonging to a US resident, it was later changed to a Romanian after the Paypal transaction was fraudulent.

Get Paypal to write you officially and then forward the communication to Godaddy. Contact also the person in the initial transfer. Most likely his Paypal account was hacked and he wasn't even aware of the domain sale.

You should take it up with them before it gets transfered out of Godaddy and to a registrar outside of the US which will make it harder to get back your domain.


3:50 pm on Sep 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Can't we go 'manual' after basic negotiations; and price & terms are accepted by both parties? It is slow but then buy & sell of domain names do not call for speed in transaction as other commodities do.

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