I was told by my friend that their domain name was hijacked. Someone has transferred the domain name to another Registrar. Apparently, it was an inside job. My friend said No to an offer from the domain theft and immediately make a police report.
A new domain name was registered to resume their business operation, but it is tedious for sure. Despite the police report, my friend tried everything but in vain, for a month! They wrote to both original and new Registars, as well as the domain name reseller in Malaysia – but no luck!
The domain name was originally registered with Tucows, 4 years ago, through their reseller ACME Commerce in Malaysia. The domain theft transferred the domain name to a new registrar called Name.com. This was done anonymously.
True to say, many Registrar take no action on such issues. To them, it was a legal transfer. The dispute is between the staff and the company, none of their business. Tucows requested a so called International court order, a document equivalent to – we are not going to do anything. ACME, in this case – the billing party, failed to do anything too.
Many domain name owners do not bother to update their domain name registration information, or WHOIS record. It is too late until your domain name was transferred and only you find out your contact information is not updated. Domain name reseller or registrar never bother to inform client on keeping the up-to-date WHOIS record too.
Run a WHOIS check, make sure Registrant and Administrator information shows the owner of the business, not any Technical staff or someone who provide the domain name registration. Make sure it is your email got listed, than any other email which you do not have access. Remember, any changes or transfer to the domain name triggers email notification, and you will be the first one to know, to take immediate action.
The Story Continues – Retrieving the Domain Name!
I wrote an email to Tucows, no reply. My second email to Name.com was replied within a day who promise to look into this matter. This was great! Here comes, the proof of ownership of a domain name. While WHOIS shows the ownership of the domain name in text, but not in action. Yes, same thing to contract. The conduct of a business utilizing the domain name in their brochure, namecard, emails – all shows a conduct of the usage of the domain name. My friend’s company pay for the renewal yearly, another solid proof!
With all document compiled and emailed to Name.com, we are expecting to retrieve the domain name back soon! :)
Updates: The case was finally resolved. The ownership was returned to my client via a account transfer done by Name.com. All thanks to the prompt action taken by Name.com and the initiative to liaise between the parties.