#Domain crime : WBS.com appears to be a stolen asset

Stolen domain: WBS.com

The domain name WBS.com has been reported as stolen, and Sedo is investigating the reports, all while the domain is in auction without a reserve.

WBS.com was registered in 1995, and was used for years as a host of the World Billfishing Series.

According to a cached page from 2018:

“For over two decades, the WBS has brought together the world’s most accomplished anglers, captains and mates for a billfishing tour that spans the richest blue-water fishing tournaments, across seven worldwide regions. Each year, we come together to celebrate the sport and compete in the pinnacle of billfishing competitions, the WBS Billfishing World Championship, where the victorious are awarded their rightful place in the Hall of Champions.”

So what happened?

It appears that the domain WBS.com was managed by an email address linked to the domain fishwbs.com, and that domain expired and dropped in 2015. It was caught by DropCatch, and into the hands of a Japanese domain investor with more than 90,000 domains in his possession.

By 2016, fishwbs.com was for sale on Sedo for $999 dollars, but we did not find any sales record. As the domain resolves to a Japanese IP address, we can assume that it’s still in the possession of the same Japanese registrant who won it on DropCatch.

This points to a classic case of domain hijacking, that of an orphaned domain, by recreating the email address that managed it.

Currently, the legitimate owners of WBS.com are in the process of recovering the domain name; we will update this post with any new developments.

Update: Sedo has removed the domain from its active auction, canceling all existing bids.

Original story kudos: Joshua Schoen via Twitter.

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