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Editorial : Scams, spam and stolen domains

September is upon us, time for the monthly DomainGang Editorial.

It’s been an interesting year thus far, and Q4 of 2016 will help define many trends for next year.

Several important new gTLDs are set to launch until the end of the year: .Games, .Blog and maybe dot .Web.

If you’re either a “poor student” or a “single mom blogger” looking for a premium domain, time to stop trying to pull off the respective scam on valuable .com assets.

There is no excuse. Stop wasting the time of domain investors that worked hard to acquire the best domains in the industry. Or you might get a not so polite response next time, it begins with the letter “F.”

Spam from China has been on the rise, thanks to several factors.

First and foremost, some Chinese “entrepreneurs” have made the claim that anyone and their grandma can buy and sell domains without any experience or risk, and an annual return of 20%.

That’s right, the best performing commodity on the market, risk-free, is domain names – no experience necessary to trade them.

Of course, that claim is not only false and dangerous to make, but also illegal. Perhaps not in China, hence the cocky bravado of such claims.

Second, competition among several otherwise healthy Chinese companies has led to dirty practices in order to increase their corporate footprint and market share.

Yumi.com has sent out a spam/scam combo email that pretty much tries to bring to submission LLL/LLLL .com owners, “at risk” of UDRPs due to “trademark issues.”

Yumi.com claims this is “just an informational” email, but when they included a bunch of links to ICANN, WIPO and other domain arbitration channels, we say that it’s a well-designed scam.

We’re still waiting for their apology.

The scourge of stolen domain names continues to create problems among domain investors.

While GoDaddy’s implementation of two-factor authentication is available, not everyone enables it. NameCheap is doing the right thing, bugging its customers ad nauseam until they enable it. Not too shabby, from a registrar with no phone support!

Speaking of domain theft, a guy from Russia has been the favorite delivery boy for several medium and large domainers, for quite some time now.

The enterprising Russian taps into accounts of aged or premium domains that are linked to domains that have dropped, registers those, then hijacks them. A few weeks later, these premium, stolen domains hit the market. First, he contacts his clientele and their brokers. If noone is interested yet, he attempts to sell them on various domain aftermarket channels.

We aren’t sure if his repeat buyers know, or if they don’t mind receiving stolen assets if the price is right, but by now they should be prepared to lose these domains once they are tagged as stolen. Stealing and laundering domains is a punishable offense.

September is also when we celebrate our 7th consecutive year as a domain industry publication that strives to differ. A big thank you goes to our supporters, both corporate and personal, and to our readers.

Keep on domaining.

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