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12|27|2011 01:00 am EDT

Domain Spammers Fill-Up Christmas Inboxes

by Adam Strong in Categories: Legal Issues

The onslaught of domain spammers emailing solicitations to acquire domain names that are dropping or pitching domains for sale seems to have increased dramatically over the last month.  Seeing that there is no rest for the wicked, I woke to find these devious elves had filled my Christmas morning in-box full of left-over fruit-cake domains (see image for examples).

The domain spamming appears to be increasing as new drop-catching services, email out domain names that may have some correlation to a domain name that the recipient of the email owns.  Companies like Intrust Domains have been soliciting people to “express interest” in a domain that Intrust then attempts to acquire.  I’m sure that anyone with a portfolio of even a handful of names has likely seen an email from one of these companies.  Clearly these spams have worked a reasonable rate of success or there wouldn’t be an increasing number of companies doing the same thing.

The sender of these emails tend to either be

Domain Opportunity which includes the address :
Backorder Division
200 E Colfax Ave # 100
Denver, CO 80203

Domain Inquiry
Marketing Development Team
111 N Canal St Suite 1890
Chicago, IL 60606

Domain Alert
The Domain Team
25 First Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge MA 02141

Available Domain
The Domain Team
25 First Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge MA 02141

I suspect that these are all the same group. Each email is formatted similarly and contains an opt-out at the bottom. Additionally all 3 senders above uses a link to an obscure domain name. For example http://cellsearches.com/4215015mepafu-KLY , which at the time of this writing and in all cases links to NameBind.com

Another increasing form of domain spamming comes in the form of “new” sales letters. In a similar fashion to the expiring domain spam, these “marketers” tend to email domains that they have in some way deemed related to a domain you may own, at least that’s the story I’ve been given.

As an example, in the last 5 days I’ve received over a dozen an emails about “High SEO” domains such as thehaj.org, lacieheart.com, golfstandbags.com, smallbusinessservices.net and zipbags.com from “Robert Parker” robertparker.tm@gmail.com or “ADAM SMITH” adamsmith.tm@gmail.com, Michael Thomas thomasmichael.tm@gmail.com and ”George Hunt” georgehunt.dn@gmail.com, who happen to have the same phone number : +91.939.277.4412

When I emailed and asked where they got my email address, they informed me “My email program found your email address from the whois data of similar domains.”   There’s no telling what “similar” domains means.

I’m all in favor of receiving an email about a domain opportunity that I might be interested in and I’ve been inclined to send out the occasional email about a domain I’m selling.  I’d like to think that these emails would be highly targeted to the recipient and may even be coming from tools like Estibot’s lead generation tool, but the recent ones I’ve been flooded with seem far too obscure and untargetted to be sourced via this tool.

This new breed of “domainer” seems to pay no mind to who they are emailing or why. The pitches are canned and automated at best, some containing the mistakes of non-native English speakers. Rather than sending out a targeted message, it seems domain spammers, like those spamming prescription medicine offerings, find it much easier to flood every possible in-box with their ridiculous pitches.  I suspect that much of the email harvesting that these spammers do comes from checking the new whois information of sold domains harvested via DNJournal.com or Namebio.com.

All signs indicate that there’ll be an increase in these emails in the coming year. Unfortunately, the results of this will likely also increase the number of domains bought under privacy as well as the number of domain sales that go unreported.

What do you think about this issue?

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  • http://domainnoob.com John Humphrey

    Have you listened to Michael Cyger’s interview with Adam Dicker? http://www.domainsherpa.com/best-way-to-determine-a-domain-name-value Dicker points us to a $49 piece of software called Whois Explorer that farms data and email addresses from the Whois. They have another product called Mail Studio which facilitates emailing all those Whois addresses.

  • http://NextInstinct.com/about Ed

    “Unfortunately, the results of this will likely also increase the number of domains bought under privacy…”

    Adam,
    Why do you call it “unfortunate”?
    Simply because we won’t see who’s behind the spam?
    And do you really think they’ll have any sales, or buy any domains?

  • http://dutchdomainer.net lennard

    I have the same thing happening to me a lot more than before as well.
    Unfortunately I have no sales that were reported on DNjournal so it seems like plain old whois data harvesting. The domains they are offering are terrible by the way.

    Mine mostly come from:
    Marketing Development Team
    111 N Canal St Suite 1890
    Chicago, IL 60606

  • Jp

    I hate these spams. The worst part is you can’t blacklist any keywords in them because they are the same keywords in many legit industry emails.

    The dumbest part is that when I get these (and I get maybe 5-10 a day), 90% of the time they are emailing me about an opportunity for a domain that I let expire or I am in the process of letting expire.

  • Adam Strong

    jp was p-a-i-n-s.com yours ?

  • Spammy

    Is NameBind.com related to 1MoreName related to InTrust related to Epik???? I think so…Same network…just different names.

  • http://www.chrishammond.com Chris Hammond

    I’ve actually used a few of these emails to pick up domains through a backorder that are expiring, bypassing their service, yet still acquiring the domain, that I otherwise would have missed as I hadn’t been looking for them.

    Annoying, yet productive.

  • Jp

    No, not mine lol. What I’m saying is when I get these emails 90% of the time it’s for a domain a let expire. I didn’t get any of those emails you have in your screenshot.

    Imagine the end users that don’t know what’s going on and re-buy their domain they didn’t know how to renew or was about to expire through these spammers because they thought that was what they were supposed to do to keep the domain, pay a fortune and end up at some oddball registrar they can never transfer out from again.

  • Adam Strong

    well just in case you wanted to renew women-s-shoe-s.com Jp here is the link from the spammers : http://freemusichub.com/4298295nudebi-KLb

    Blows my mind that 1. someone registered that and 2.someone else is trying to sell it again

  • john

    I would personally execute these MFRs if I could. What they are doing is illegal also. They arent providing a service. They are SPAMMING, which is illegal. If they could be tracked down and prosecuted that would be great, but they are most likely outside the US and protected by some other crony government.

  • Vibrio

    I personally would not “execute” these people like Mr Tough guy .com above would ….as a matter of fact I purchased a domain name from a spammer and re sold it for a 2k profit. freak accident but it did happen.

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  • James

    The best thing to do is to click on the link and complete the form with a common first name only and a phone number to a big government office that you dislike, and say you are willing to pay $5000 or more for the domain. The company will then buy the domain name thinking they can resell it to you for a big profit, and then spend 1/2 an hour trying to track down “John” from the IRS. Nuf said.