Company Swiping The Domain Names You're Thinking About Registering

from the sneaky,-sneaky dept

For years, there have been rumors that if you do whois domain lookups on certain less-than-honest lookup sites, the owners of those lookup sites will quickly register those domains, hoping to resell them to you later at a higher price. That's why many people are careful only to check for domain registrations on more trusted sites. However, it appears that some scammers may have figured out a way to get the search queries off trusted whois lookup sites. David Berlind points to an article showing how unregistered domain names searched for using CNET's whois lookup are quickly registered by a company called Chesterton Holdings, who then immediately puts up ads and watches the traffic to see if it's worth hanging onto. If the site gets no traffic, it is released -- just like millions of other such "domain kiting" attempts. What's unclear is how Chesterton is getting their hands on the search queries. The eWeek piece suggests four possibilities -- with three of them being quite unlikely (basically involving someone within one of the companies along the chain giving the info to Chesterton). The fourth suggestion is that somehow Chesterton has compromised the servers to get this info. Either way, it suggests that, even on more trusted sites, domain searches may be watched by people looking to snap up the domains before you do.
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  1. identicon
    Pacrat, 5 Mar 2007 @ 12:53pm

    Name stealing

    Chesterton Holdings stole the name of my store and put it into a URL. Unfortunately, I did not take the full name of my store and put it into my URL. My store has taken a nosedive for the past year and I could not figure it out until I did some research on it today. When searching their URL I noticed that all of the big boys had sponsored links on their site. Including, Fredricks of Hollywood, Target, Venus, Bizrate, Shopzilla, etc. All of which were reached by using my store name in the URL. I truly believe this is a way for the big boys to get around the little boys. I saw another competitor of mine that this happened too last year. None of this made sense until now. They run you out of business and then the big boys step into your shoes.

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