I’d Like to Introduce to You a Few Domain Owners Going Straight To Hell

Jan 15 2010

Haiti domainsWatching what’s going on in Haiti is heart wrenching.  It’s also the time that some of the worst people in the world come out to prey on those who are trying to help.  People of the United States are some of the most giving people in the world and many scammers play on that.  The Internet and mobile technology has become a huge tool to raise quick funds for those in needs.  A program set up by the US government allows people to text to their mobile phone carrier and they will automatically add $10 to your phone bill and donate that money to Haitian victims and it’s raised over $5 million in the last few days. What also has risen is the all the scams set up using legit looking domain names to steal money from people trying to help.  Just as bad are these people on Ebay trying to sell the domain names for a profit.

Names like HaitiQuakeRelief.org and dot com are perfect for trying to make someone think they are giving to a real fund.  As of last night , 250 domain names relating to the Haiti disaster had been registered with popular domain registrar Go Daddy, Neil Warner, CISO and vice president of technical operations told SCMagazineUS.com.  “Based on the past, there are going to be some out of the 250 that are malicious,” Warner said.

Everyone’s advice is the same.  Only give to charities you already know.  Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog has a nice list of trusted sources for sending money to help Haiti.  Ironically, one of the recommendations they give is NOT to give any money to the government as it’s known to be corrupt.  And don’t respond to email solicitations.  But then again, who responds to email solicitations anymore anyway?

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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7 comments

  1. Belmassio

    Really, does that not count at “profiteering”?

    Generally in the past, in the real world, you had to be there selling generators and bottled water at inflated prices. However, here, there are two distince differences. The profiteering is being done remotely and it could be argued either way that it is or is not being sold at a higher price.

    It could be argued that the non-profits are paying more for “Disaster Aid Relief” b/c they have to pay for advertising in which they normally would not have had to if those batch of domains were not registered “on the fly” once the disaster became immediately known to everyone.

    I betcha’ some laws will be coming down the pipline here soon, if the existing laws don’t take care of this once it becomes well known.

  2. HelpRebuild.com

    You add a link to a general search on ebay and call ALL the listings scammers? I have the above domain listed with 95% of the proceeds going straight to the Red Cross, money will never be in my hands if the name sells. The other five percent will have the fees deducted by ebay and the rest will also be donated, What have you donated? beyond trying to cash in on keywords for a hot topic with this article! I see no donate button here from any major charity that is helping. Help – don’t bash! even the listings that only donate a small portion are doing there share. I do agree that the straight sales domainors (haiti Related) are taking advantage of a very bad situation.


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Then maybe you aren’t going to hell. Why wouldn’t someone just give the money to Red Cross? Why put it into your hands first? Tax writeoff for you? I’m going to stick to the opinions in my post. As for me, I’m comfortable with what and where my annual contributions to charity have gone.

  3. John B

    Sorry, Shane, if HelpRebuild is doing as he says he is, you’re out of line. What you’re saying is like condeming a bake sale for not just donating the cost of ingredients.

    He may not HAVE the money to donate, so he is doing what he knows how to do for the purpose of raising funds. If that is what he is really doing, I applaud him and so should you.

    The end users, the ones who buy these urls on ebay, may or may not be nefarious. Why don’t you track their use and get back on a later posting?

    Catch the actual scammers red handed, rip the covers off their beds and expose them to the light of day. I despise thieves and love to see them squirm. How bout it?

    Response:
    I agree and I think that’s a great idea and will do exactly what you’ve said. I will follow the domains that were on ebay, especially helprebuild and see what happens. I appreciate the comment and
    I completely agree you can’t lump everyone together and for that I was wrong. I’ll do a follow up and see exactly how wrong I was

    Shane

    PS great email hack name (everyone can’t see it I know) but if you could you would see it’s very creative

  4. RB

    Selling Haiti relief domains on ebay and donating the proceeds to charity? What a joke. First of all, why not just use the domain yourself to link to red cross or some other charity trying to help. Second, the only people who would buy those domains on ebay, if at all, would be a scammer who thought they could profit from it, or a CHARITY having to spend their money on a domain, with ebay fees deducted, and then the remaining funds get passed on to another charity? And that’s if the seller is true to their word. The bake sale analogy doesn’t wash, if you want to go that route, sell other domains in your portfolio that are unrelated to Haiti and donate those proceeds, or really have a bake sale, garage sale, sell your car or whatever to raise funds. Selling Haiti relief domains on ebay is a pathetic. If I’m missing something here please enlighten me. I think the original blog post is spot on.

  5. RB

    the helprebuild.com domain looks like it wasn’t registered based on the Haiti crisis, but again the only people interested would be a charity or a scammer, how many other uses would this domain have other than charitable? and if you wanted to give 10k to a charity, you don’t have to buy a domain to do it. why not start the auction at 9.99 and get whatever you can for the charity? why not sell some of your other non-crisis domains with the same deal, I’m sure the ad at the bottom of your listing showing all your other domains is getting more eyeballs. call me cynical but listing helpbuild at 10k looks like a way to get views to your other domain sales.

  6. John B

    Sorry about the hack email, no disrespect, okay? I just get alot of mail and need to better time manage the 12+ hour working day.

    I just hope I am not wrong about all this.

    JB

    PS – To RB, you sound very knowledgeable, and you are no doubt very successful in monetizing domains and other ways of making a living online. We cannot all have the benefit of your expertise, or we all would be doing so. The domain owner is likely not as sophisiticated, or have the time (I can relate) to develop further.

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