Don’t Blindly Authorize a Listing on Afternic

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This afternoon, I received an email from GoDaddy with the subject: “Action required: Authorize your domain listings.” This is a fairly standard type of email that I get on a somewhat regular basis. The domain name included in the email is one that I own and have registered in my GoDaddy account. A quick check in my Afternic account revealed that the domain name was not yet listed for sale there.

I believe this means someone else added this domain name to their Afternic account, and GoDaddy sent the authorization email to confirm the registrant authorizes the domain name to be listed for sale via Afternic.

From what I understand, had I clicked the link and approved the listing, it would have gone on sale at Afternic. Had the domain name been sold via Afternic, the domain name would be removed from my account, sent to the buyer, and the payment would have been paid to the person that had it listed for sale. I would imagine most of these types of errors are of the accidental variety. For instance, someone listed the singular domain name instead of the plural.

I recall seeing this reported before on NamePros. I believe GoDaddy was able to unwind the sale, but it seems to have taken a fair amount of effort to do so.

When I received this email today, I emailed my Afternic account rep to let him know the listing is not mine, and I asked him to remove the listing. I will probably add the domain name to Afternic, but I will do so through my GoDaddy control panel. I believe this would eliminate the need for the authorization email, as I recall only receiving those for domain names registered at other registrars.

When you receive an authorization email like that, you should double check to confirm the listing is yours and it is valid before clicking the link and approving the listing. I can certainly understand why this might be confusing, and I think it would be very easy to accidentally approve the link, especially if you have many domain names listed for sale on Afternic already.

10 COMMENTS

  1. As I said about Afternic, I listed a domain for $500 and got sold but the Q is was it really sold for $500?
    Q: how come there is no BIN for $500 on the sales landing page?
    Q: we can’t find out the who or where the inquiries are coming from and we just have to trust the brokers?

    NO control of our domains!!

  2. I hate the dashboard !!! not user friendly.

    Regards,
    BullS
    MBA,PhD
    Magna cum laude
    Graduate of DKAcademy.com
    Domain King Academy

    MBA-My Big Ass(all of you have one)
    PHD-people having dickheads

  3. Around 6 month or so ago I received dozens of these emails within a week for names that are with GD but not listed for sale. Someone probably is using domaintools to get lists of domains from one specific owner and then tries to list them with GD / Afternic. Very dangerous security flaw imo.

    • Elliot, thanks for sharing this, really worrying.
      What makes this even more confusing/risky is that sometimes when I try to authorize the listing it can take weeks for them to actually send me the link… Not sure why but it’s a reason why I just click to approve even if I don’t recall.

      Your post has made me rethink that completely now and I’m going to go back in and reconcile everything.

  4. I once got a nice happy invitation to list a specific domain on Afternic sometime after GoDaddy became the new owner. Seemed like a good idea, and as any normal person would I assumed I would have control over the listing. To my surprise, after I went through the motions of accepting the offer, I had no control whatsoever over the listing, and it was listed for a price they chose which was very far below what I would have, about 90% below. I couldn’t even remove the listing, let alone edit it. Since I already knew how a domain could be quickly bought and automatically transferred rapidly with Afternic/GD, there was absolutely no ability to control, edit or remove the listing (nor had there been any indication that’s how it would be in the invitation), I wasted no time in just transferring the domain away from GoDaddy as a result. Felt like the domain barely escaped through flames. Created quite a trust issue, I must say, so I barely ever made any use of Afternic again, and generally only with domains that are *not* registered at GD so that such scenarios can’t happen.

    • To be clear: what I experienced was not a case of third party scammers pulling a fast one. I don’t fall for nonsense like that and few people are as cautious and conscious of such things as me. It was just a real Afternic/GD or GD/Afternic invite and solicitation to let one of my domains be listed. That’s why it was so surprising and bad and why I moved the domain out asap.

  5. This is a regular (and deliberate) scam attempt – you need to report it to Afternic if you can and your registrar, _maybe_ they’ll eventually get enough complaints to investigate properly

    Scammers check the zone files for domains registered/listed by domainers, then if not already on a specific platform, they add them to the “fast-transfer” marketplace(s).

    AFAICT ignoring the auth-email doesn’t stop the domain being listed for sale @ Afternic, it simply stops it being “quickly ripped” from your registrar account and given to a new owner

    And yes Elliot – you’re correct, if the domain is auth’d the scammer gets to sell it, the domain is gone, and you are not the one who gets paid !

    This isn’t unique to GD though – happens with domains at all those signed up as Afternic fast-transfer partners (Epik, Dynadot and others) – even worse is that the “fats transfer” authority appears at some to be associated at the _domain_ level not the combination of domain & account-holder, so a previously auth’d domain that you acquire, can still be sold without you listing it or getting paid – all in the name of “convenience” !

  6. I also got one of those emails this weekend. I couldn’t figure out why I received it since the domain was not listed with afternic. The domain was with fabulous. I will notify fab. that I do not want fast transfer. thanks for the heads up.

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