“Fraudulent Bidder” on DropCatch.com

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I received an email from the support email address at DropCatch.com informing me about a “fraudulent bidder” that was caught bidding on domain names. Apparently, the bidder impacted an auction I was bidding on, and the auction is going to be restarted. I am not sure which auction it was since that was not mentioned in the email.

Without mentioning the domain name, I can only assume I was not the winning bidder. I don’t think this would be an appropriate means of communication to let me know a name I won is going to be re-auctioned. If that were the case, I would hope they would give me the option of a refund up to the amount the bidder bid up my auction – or at least give me the opportunity to refuse the re-auction since that might drive up the price again.

I have not received an email like this from DropCatch.com, so I can’t speculate about whether this is a one-off incident or if this happens more often and I just don’t bid on enough domain names there. People who bid more regularly than me can comment about whether they have seen an email like this before.

Here’s the email I received:

DropCatch Auction

Hello,

It has come to our attention that a fraudulent bidder was participating in several auctions and you are being sent this message as these actions have directly affected an auction you have were participating in. All actions that have been tarnished by this fraudulent activity will be re-started in order to maintain the integrity of our platform and the auction process. As such all previous bids will be null and void. The fraudulent bidder has been suspended from our platform and will be dealt with as appropriate.

Thank you

The DropCatch Team

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

18 COMMENTS

  1. Hello! I apologize for the non-specific communication. We wanted to reach out to every effected user as soon as possible. No user was awarded or will pay for any of the domains affected by the fraudulent user. Every auction the account in question participated in will be re-auctioned. This situation was a one off, and that was not an automated email you received. We monitor our platform to ensure the integrity of our auctions. In this instance we wanted to ensure everyone was notified immediately as we cancelled the auctions to ensure our user base was not impacted. If you would like to know the specific auction you were participating in that I emailed about, please reach me at Support@DropCatch.com and if you have further question do not hesitate to reach out!

      • Yes, an excellent question.

        So Natalie, how could it have been fraud since the bidder was presumably verified?

        And what is the bidder alias who committed the fraudulent bidding?

        • Yes. There is a verification process and this user went through all the steps to become a verified bidder in the processes. When he created his account we had no initial reason to suspect fraud based on all of our checks, however in monitoring our platform we identified suspicious behavior that we further investigated. In our investigation we identified that he was a fraudulent participant and took immediately action. We monitor our site consistently for the protection of our users. Our verification process is an ever evolving process as we work to eliminate fraud entirely. To be clear, the account was only active for 1 1/2 days, so his exposure was extremely limited.

          I cannot publicly announce the alias on a reply here, however if you email me I am happy to discuss all of the auctions and actions taken against the user, and provide you all details relevant to the situation.

          • Dear Natalie,

            Why are you being vague? Exactly what did this bidder do that constituted fraud? Clearly, it wasn’t a payment issue since they were registered for only 1 1/2 days.

            And why aren’t we entitled to publicly know the bidder?
            Is it because it was an inside employee with DropCatch?

            Why are you hiding these details to the community?

            When SnapNames had an issue, it was acknowledged that the bidder was “halvarez”, so why are you hiding who the bidder was?

            If you don’t reveal who the bidder is, then everyone will refer to this as the “DropCatch scandal”? Is that what you really want? It seems best that you announce who the bidder was because the community won’t let this go.

  2. I received an email too.

    Off topic…just wish to say that DropCatch/NameBright platform and backend admin. is very fast and functional.

    As a buyer I do not like the high prices in auction and hate how names jump when I am viewing them during auctions but overall 1st class operation and names.

    Keep up the good work..

  3. Ok so what about all the bids this fraudulent bidder bid up, what is their username so people can verify if they were defrauded, and dropcatch profited from it?

    This happend almost 2 years back with a bidder called WittyNut, who caused well over 6 figures in damages.

  4. I am not able to provide that information here, however if you email me I am happy to do so. Every auction the user participated in will be re-auctioned. The user was active for a day and half on our site. It came to our attention at about the 1 day mark and we immediately took action to ensure no one would win or complete a payment of an inflated auction as a result of this user. Our response to these situations and processes for verification have changed through the years as we have learned how to best identify and address these situations, and we appreciate all user feedback.

  5. Are you going to email the names next week? Is that when support is open to answer questions? Monday? Tuesday of next week?

    I emailed yesterday and havent heard anything, yet I see support postings.

    Thanks.

  6. Hello. I wanted to follow up on here as many of you probably saw re-auction notices go out today. I have included the full list of domains that were re-auctioned as a result of this user below. The alias of the bidder was livesnet. We were able to detect the fraudulent behavior so quickly because the user emailed us after winning a large auction informing us that he refused to complete payment on the domain. We further investigated his account, noticed he had participated in other auctions, and as someone who had zero intention of paying for won auctions, we cancelled all active auctions that the user was participating in. It would not have been fair to our users to allow them to continue in auctions that were inflated by this person.

    Bella.org
    CampWare.org
    GetPumped.com
    SmConEctAdos.com
    94115.com
    PushCapital.com
    EBZV.com
    PromoSale.com
    PBNZ.com
    PerfectLook.com
    UBWW.com
    Vmq.net
    Warz.com

    Please do reach out to us at support@DropCatch.com if we can be of any further assistance. Thank you

    Natalie
    The DropCatch Team

    • Dear Natalie,

      Thank you so much for the details regarding the “livesnet” bidder and that it was clearly a customer of DropCatch.

      However, these affected domains should not be published here since you did state you already contacted each affected participant privately with the affected list, so there is no real purpose to publish the domains here if DropCatch was doing this in the spirit of having a fair auction result..

      So, I would request that you ask Elliot to remove the list of domains or alternately make the auctions private so that no new participants can participate.

      Please advise.

      Thank you.

  7. These domains just got a wide exposure, it will be interesting to see the difference in the number of participating bidders before and after.
    The only way to make these auctions fair again is to make them private for original bidders.

  8. Dear Natalie,

    It seems clear from the other commenters that the auctions need to be private even if the list were not published.

    Please confirm that you will be doing this.

    Thank you.

  9. Dear Natalie,

    It was truly disappointing that you ignored the multiple comments made to remove the list of domains and make the auctions private.

    You clearly stated above that it would not be fair to have the auctions be inflated, yet you still listed these auctions without making them private despite what Elliot (this site’s operator) and others have said which clearly amounts to a public promotion of these auctions on this popular domain investing blog and goes against your aim to not have them be inflated.

    It is hard to believe that this was not a calculated action by DropCatch in an attempt to inflate the auctions by attracting new bidders.

    Please explain why you chose not to make these auctions private if it was your desire to have a fair and uninflated auction result.

    If you continue to be silent on this issue, then it will be assumed that your intention was to indeed inflate these auctions by broadcasting them here and making them public auctions.

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