Saga of a Stolen Domain Name and How it Was Recovered
Neustar Domain Names

Guest Post: Saga of a Stolen Domain Name and How it Was Recovered


This is a guest post written by Community Evangelist, Jared Ewy. This article discusses the theft of and how it was recovered.

At we like to take care of the customer.  We know buying something online can sometimes feel like a lonely endeavor that ends with money dropping into the tinny nethers of the ‘net. Our goal is to make sure your experience is the exact opposite, filled with real, handmade help that leaves you knowing you’re not alone. When you buy something from us, or if you simply have a question about one of our products, we’ll take care of you. Many of the questions we get are simple enough to be handled in 140 characters or less. Sometimes they get fairly complex, and sometimes they lead to downright dramatic international capers. The latter would be the case of the missing domain

It seems impossible by now that someone wouldn’t know that David Walsh’s domain was stolen (check out our dramatization here).

From the time Mr. Walsh first Tweeted @namedotcom about his missing web address, to the time it was retrieved, the entire ordeal has been a primer on the power of social media. David Walsh shared with us this situation:  his domain had been stolen and he was wondering if we could help him get it back.  A few tweets later we had enough information to find the alleged thief in Ukraine. Meanwhile Walsh and his thousands of Twitter followers started trending the hashtag #FreeDavidWalshDotName. It was big and getting bigger.

We hadn’t planned on contacting the alleged thief, but it turns out he was more accessible than a certain other company’s customer service!  Even more amazing, the alleged thief (he says his friend stole it using his account) used his actual phone number on the account that briefly held the stolen domain. After giving up on traditional means, Domain Operations Manager Scott McBreen decided to put some pressure on the suspected domain wrangler. With The Ukraine on speed dial, Scott was able to get the purported scofflaw to transfer the domain back to, where we were able to give it back to Mr. Walsh.

It was exciting and stressful. The domain had originally been held by GoDaddy before it was stolen and briefly registered with us, and then whisked off to 1and1. It seems the thief would have kept moving the domain around while sending cryptic ransom notes to Mr. Walsh if it hadn’t been for the heroics of our domain operations manager, Scott.

We’re happy to have helped get the domain back.  Customer service defines us as a company…  it’s what we do here.  In our spare time we’re obsessed with Twitter and Facebook. If you leave a comment, we’ll get back to you.  With a situation like Mr. Walsh’s we felt a little like the  Blues Brothers  and on a divine mission to make the situation right (and if you don’t get that reference then stop what you’re doing and educate yourself with the Aykroyd/Belushi classic.)

In the end everything worked out. David Walsh got his domain back, Scott has been enshrined on Twitter as a legend, and we have this opportunity to remind you that most all Ukrainians are good people. In light of all this we’re celebrating with the promo code “DAVIDWALSH”. Use it to get $7.25 COM/NET transfers in and $6.99 .NAME transfers. All of your transfers to include a year of registration.

If you’re looking for a domain registrar with world-class customer service and people who strive to simplify hosting, web sites and SEO, then you’ve found your place. If you need any more info just hit us on Twitter @namedotcom for

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of 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 Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | | Facebook | Email

Comments (5)


    Thefts can be resource and time consuming. Kudos to Scott and the team for doing a WONDERFUL job getting this resolved pretty fast!

    December 13th, 2011 at 12:08 pm


    Thanks for the update. Glad to know that he got his domains back this fast.

    December 13th, 2011 at 12:45 pm


    Good job You’re still the best!

    December 13th, 2011 at 1:03 pm


    I love, a couple of my domains registered with you guys. I’m worried by the recent spate of domain thefts. The next post you write, please include tips on how users can secure their domains

    December 13th, 2011 at 6:51 pm


    Funny i am having issues with right now about a domain of mine they transferred to another registrar and they tell me nothing they can do for me. I should take it up with the other registrar in india or file withh icann at a cost of $1300 even though i didnt know about the transfer of my domain its my problem. Not the sort of customer service i would of thought i would get from , if they transferred it they should fix it.

    January 4th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

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