I made a $2,500 offer for a domain name the other day via email, and immediately after hitting send, the email was returned to me as undeliverable. I did a bit of research, and I found that the domain name used for that email address (but not the domain name I want to buy) had expired and was available for anyone to register.
Technically, I could now register the expired domain name, set up an email forwarder for the Whois email on record, hit “forgot password” at the domain registrar, and use the password reset to take over that company’s domain account. I could then transfer the domain name I want to buy (and all other names in the account) to my domain account.
Domain registrars seem to send an annoying amount of “Annual Whois Update” emails, but it’s important to keep your Whois records accurate and updated. Not only is it useful so you can receive email inquiries (like my $2,500 opening offer) but you can also make sure your domain names aren’t transferred without your authorization.
Taking over the company’s domain account (and/or domain names) would amount to theft (illegal), and I certainly would never do this, but it’s something you need to think about with your own domain names because there are a lot of people who wouldn’t even think twice about doing this and quickly selling the domain names. Now I just need to do a bit more research to get in touch with this company so I can buy its domain name!