Tip: Email the Old Whois Email Address

I have been looking into buying a domain name, and I opened a discussion with the owner via the current Whois email address. One thing I noticed is that a year or two ago, the email address changed while the other Whois information remained the same. On very rare occasions, this can be indicative of a domain theft where a thief controls the new email address unbeknownst to the real owner.

One way that I like to do due diligence is to send an email to the old email address found via DomainTools Historical Whois search. Typically, I will send a short email to the old email address confirming that the current email address is accurate and that the rightful domain owner is aware of the email discussion.

If I don’t receive a reply confirming this, I would likely follow up with a phone call to confirm ownership. Sometimes people ditch an old email address and they bounce back as undeliverable, but sometimes they seem to disappear. Other times, the person doesn’t monitor the old email address any longer, and those emails go unanswered.

I can’t recall ever running into a situation where I have encountered a domain theft when doing this type of due diligence. I have seen stolen domain names that have a changed email address as the only indication of a theft, so it is a good idea to cover all bases.

I would imagine the vast majority of times an email address change is legitimate. People change providers for many reasons. Because it can be an indicator of a problem, I like to send an email to the old email address to be on the safe side. In the situation I mentioned above, the former email address was at an email service provider that no longer exists. The domain owner had to change the email address that was being used. I didn’t think there was an issue with the domain name, but it is better to be sure.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
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 closed eight figures in deals. 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

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Fox.org UDRP Decision is Upsetting

Last night, I saw that WIPO had posted an update regarding the Fox.org UDRP. Fox.org is a domain name registered in 1996, and I...

CEO of NFT.com Shares Domain Name Acquisition Learnings

Jordan Fried is the owner of some exceptional domain names. A few of the domain names he owns include NFT.com, PuertoRico.com, and Fried.com. This...

Taking a Blog Break

I have been writing articles on my blog since 2007. I have been fortunate to have the advertising support of many domain industry companies...

Some Thoughts About 2023

As the year winds down, I have been thinking about what to expect for the upcoming year. I am hopeful that it will be...

How I Am Preparing for the New Year

Less than a week remains in 2022. This is generally a quiet week in terms of domain name sales, so I tend to spend...