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The battle for miracleworx.info - a struggle against cyber squatting and identity theft.
10th May 2011

We just won a small battle against cybersqatting and identity theft concerning the domain MIRACLEWORX.INFO. Last August some Ukranian guy quietly registered this domain and copied our site (previous version) and pretended to be us. He misrepresented himself as us and god knows how many people he has fooled in our name. Yesterday after a lot of correspondence and complaining we had him banned from the hosting company. Here's the story as it unfolded.

A shocking revelation - someone has hijacked miracleworx.info!!!

We had registered many alternate domains such as .net, .in etc but we had not  registered .info. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that not only had someone registered it but had also duplicated a previous version of our website on it. After getting over the initial shock we go into action to try and stop this nonsense.

Domain registration masking using domainbyproxy.com - the first approach

Querying the registration information using domain Whois led us to a domain masking service called domainsbyproxy.com. Basically this service where you can hide the domain registration information from public and the registering party's information is replaced by domainsbyproxy.com information. We sent a complaint through their online abuse form. We immediately got a reply asking for more information and a formal document outlining the issues.

Here is the gist of what we wrote to them:

The owner of the domain MIRACLEWORX.INFO has infringed on our brand, identity and is misrepresenting him/herself in the following ways:

  • Registering the domain in the Name of MiracleworX with no such business undertaking.
  • Blatantly copying and using an older design version of our website design including our company logo, licensed images and other content and using it on the aforementioned website miracleworx.info
  • Misrepresenting us by accepting enquires on email addressesron@miracleworx.info and
    sonali@miracleworx.info on this false website. Ron (myself) and Sonali (my wife) are the
    legitimate owners of the business.
  • Misrepresenting our clients as their own. I can assure you the clients mentioned on the site
    have not engaged their services. They remain our clients.

The above mentioned infringement of our business brand and good name is extremely disturbing to us and might also be harmful to individuals who subscribe to this fraud.

We got a response from them revealing the identity and hosting information about this crook. Unfortunately domainsbyproxy.com  could only reveal the information and do nothing further. We had to approach the hosting company for further action.

It must be said that throughout this ordeal domainsbyproxy.com cooperated fully with us. We commend them for that.

Onwards to Singlehop.com - the hosting company and another complaint

Using the reference from domainsbyproxy.com we lodged a complaint with singlehop.com, the hosting company. To their credit the company investigated the issue swiftly and quickly blocked the persons hosting account. No site now shows on miracleworx.info.

The next step Godaddy.com - the domain registrar

Now we move to godaddy.com the registrar. We will bring this to their attention and hopefully they will prevent this domain from being used again with some other hosting company.

Keeping a watchful eye and some learnings

Unfortunately this kind of issue is all too common. Creeps like this guy are out there trying to take advantage of other peoples good name and reputation instead of creating something themselves. We have to keep a wary eye for such abuse.

However it would be difficult to prevent this in the first place. The number of domain combinations and extensions available make it impossible to block all of them. Also our website is open to the public and easy for someone to download and copy. Only contant vigilance is the solution.

One thing that helped us through this ordeal is that we kept a cool head, our mails to domainsbyproxy.com and singlehop.com were civil and professional and they responded in kind. We did not directly approach the  crook directly  assuming that threats would not make a difference to him. Instead we took the logical step and approached the companies involved.

Each domain and hosting company has strong anti-fraud policies - utilize these.

Most hosting and domain companies have zero tolerance for frauds and cyber squatting. If you can make a legitimate case against the offending party they will take action. You must be systematic and document everything. You will also have to be patient. It took us almost 2 months to get this guy evicted.

Not so cheerful,
Ron

The one and only original website - https://www.miracleworx.com

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