Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • Alexander from Intrust Domains Sure Does Get Around

    1. BY - Jul 20, 2011
    2. Expired Domains
    3. 83 Comments

    Expired domain emails sure are fishy.

    I hadn’t paid much attention to Intrust Domains until Epik announced last week that it had acquired the company. [See update below]

    But it just so happens that I’ve been bombarded by email from Intrust over the past week, so I took a deeper look into its marketing.

    The emails come from “Alexander”, who’s informing me that a domain name similar to one I own (actually, the domain is one I just let expire myself) will be auctioned off soon.

    Alexander invites me to “express interest” in the domain name so they can try to acquire it.

    I wasn’t sure why he sent me four separate emails about this opportunity, but I think I’ve figured it out. Alexander appears to be moving a lot, so he may not have received any responses to his earlier emails.

    In his first email he lists a P.O. Box in Colorado Springs. In the second email he’s moved to Franklin, Tennessee. The very next day he’s moved again. He’s still in Franklin but has a new street address (read: mailbox). By the fourth email he had moved across the country to Montecito, CA.

    Making matters worse, his email address changes every time! Poor Alexander wouldn’t receive a response to his emails even if I tried.

    (Hopefully these practices change now that Epik owns the company.)

    [Update: Epik Founder Rob Monster says the email marketing activities that have been marketed under the label of Intrust Domains were not included in the acquisition; it was only the registrar itself. See his comments below.]

83 Comments
  • (Hopefully these practices change now that Epik owns the company.)

    ???

    lol

    Come on Andrew, you know the reessstttt of the story.

  • I get those “Alexander” emails ALL THE TIME, 4-5 times per domain sometimes. They better STOP SOON. If Epik did acquire them and they still continue to send out those emails, well, I sure as hell will never speak highly of Epik again.

  • I am getting the same emails. It is getting old quick.

    I responded trying to sell them the like domain in a very obvious cheesy / annoying way. Not sure if anyone reads it – but funny none the less.

  • Those practices are why I was very surprised to see Epik acquire them.

    InTrust’s business was built on taking advantage of ignorant end users with their email bombardment technique. Once they got a bid from one of those emails, they were able to play the drop game and try to get the names.

    I wonder if this acquisition means that we’ll be seeing less of “Cindy Pilgrim” around the drop auction scene.

  • 14-Inch Aluminum Straight Pipe Wrench says:

    July 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I gotten a few, but I get many more from Riverside Domain Brokers ….. over and over and over again for months.

  • No doubt that Intrust Domains is a scummy outfit and probably won’t stop spamming.

    But on a few occasions I was able to hand reg some half decent names because of a heads-up from their spam. Just wait for the drop, or drop catch it with Snap, NJ, etc. if it’s any good. No need to pay Intrust a dime. Even flipped a couple for $500+.

    Come to think of it, maybe I should have shared some of the profit with Alexander as a finder’s fee? Not sure, my conscious is really struggling with this…

  • I actually appreciated them doing this, looked at their quote for aquiring the name on a drop ( which they didnt mention was how theyd get it and how theyd explain not getting it if it went higher I have no idea, probably not at all ) and went and snagged it for $90 myself the next week :)

  • I get a few e-mails a week from them. I’ve unsubscribed multiple times. I don’t ever recall opting in to receive e-mail from them either. If they are owned by Epik now they’ll need to start complying with the CAN SPAM ACT. Each e-mail not in compliance is subject to $16,000 in penalties and they’ve clearly been out of compliance.

  • This guy is a Clown (if its even a real person). I got hit up from him/them 5 to 10 times a day a few months back (Multiple email addresses). Almost all were the ones I was dropping or closely related. 1 email OK. 5 to 10 a day from multiple addresses not OK. Why would anyone buy an entity that does that.

  • Doh, it was right in the article that Epik acquired Intrust, missed it. Can’t imagine that Epik would tarnish their reputation by continuing to spam so blatantly (i.e. scraping whois records). They need to shut it off quickly though.

    Best of luck to them, hope the integration works out well.

  • Epik has always used intrust to catch their domains.

  • Andrew,

    Please delete my above prior comment.

    I just now did receive an email from John Lawler. He wants to discuss the situation privately and wants my input based on my experience with InTrust.

    I get the impression Epik wants to clean up any integrity problems.

    Thanks.

  • I’ve been receiving this spam email from not only intrust, but from a flood of other “professional” dropcatchers recently.

  • Yes, they send multiple unsolicited bulk emails daily. If you examine the headers, they’re using multiple hosting providers to send their emails, including RackSpace, ServInt, and JaguarPC. One can only hope that the abuse departments of the providers compel them to only send emails to those that have opted-in to their messages.

    Also, they keep using fresh throwaway domains in the “From” (and also in the “Unsubscribe” link) in order to make it more difficult to block them.

    If Epik wants to improve their reputation, they wouldn’t support those who are bombarding our inboxes with bulk automated unwanted email.

  • Although the emails piss off domainers I can tell you from experience that end users respond to the emails and some are actually grateful. This is based upon our customers reactions to the emails that has been relayed to us.

  • Hold the phone.

    Epik acquired the registrar operations. We have NOT acquired the email marketing operations. Those remain the property of Domain Names International.

    While we think there is a role for email marketing in domain sales, we also think further work is needed to do this in a way that is not a nuisance.

  • @Larry: LOL. So the 10 people out of 10 million who buy Vi@grra from spam every hour/day/whatever…because they’re happy then that makes everything ok?

    Canspam would disagree.

    And isn’t scraping whois data against policy?

  • Email marketing and frontrunning of the drop was NOT part of the acquisition.

    We are redirecting registrar customers to registrar.epik.com.

    I recommend readers to read our blog posts on what was acquired and why:

    http://epik.com/blog/epik-completes-acquisition-of-intrustdomains-to-add-registar-management-platform.html

    http://epik.com/blog/epik-introduces-domain-registrar-services-2.html

    And no, to answer your question, the “IntrustDomains” domain names were not part of the acquisition.

    A simple phone call fact check would have been warranted.

  • Thanks for the information and the differences of opinion y’all, cause I’ve been wondering how and why for sometime now…

  • Google: “intrust spam”

    Among the general public it might not be too difficult to differentiate the spamming operation from the (now) separate registrar business. Among domainers it will be much tougher though, imho. Mainly because the spamming has been going on for years now.

  • *

    Rob,

    As evidenced by the confusion in the comments here, it looks as though you may have also acquired InTrust’s bad reputation.

    I’m sure that was not your intention, so, perhaps a message on your sales site would clear up any confusion.

    *

  • “Epik Founder Rob Monster says the email marketing activities that have been marketed under the label of Intrust Domains were not included in the acquisition; it was only the registrar itself. See his comments below.”

    Why would you let them keep using the name and sullying your new purchase ?

    Is epik now an ICANN accredited registrar ? Buying and selling a registrar requires some jumping through hoops now (speaking from experience).

  • I got a few from Alexander @ PO Box 26125
    Colorado Springs, CO 80936 I’m actually glad to receive the one, as it’s a nice variation of my domain, I plan on winning….but this is still unprofessional and spammy. Another is Edward Clark, of the riverside domain brokering clown shoes, stay out my inbox :D

  • Definitely agree with Ms. Domainer.

    Especially with all the negative threads referencing Intrust at Dnforum and Namepros.

    Otoh, after a while it felt like “Arthur Simmons” was a brother to me. Kind of hate to lose that special relationship.

  • Domainer Extraordinaire says:

    July 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I set up filters to send those emails straight to Gmail spam. I’d never buy a spamming company.

  • @Adam

    For the moment, we acquired Registrar management which includes leased use of registry connections. Fundamentally, this was a technology + customer deal.

    In addition to having acquired some robust domain management technology (see registrar.epik.com), we are in the process of acquiring a portfolio of registrars. This is mainly for ongoing use of registry connections with backorder operations.

    Worth noting is that the technology solution that we have developed here is actually agnostic about whether you have your domain at GoDaddy, Intrust, or elsewhere. Hence the distinction between “internal” and “external” domains.

    This is more similar to how a consumer uses their online brokerage account — there is relatively little regard to where the stock certificate is held. What the consumer cares about is knowing (1) the asset is held securely, and (2) they can access it upon request 24/7 via self-serve tools or via Epik customer service.

    At Epik, we often use the term “Domain Name Asset Management”. We think this is an accurate way to describe what it is we are building for use by domain investors.

    Hope that helps.

  • So Rob was a registrar included in your acquisition OR are you currently leasing registrar connections? I am confused. Did you purchase the Intrust Registrar or just their customer base and technology?

  • @James

    If I understood Rob correctly, essentially they acquired “one to two” of “three or more” parts of Intrust: only the registrar and its direct customers/users, but not the marketing and what-else parts. In short, they didn’t completely purchase Intrust other than what they agreed upon directly.

  • I wonder how well they do catching because his emails to me were names dropping at netsol he bid on.

  • SL:

    “And isn’t scraping whois data against policy?”

    In general there are exceptions (postal mail is one) but for this purpose, yes it’s against policy.

    “LOL. So the 10 people out of 10 million who buy Vi@grra from spam every hour/day/whatever…because they’re happy then that makes everything ok?”

    Oh I can assure you that the response rate for this is much better than for something like that. I wasn’t saying it was always good I was only saying it worked and that it appeared that *some* people were happy with the fact that they were contacted.

    Look, there are many domain names that I wish I had been contacted about that slipped by since I don’t have the time to monitor everything. And from what I can tell the prices they are charging are somewhat reasonable. I think I saw something like $375 dollars for some names.

    Let say for example the name epiks.com was available. I’m sure Rob would like to know about that. If he was notified by a pre drop catcher he could then go in and buy the name directly if he wanted. (I’ve done this in a case where I was notified by the spam that you detest..)

    I get plenty of the annoying emails. Because I own many domain names. All the spam relates to names that I own in one way or another. If you don’t own names you aren’t getting this spam most likely.

  • This is kind of like saying, I know I sold the gun to the guy who has a rap sheet 5 miles long, but it’s ok because he said he wasn’t going to do anything wrong with it.

    I receive over 100 emails from Alex a day, I never asked for 1 of them. But I continue to get spammed by them.

    The reason they have the whois information to begin with is they are/were a domain registrar and all domain registrars are required to provide full whois to other domain registrars. The good news is that since Alex isn’t a domain registrar anymore, he won’t be able to get whois information anymore, right Rob? Or do they still have unlimited whois access?

    It would have been much easier to just create a new domain registrar.

  • @Jim

    We mainly bought technology for registrar management, engineering talent, and customer relationships.

    The proprietary software is important for our plans around integrated “domain name asset management”.

    Although we did not buy registrars in this deal, we will be acquiring proprietary registrars shortly.

    For reasons that are probably obvious from the comment stream, we did not buy the email marketing business, e.g. Alex, et al.

    Backorder capability remains a large strategic priority. We currently catch (well) with 34 registry connections in total and are on the lookout for more.

  • Apparently the new outfit is called domainmatchmakers.com, of which Intrust was left in the wake. Third comment at this link brings the whole saga full circle.

    http://www.stupidityexposed.com/?p=137

    Which makes sense. Including that ekodomains, riverside, etc. all eventually trace back to Colorado.

  • Mike Hails says:

    July 21, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I had a feeling that Intrust had some connection with Enom/Namejet as I have seen domains being offered for sale that failed to go to auction but instead seemed to go straight to Intrust. I would never buy from them EVER.

  • @Larry: Facepalm. You’re still not getting it. It’s 2011, this issue was settled long ago.

    Look, we’re not talking NANAS level spam intolerance. There are acceptable reasons to contact a domain owner via whois-listed email. Either as a personalized sales inquiry or letting them know they have a problem with their site, etc.

    But note “domain owner” is singular. Mass contact without consent is spam. This isn’t “doing a favor” to the world. There is no opt-in to this “valuable” service. It’s spam. It’s unacceptable. Period.

    The only acceptable way for this to work is through building a list with each subscriber opted in. That’s it. Period.

    Ahh, I know what you’re thinking. Well it’s ok to mass email folks just once asking them to join the list. No. That also is spam. Period.

    Finally, regarding the red herring of response rate…so if vi@grra spam had a sell-through rate of 100%, then surely you’d welcome more of these valuable emails in your inbox, wouldn’t you?

    Yeah, I thought so.

  • Rob, thanks for the clarification – from your blog postings and press it sounded like you purchased the intrust registrars: What was included in the deal: “An established registrar business” –

    So from your comments Kenn Palm still controls/owns the Intrust Domains registrar and you for lack of better terms you white labeled his technology under registrar.epik.com ?

  • @ Andrew

    Epik did not acquire the Intrust brand. I do believe that brand will be retired completely. Whether “Alex” retires is a different question.

    As for the legitimacy of email marketing, I think there is a line between what is legal and what is ethical. Unsolicited email is hard to scale. As a core business model it is also one that is untouchable by a mainstream acquirer.

    At Epik, we are focused on a different workflow. We backorder quality names, develop them and sell them — increasingly to end-clients and entrepreneurs who can either (1) use our platforms to manage their sites, (2) operate the sites passively, or (3) take the domain in a different direction. We call this Acquire-Build-Manage-Divest a.k.a “Catch and Develop”.

    The logic for this deal, first and foremost, was to secure technology and engineering talent. We have also secured backorder capability and made it available to Epik developers on a self-serve basis.

    The tools that are live at registrar.epik.com are quite solid and will improve rapidly in the months ahead as part of the overall plan for building an industry-leading solution for “Domain Name Asset Management”.

  • Rob,
    It’s disappointing to listen to you. You’ve not made any concrete stand against the practice which we all know is complete garbage. It’s violating laws (CANSPAM) and TOS / AUP of ISPS/hosting companies (I’ve gotten a few intrust servers suspended by hosting companies for spamming).

    You haven’t even said you will stop the spam operation. You dodge the question and make vague allusions to the value of email marketing. Are you serious? Your response is complete bullshit and we all know it.

    You clearly have no integrity and I have lost any shred of respect I may have had for you. I am not alone and we have long memories about these types of things.

  • Those spam emails helped me hand reg tons of great names too. That’s the one thing I’ll miss.

  • I have gotten these emails in the past. Lately another company has been coming on stronger in a similar fashion: www. riversidedomainbrokers .com – I was wondering how many people had chose to take them up on these offers. Congrats to Rob on the purchase.

  • @Rob thanks for the reply but you didn’t answer the question. ” Is epik now an ICANN accredited registrar ? ”

    I think all domain investors care that the operations they are using are accredited and run by trusted and reputable people. The accreditation is supposed to protect them from nefarious actions like was the case with Registerfly and the trust is obvious.

    I’ve seen and used intrusts registrar platform. if that’s what you bought that’s cool . It’s nice. Probably a decent buy there but clearly saying you bought intrust was a mistake from a PR stand point.

    I’m not fully understanding what it is you bought and I don’t think I’m alone but I’m sure it doesnt matter as I won’t be a customer any time soon.

  • @ Kevin – I think I have been clear that we did not acquire the emailing business. I think I have made that part pretty clear. As a courtesy to the owners of that business, I am simply not making a judgment statement about that aspect of the non-acquired business. I like the integrated backorder capability and I like the domain management technology and that is what we have acquired here along with 27,000 legacy accounts that we intend to serve in a professional way.

    @Adam – As for the registrars, we will make an announcement soon on this topic — there is a second pending acquisition that adds an accredited .COM and .NET registrar along with additional capability. As I see it, the bigger point is not so much how many accredited registrars are under the Epik umbrella but rather that we intend to make it easy for domain owners to manage and add value to those domains in an integrated manner, regardless of which registrar holds their domain.

    @Steve – Riverside is a group out of Serbia with a call center in the UK and a corporate registration in Wyoming. I too get a lot of their emails, including for domains that I would not hand-register. They seem clever enough but are too aggressive on the email judging from what I see coming into my own inbox on a near-daily basis.

  • @Rob: And all those new accounts from the continued spam operation? I bet you will happily serve them too, right? You can’t untangle yourself just because you didn’t acquire that specific piece (which seems to be on-going with some type of client relationship).

  • “And all those new accounts from the continued spam operation? I bet you will happily serve them too, right? You can’t untangle yourself just because you didn’t acquire that specific piece (which seems to be on-going with some type of client relationship).”

    He doesn’t need to untangle anything. If he was buying an operation that did spamming (which apparently he isn’t) that’s a good way to stop the spamming operation. If he isn’t that fine also and really no different then buying any piece of property from someone who gained that property by illicit means….if you want to call what Intrust is doing illegal and in violation of can spam.
    (The US Government auctions drug dealer property…)

    As far as “happily serving” the customers who he is gaining, they obviously weren’t bothered by the spam which SL seems to think is the same as the type of people that respond to male enhancement product spam.

    I’m really surprised at the anger that the posters are taking out on Rob because he bought this company.

  • In case anyone is wondering why Larry is dead wrong about this issue, there’s a nice guide at the FTC site about Canspam:

    http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

    Bottom line: Whether selling vi@grra or domains, emailing to harvested emails is illegal (scraping whois). How often it’s enforced is a different issue.

  • The fact that some domain company bought the registrar that this asswipe “alexander” was connected to proves that there are domainer wannabees with lots of cash (made from non-domain investments) that don’t do due diligence, or just don’t care.

    If a company comes into the domaining industry with truckloads of money and a preceding reputation doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing with domains. (I don’t have to provide examples.)

    This “Alexander” freak and his registrar have been spamming me for the last six months. I’ve unsubscribed, complained, threatened, etc… to no relief. They watch your drops, buy them (or make you think they can pick them up on the drop), and then send you a multitude of emails luring you to buy the domain back.

    These type of tactics, unethical to the point of “beware, report these jackasses”, should easily warn anyone in this business to stay away from this registrar. Thinking progressively, a logical person would also stay away from the unfortunate company that bought the dirty registrar. Why? Because if a domain company doesn’t care that they bought a registrar that clearly used spamming and “re-spawning” tag techniques were clearly , then you’ve painted your whole company the color black.

    What’s really kind of sad is that this registrar’s pre-purchase behavior was so blatantly unethical, it’s hard to believe someone in the domain industry actually bought them.

    Dub-A, your story here, probably unintended to this affect, forever marked the company that bought this registrar as an entity that invested in potentially illegal (spamming) behavior to pump up their value before the sale, and that the assets were gained at the cheat and harassment of domains owners.

    When a lion makes a kill,
    the jackals get a meal.

    Good article, and thanks for “outing” this Alexander creep.

  • Been getting them non-stop, too. The address I keep getting is 3578 Hartsel Drive Unit E#135 Colorado Springs, CO 80920, which is a UPS Store in Colorado Springs.

  • I get them regularly and they are blatant spam. The domain is always a throw-away domain, the last four were advertising the same domain for sale, and the emails came from:
    alex@BAMAZED.COM
    5016 Spedale Ct. #265
    Spring Hill, TN 37174

    alex@SWFLFINEHOMES.COM
    5016 Spedale Ct. #265
    Spring Hill, TN 37174

    alex@DNC-GROUP.COM
    718 Thompson Lane
    Suite 108142
    Nashville, TN 37204

    alex@DESIGNSBYJB.COM
    718 Thompson Lane
    Suite 108142
    Nashville, TN 37204

    I probably shouldn’t have, but I did click the link once to not receive future ones. Wish there was something to be done about this.

  • I’ll say it again.
    This Alex guy and anyone like him is Bad for the industry.
    To constantly email someone about the same name for 30-40 straight days with a different email address each time is not right.
    If he is employed by anyone it needs to Stop.
    A 3rd grader can figure out someone is not interested in an email if there is no response after 1 or 2 times.
    Having different emails for the same message that is sent 30 to 40 time is deceptive. No two ways about it.
    I’ve been saving all mine for the past month and thus far everyone one of them has a different email address.

  • Mara Alexander says:

    October 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    And the spam from Domain Name International, AKA “Alex / Alexander” continues.

    Btw, Domain Names International has a Live Chat option. I let 5 operators know what I think of their spamming practices so far today. I might have some free time tomorrow, also.

    As others have said, reading the headers of these emails is very telling, though they aren’t just throw away domains they email from. These emails are sent from compromised mail servers around the world. Which means Domain Names International is breaking at least US law, in addition to CANSPAM laws.

    And they aren’t terribly bright. The left the unsub line in one of the emails I’ve received:

    List-Unsubscribe:

    which forwards to

    https://secure.dnipremiumnames.com/store/prioritynotice/1/9c9ebe5d2e2a49c6.3338

    which is yet another domain/site owned by Domain Names International.

  • Mara Alexander says:

    October 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    http://dnipremiumnames.com/

    Welcome to Domain Names International (DNIPREMIUMNAMES.COM). Domain Names International is the DBA of InTrust Domains, of Colorado Springs, CO.

    We are available to answer any questions you might have at 1-303-353-1917, or you can email us at support@intrustdomains.com.

    In my complaint for violation of the CANSPAM ACT, InTrust Domains will be named. I find Rob Monsters’ comments completely laughable that he “did not acquire the email marketing”, since on their site it clearly states they are one in the same business.

  • What part of reality don’t you comprehend?

    We acquired the registrar operations of Intrust Domains. We are a registrar and are planning to acquire additional registrars. You can check our product at registrar.epik.com. It is on track to be a world class registrar service and we could not be more excited.

    We did NOT acquire the email marketing business of which formerly traded as Intrust. We are a registrar and a domain development company. We are not an email marketing company and have no plans to become one for the foreseeable future.

    You are welcome to call me for any further clarification at 425-765-0077. In the meantime, I ask that you cite facts, and steer clear of fantasy, assumption and extrapolation which have zero basis in fact.

    Got it?

    Thanks
    Rob Monster
    Founder and CEO
    Epik.com

  • Domainer Extraordinaire says:

    October 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Slimy guy bought a slimy business. End of story.

  • Mara Alexander says:

    October 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Which part of reality do YOU not comprehend, Rob?

    http://dnipremiumnames.com/

    Their site clearly states:

    We are available to answer any questions you might have at 1-303-353-1917, or you can email us at support@intrustdomains.com.

    It really can’t be more clear than that. Pretend all you want that “InTrust Domains isn’t associated with DNI”, but it’s right there in black and white.

    Got it?

  • Noticed this thread and thus my post. I had quite a few domains I was targetting at NameJet.com , you know the Company that you can backorder domains at that is owned by Enom. I noticed a number of times that rather than drop or go to auction as expected the domains would suddenly disappear out of NameJet.com and reappear offered for sale for $500 by Intrust domains. I too do not trust Enom, Namejet or Intrust and think they are ,in my opinion a bunch of unethical people who do not have any regard for proper open business practices.

  • Mara,

    It is pretty simple. Epik does not own the domain name IntrustDomains.com.

    Epik also does not own the Intrust legacy business of email marketing — not directly or indirectly. The Epik board of directors made a conscious choice not to buy that part of the business due to the associated brand risk associated with sending unsolicited email.

    In short, we acquired the registrar assets, including 27,000 customers previously served by Intrust. We also acquired an impressive software platform for managing domains across multiple registrars, and an engineering team. If you try our registrar product, I think you will conclude as others have that it is a pretty good product.

  • intrustdomains.com redirects to…

    intrustdomains.net which redirects to…

    registrar.epik.com

  • @SL – There are 27,000 legacy customers of Intrust that needed some place to go for customer support. That is Epik.

    As far as I know, the Intrust brand is completely going away which is why we were able to negotiate a transitional redirect.

    Again, Epik bought the registrar operations and registrar technology but not the Intrust brand or the email marketing business.

  • @Rob Monster – Epik
    I think you are telling a story that suits you, but not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Is your name Pinnochio by any chance ?

  • @Mike Hails

    That would be incorrect.

    Bottom line is this:

    1. We contemplated acquiring the entire Intrust business. However, as a board, we decided to move forward with acquiring only the registrar operations.

    2. We are actively building a world class registrar business using assets that we acquired from the business formerly known as Intrust Domains.

    3. In the past year, we did look at email marketing as a tool. However, like others, we have concluded that it is not a scalable method for selling domains or websites.

  • I do not trust Enom, NameJet ,Intrust or Epik, all in my opinion are , rightly, tarred with same brush and I would NEVER do business with them.

  • Ouch, which means the spammers also control the legacy support email addresses.

    I mean this sincerely, best of luck on recovering from this debacle. It’s certainly doable.

    And it’s a great business school 101 lesson for others thinking of entering a deal like this. Thorough due diligence on the seller must be done and extensive thought put into the structure of the deal. Google is just a click away. If anything smells funny then just walk away.

    Take care.

  • @SL – Buying the Intrust registrar business was a fully astute move. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The deal gave us a turn-key proprietary domain management platform and a deep engineering team with which to improve it. The 27,000 legacy customers was the icing on the cake, and we are working hard to delight them every day. As the French say: Je ne regrette rien. :-)

  • Rob is one of my top choices for guys with a lot of money, who sees big money in domaining, but having no understanding of domain value, domain etiquette, domain value integrity, failure to even hire someone to tell him he’s an idiot in his thought process for representing himself correctly to domain investors (forgot to buy his own domains for his so-called “domain conference”).

    Good God, is he really the owner of this BITCH of a problem ALEXANDER domain spam by owning “IntrustDomains.com?” I think EVERY domainers has received an unfortunate series of spam emails from this assw*pe. Just taking a quick guess, I’ve had to delete, answer, threaten, at least 200 emails from this FREAK. I have two of those emails in my inbox right now.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, because I’m so TIRED of receiving Rob’s new “investment” into “intrustdomains.com” spam or whatever he says it is to selling me their crap. No matter how hard Rob tries to “deny” this “spam” nightmare, he now owns the registrar that the spammers uses? If I was him, I’d spend a lot of money trying to remove myself from that problem. Or, maybe, being Rob, I don’t spend money on anything except trying to convince noobies that my service in building out domain sites is the “best”. Pay up, forget the other stuff.

    It reminds me of when Tucows bought “ItsYourDomain.com”. (IYD) That was a company that Tucows purchased, nabbing hundreds of thousands of domains, except the company IYD ran that company by not following ICANN rules of informing domain owners their domains were “expiring”. Hence, IYD obtained LOTS of nice domains. Tucows response was… I forgot… but here’s some screenshots and an article I wrote about it over three years ago:

    http://www.successclick.com/eviscerating-a-registrar-guts-and-blood-are-revealed_2008_01_08/

    It’s about a company buying another company that made big value from ripping off its customers. That’s like running a retail shop and buying stolen goods in the alley. Would Robbie be following the same path, because MONEY TALKS AND NO MONEY ARE JUST GNATS IN THE WIND?

    Rob, get down to the problem and end the Alexander spamming, cuz he/she/it uses YOUR NEW ACQUISITION COMPANY name, “INTRUSTDOMAINS”.

    PLEASE SOMEONE GIVE ME TOTAL FACTS IF ROB MONSTER OWNS INTRUSTDOMAINS.COM and that this spam freak ALEXANDER and other names he goes by, is connected to his company in ANY WAY. That means, affiliate sales, referral sales, or if Rob is totally innocent and doesn’t know about this freak.

    If I’m wrong by what I’m reading here, let me know. But I already know one thing: If you want to get into the domain industry, get an education first. Money might talk for you for a while, but soon, like now, you make a big mistake because you are clueless.

    Get it? Good.

  • I don’t know, but doesn’t Rob’s explanation here and elsewhere seem to be “nonspeak”?

    Here’s an example:

    “We did NOT acquire the email marketing business of which formerly traded as Intrust. We are a registrar and a domain development company. We are not an email marketing company and have no plans to become one for the foreseeable future.’

    Huh?

    Do you own this company or not? And WHY, WHY WHY did you decide to buy THIS registrar? Why? What drew you, Rob Monster of Epik, to BUY THIS REGISTRAR, with its continuing spam baggage and typical scummy reputation? Didn’t you consult with domain experts first?

    Oh, I forgot. You’re really really rich. You don’t need advice. You just need “yes” men/women and the ability to say things that mean absolutely NOTHING in addressing what Andrew and most of the commenters here are talking about.

    Got it?

  • @Rob ..
    “..We mainly bought technology for registrar management, engineering talent, and customer relationships..”
    I don’t have a dog in the fight here and don’t know much about you or your company, but am curious if the engineers and other talent are all US based? Thanks

  • Clarifications:

    - The deal was an asset purchase, not a purchase of the company.

    - The assets were software, customers and development personnel.

    - The new developers are based in the Ukraine and extremely talented.

    Create an account at Epik.com and you will see what I mean. It is a good product.

    Acquiring a registrar for $15-25K does not give you a world-class software platform. It means you get to license someone else’s closed platform, and then pay through the nose while being told all the things you can’t do with your registrar platform.

    The vision that we laid in 2010 for an integrated solution to Acquire, Build, Manage and Divest domain name assets was incomplete without integrating registrar capability.

    As for the Intrust brand, again, we did not buy it. We bought the customers and the technology. We did this on terms that most people would find attractive. Since customers did not previously know who Epik was we (1) sent them an onboarding email, and (2) are redirecting them from the Intrust website — a domain which I expect will eventually go away completely.

    In general, I have been known to buy the diamond in the rough from time to time. When investing in an asset with baggage, sometimes this means you get a pink elephant. This was by no means the only option and came with a PR risk. However, on balance, I think we got a gem in the intellectual property assets and the technology integration has gone better than expected.

  • @Stephen Douglas: It does make sense to keep the registrar tied arms-length to the spamming operations, imho. The spammers are spewing out millions of messages tied back to the redirect to registrar.epik.com (see the reference to dnipremiumnames above). Therefore there is potential to gain new registrations business that way.

    OTOH, trusting a bunch of sleazy spammers to control the support email server for your legacy customers…that’s very risky.

    So the question in this thread has been whether the spam operations tarnish the epik name since intrust and epik are so intertwined. Not necessarily about whether there’s financial benefit to the linkage. I can see the possibility that the revenue derived is much greater than we think. That would explain a lot. Again, jmho.

  • Is Alex/Alexander in the Ukraine as well?

  • Domainer Extraordinaire says:

    October 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Up next, Rob will be sending us $75 renewal bills for names we have registered elsewhere.

  • Stop Alex Spams says:

    November 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Alex works for dnipremiumnames.com and Spam is an usual behaviour for this company. For spamming, he uses redirection sites like certellus.com or ewintl.com that always redirect to dnipremiumnames.com and that are cancelled few days later. NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THESE SPAMMERS !

  • I simply ask the lad to send me some pictures of his wife….I would want the good ones !

  • This is crazy that so many people are having this problem and no one is able to stop it – we need to put them on blast – sign the online petition here http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ihateintrustdomains/ or join the facebook group “I hate Intrust Domains” http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/108406825949398/ surrender to alex spam is not an option!!!!!

  • Domainer Extraordinaire says:

    January 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    This spammer has kicked it into high gear with the crappy dashed names. They are overloading Google’s spam filter.

  • I too receive Alex’s emails for the past 6 months. From what I can see, I tracked it to http://domainnamesinternational.net. I emailed sales@domainnamesinternational.net asking them to stop sending me the “Alex” emails. Within an hour and a half, I started receiving penis enlargement spam from .ru domain. I’ve taken care to protect my email account for 9 years and never received this type of spam until today. How can we send Alex to prison?

  • FOUND THE SOURCE of Alex’s spam:

    Go to domainnamesinternational.net and click “Live Support Online”. I used the name Alex to sign in and one of Alex’s email addresses.

    However, after giving the person I chatted with the domain name that “Alex” was trying to sell me, she was able to find my actual email address which I never gave her. She claims to have removed me… Here’s a transcript of the chat session:

    The transcript came from support@intrustdomains.com

    Department: Support
    Full Name: Alex
    Email: alex@LMTCEUS.COM
    Your Question: Why do you guys allow me to continue breaking the law with your service and send spam to millions?
    Staff: Miranda Brown
    ________________________________________
    21:06 Your Question: Why do you guys allow me to continue breaking the law with your service and send spam to millions?
    21:06 Please wait, an operator will be with you shortly.
    21:06 Miranda Brown: Hello, This is Miranda. What domain are you interested in and how can I help you with this domain?
    21:06 You are now chatting with Miranda Brown (Sales Representative) – Support
    21:06 Miranda Brown: Hi there, would you like to be removed from our email list?
    21:11 Alex: yes
    21:12 Alex: Are you familiar with your “Alex” spammer problem?
    21:13 Alex: simply Google “Alex domain spam” and you will see the frustration people are having receiving spam from this Alex guy that originates from domainnamesinternational.net and intrust
    21:14 Miranda Brown: what is the domain you are being emailed about and I will remove you
    21:16 Alex: so you admit to this illegal spamming! Incredible! XXXXXXXX.com is the domain. Since I asked yesterday about being removed, I’ve started receiving penis enlargement spam from russia. In 9 years, I have never received this type of spam to my email address.
    21:22 Miranda Brown: I can assure that company is not associated with us in any way.
    21:23 Miranda Brown: we are diverse, but not that diverse
    21:23 Alex: are you associated with domainnamesinternational.net and/or intrust?
    21:23 Miranda Brown: I have removed you from the system, is there anything else I can hep you with
    21:23 Miranda Brown: I am dni and intrust
    21:23 Alex: what email address did you remove?
    21:23 Miranda Brown: the one associated with that domain
    21:24 Alex: which is?
    21:24 Miranda Brown: a comcast email
    21:24 Alex: starting with high?
    21:24 Miranda Brown: yes
    21:24 Alex: why do you send out these illegal emails?
    21:26 Alex: seriously, Google “Alex domain spam” and read through the first three hits… you will find dni and intrust mentioned throughout.
    21:27 Miranda Brown: I am not familiar with that part of our system, is there anything else I can help you with today
    21:28 Alex: no, but do that google search and become familiar with the illegal practices of your company.
    21:28 Miranda Brown: ok, if there is nothing else I can help you with, I hope you have a wonderful day!
    21:28 Alex: thanks you too
    ________________________________________
    Support Center: http://helpwithmydomain.com/

  • I’ve had my main personal email address for over 11 years now and get very little spam, maybe 2-10 a week with no upstream spam filters. First, I never post my address in any public place and second, I signed up with Spamcop.net and report all spam messages to them. Within a week or so or, in the worst case, a few dozen more similar spam messages later, they all stop. Even the Alexander ones.

  • Faris Khan says:

    April 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Return-path:
    Envelope-to: me@
    Delivery-date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 13:04:44 +0100
    Received: from bst2.activetone.net ([173.192.193.186]:40564)
    by with esmtp (Exim 4.77)
    (envelope-from )
    id 1SMI0Z-0005L5-R5
    for me@; Mon, 23 Apr 2012 13:04:44 +0100
    Received: from romero (romero [192.168.241.211])
    by bst2.activetone.net (8.14.3/8.14.3) with ESMTP id 963
    for ;
    Mon, 23 Apr 2012 07:04:23 -0500 (CDT)
    Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 05:04:22 -0700 (MST)
    From: Alex
    To: “me@”
    Message-ID:
    Subject: alhojas.com

    By chance received these just now;
    Preferred Domain Availability Notification:
    alhojas.com will be listed for auction in a few days. This domain might be useful for you, since you own a domain similar to alhojas.com
    To confirm interest in owning this domain, fill out the simple form here: http://INTERBEAUTE.COM/6c4764b06cf04299.3001

    Sincerely,Alexander
    2020 Fieldstone Pkwy
    Ste 900-125
    Franklin, TN 37069-4337
    If you do not want more of these messages, please click the link above and follow instructions at the bottom of the page

    We don’t have a monopoly. We have market share. There’s a difference. Steve Ballmer

  • Advance Domain Availability Notification:

    We are contacting you about the domain itsodds.com, which will be listed for auction soon. This domain might be useful for you, since you own a domain similar to this domain.

    To confirm interest in owning this domain, fill out the simple form here: http://WWW.WHITNEYGRACE.COM/8ca7fa9faa0f4349.4189

    Sincerely,Alexander
    PO Box 925, Winnemucca,
    NV 89445

    If you do not want more of these business solicitation messages, please click the link above and follow instructions at the bottom of the page

  • nick smith says:

    July 22, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Yes, they must be North America’s largest spammers. Intrust Domains [intrustdomains] was aquired by epik.com (CEO Rob Monster) and the spam operation is continuing under the GoName.com brand..

    The spam emails now usually come from alex@______.com in various formats with changing quotes in the message & various sender addresses in an attempt to defeat the spam filters.
    This is a recent example…

    Notification for Availability of Similar Domain:

    We thought we would let you know that debt_______.com will be available soon for auction. We know that this domain will be useful for you, since you own a similar domain.
    To confirm interest in owning this domain, please fill out the simple form:
    http://master-mobile.com/4203______oyo-NEQ
    Sincerely,
    Domain Team
    1001 Texas Ave #777
    Houston, TX 77002
    If you do not want any more emails, please click http://master-mobile.com/u/42033315bojoyo-NEQ to UN-subscribe.
    Ever notice how ‘What the hell’ is always the right answer? ‘ – Marilyn Monroe

    If you do a whois lookup for the domain the email is from, you will see the registrar is usually epik.com or bellnames.com or namewhite.com. The whois privacy address for bellnames.com & namewhite.com is
    Registrant Street: 6140 Tutt Blvd, #160
    Registrant City: Colorado Springs
    Registrant State/Province: CO
    Registrant Postal Code: 80923
    Registrant Country: US
    Registrant Phone: 1.720.921.8850

    Here is another example from Alex@______

    Domain will soon be available:
    Please note that g_______s.com will soon be made available to the general public. I found your info when looking for interested parties in the domain. Usually, that means that you have a business or a domain with a very similar name.
    All you need to do at this time is go here to place a bid: 6rbtob.net/964f4815bea04fd5.4189
    Sincerely,Alex
    5847 San Felipe
    17th Floor
    Houston, TX 77057
    I don’t want to disturb you with these business solicitations if you do not find them useful. Please use the link above and click to be removed.
    A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom. Robert Frost
    There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.
    If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

    The registrar for 6rbtob.net is goname.com & the whois has these details…
    Registrant Name: Daniel Berlin
    Registrant Organization: Intersolved, LLC
    Registrant Street: 725 Cool Springs Blvd STE 600
    Registrant City: Franklin
    Registrant State/Province: TN
    Registrant Postal Code: 37067
    Registrant Country: US
    Registrant Phone: +.615-628-8466
    Registrant Email: accounts@intersolved.com.

    Visit the link in the email & you will see the same old names, sales@domainnamesinternational.net
    (188 Front Street, Suite 116
    Franklin
    TN 37064
    +1 615-953-8900

    or
    11605 Meridian Market View
    Unit 124-134
    Falcon, CO 80831

    which is the same address intrustdomains.net used to use!
    but the link to BBB.org has been removed – I wonder why??)

    Here’s the interesting bit.
    If the domain they are spamming you about is not caught by anyone, they will send you a “last chance” type offer to buy for $49.95. In truth, the domain is unregistered & could be yours for $10 at many registrars. But follow the email link & you will see that goname.com offer a buy-now pay-later option. If you select the “pay in ten days” option, they will immediately register the domain at epik.com with whatever false details you choose to enter at their own expense. As you have not paid, and it is too late for them to delete the domain for free, they will soon change the registrant details to there own
    ( Registrant Name: Domain Admin
    Registrant Organization: GoName.com
    Registrant Street: 3200 West End Ave Suite 500
    Registrant City: Nashville
    Registrant State/Province: TN
    Registrant Postal Code: 37203
    Registrant Country: US
    Registrant Phone: +1.615-953-8900
    Registrant Phone Ext:
    Registrant FAX:
    Registrant FAX Ext:
    Registrant Email: sales@goname.com)
    & offer the domain for sale at goname.com.

    So we know that they are massive spammers, they charge $50+ for what you could get for a lot less & that epik.com, goname.com, bellnames.com, namewhite.com & domainnamesinternational.net are all working together to benefit from a huge spamming operation that has been going on for years in the heart of the USA.

    One other thing, visit http://goname.com/help/universalTerms & you will see section eight is still labelled…

    8. USE OF INTRUST NETWORK’S SOFTWARE

    Seems for all their smart spamming & sales pitch, they can’t use the ‘find & replace’ function of their text editor properly!!

    If all this is just too complicated for you (which is what they are hoping) then just forward that spam email from alex@ goname.com (or whatever) to:-

    denis@markov.com (he is the CEO of InTrust / DNI / GoName.com – see how he likes it!)
    and
    support@epik.com (the “abuse” address for the registrar of the spamming domain – they have a duty to investigate)
    and most importantly…
    spam@uce.gov (let the G-men see the extent of the problem & deal with it.)

    Forward all the ‘alex’ spam to all the above addresses for a week or two & it will suddenly stop filling your inbox.

  • Looks like “Alex” has a new alias. This one is registered with bellnames.com / 1 MORE NAME, LLC & diverts to a goldstarnames.com landing page.

    Available Domain lupe.driesel@articlereviews.com wrote:

    Domain Availability Alert:

    [removed].com is coming available very soon. You can now take advantage of securing this domain name for your business. This will not only help with your notoriety, it will help you to further grow your business.
    Take action now: http://articlereviews.com/removed

    Surround yourself with all the variations of your name. This will ensure you from losing out on potential new customers.
    Sincerely,
    The Domain Team
    3229 Helms Avenue Suite 200
    Los Angeles, CA 90034

    If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, please follow this link http://articlereviews.com/u/removed to UN-subscribe.

    ‘Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God,are hat-wearing Muslims ‘ – Yann Martel

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