My own little version of “Best of DomainTools” support

Guy mistakenly thinks I’m associated with expired domain spam.

DomainTools has an occasional feature on its blog about people mistakenly thinking the company is associated with other web sites. Someone searches for a company, finds the whois record on DomainTools’ site, and thinks DomainTools is the company they were searching for. So it sends a support email to Domain Tools asking for support from that company.

I had my own little case of mistaken identity a few weeks ago.

My cell phone rang and I picked it up with my standard “This is Andrew”. The conversation went something like this:

Caller: Hi Andrew, how are you doing?

Me: Fine.

Caller: I’m not interested in your marketing opinions research.

Me: Huh?

Caller: The marketing opinions stuff you keep emailing me about.

Me: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Caller: Suuuuure, you don’t.

Me: No, really. Who is this?

Caller: I’m the guy you keep spamming about this domain name. Sometimes I like to track down spammers and call them to harass them like they harass me.

Me: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Caller: You are Andrew Allemann, right?

Me: Yes, that’s me. But I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Caller: Someone is sending spam emails from you trying to get me to buy the domain So if it’s no you, someone has hacked in to your email.

[At this point I become genuinely concerned, and start looking through my sent box to make sure I haven’t been hacked.]

Me: Well, which email address is it being sent from?


[Now I’m really confused. How has he tied this email address to me? Or was someone just putting my name in the message?]

Me: That’s not my email address.

Caller: Well listen, I like to call up spammers, but you genuinely sound like you don’t know what’s going on.

Me: Can you send me a copy of the email so I can look in to it?

The guy sends me the email. Here it is:

Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2012 09:03:23 -0700 (MST)
Subject: ***SPAM***

Preferred Domain Availability Notification: will be listed for auction in a few days. 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:

5016 Spedale Ct. #265
Spring Hill, TN 37174

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

I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down. That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty… you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. J. D. Salinger

Yeah, my name is nowhere on the email or the email address. How on earth was I being associated with this expired domain spamming operation?

I tried Googling the mailing address in the email. First result is this post on Domain Name Wire.

I had a bit of a chuckle. This guy who called me thinks he is some big cybersleuth who can track down spammers. Instead, he Googled the email he got, found my post but didn’t read it, looked me up in whois, and called to harass me.

All in a day’s work as a blogger…


  1. KhakiMan says

    I’ve gotten about a dozen of emails for another domain just like the one you received the call on. Each email is basically the same, but the City/State in the address is always different.

    Funny thing is, I had already backordered the domain they’re trying to shill. Knew it wasn’t you though.

  2. SF says

    This is the kind of thing that helps show how Many people don’t understand domains.

    Many of these are fairly intelligent business people. But, for some reason they just don’t grasp what a domain is or does.

    They simply know that they type something into Google and they see the “titles” in the search results.

    You can explain to them that the domain is at the bottom of the search result and the top part (the title) can be anything. Tell them the should look at the bottom part of the search result to see the actual domain, and that will tell them the actual site they are going to go to if they click on that title/result. But, somehow, they do not get it.

    You can repeatedly explain the difference between typing something into the “search box” in a web browser and typing a domain name directly into the “address bar”. Even after several repeated explanations, it all goes in one ear and out the other.

    I even dealt with one business that was convinced they had their own website, even though they had never hired or paid anyone to develop or host a site for them.

    What they were seeing was a yellow pages directory style site that merely had their business listed, which showed their address and phone number.

    What this indicates to me is that there are Vast numbers of people like this who really do not understand domain names and their function. As a domainer, this seems strange. But, from their viewpoint, they probably see no real need to understand them.

    The good side to all this is that when these vast masses of people (especially small business owners) come to understand exactly how domains work, the value of good domains should skyrocket.

  3. Richard says

    I get these from Alex all the time. I find them really annoying although he has alerted me to the fact a couple of interesting names have been coming up. I just used godaddy drop catch to snag a couple, thanks Alex!!

  4. JP says

    I should mention that everybody should be putting SPF records in DNS for all their domains to prevent Alex and others from spoofing and email from one of your domains. An SPF record basically is a record that most recieving email servers will use to check if the sending email server has permission to send email on behalf of the from address’ domain name.

    I don’t know if parking companies are doing this for us or not when we use their name servers but for those of us using our own nameserver it’s easy enough to do.

  5. KD says

    SPF records won’t stop Alex / Intrust / Kenn Palm / whomever the company is these days. They use domains they bought and did not sell as disposable email addresses and rotate through them nearly every day. They use a huge array of web hosts as well because they can’t keep one IP from getting shutdown for more than a few weeks. An SPF record won’t change anything when it comes to Intrust. (but yes, SPF records are very advisable for any domain investor for other reasons.)

    I totally agree with John. “That operation is bad news for the industry”

  6. Raider says

    Way too funny.. It’s the same email I get from Alexander, What’s really funny is the guy who called you really thinks he can track down the phone # from a Spammer, Good luck with that, These people who are masters at hiding their identity.

Leave a Reply