A person using the same name as the alleged thief of Calculator.com is still trying to sell domains.
A purported domain thief going by the name Ruth Yakobzon appears to still be active.
The person, whose name may or may not be real, tried to sell Calculator.com on Sedo in 2018. An auction for the domain concluded at $250,000. But a couple of domain investors saw warning signs that the domain might have been stolen and the buyer backed out of the deal after the previous owner of the domain confirmed the concerns to the buyer.
(Calculator.com sold a couple of months ago and the original owner says the domain was stolen. The buyer is arguing in court that it did not buy a stolen domain.)
Domain Name Wire has learned that someone going by the name Ruth Yakobzon recently tried to sell another name through Sedo. The buyer backed out after seeing warning signs that the domain might be stolen, and after viewing the name on the sales contract. The purported address for the seller in both cases is Billerica, Massachusetts.
I reached out to Sedo to understand why the seller was still active on its platform. Regarding the 2018 sale of Calculator.com, the company stated:
There were “internet rumors” that the domain could be stolen. Upon hearing these, we investigated them further on our end but could not find any evidence to support the validity of these statements. So we asked that the person communicating about this theft to ask the real domain owner to contact us which never happened. But even though we never received an official complaint in regards to this, it was cancelled on the request from the buyer because he did not want to proceed.
In other words, because the “real” owner of the domain never contacted Sedo, the company wasn’t able to conclude that the domain was stolen.
The seller’s account at Sedo has now been suspended after the second case, in which the real owner of the domain made an official complaint with Sedo.
Sedo also stated:
In both cases the seller had full access to the domains and was actively communicating with us without any delay and provided any additional documentation we requested.
Without verification that the domain was not stolen, the only thing we could verify is that the seller passed all our additional checks which is only possible when you have full access to the domain.
In both cases we left the decision with the buyers and both decided to cancel the transaction.
In general as part of our procedures on domain ownership, we complete ownership verifications as a precaution.
In addition, here is a link to more detailed information on the process we have in place to report potential stolen domains:
We had also participated in this post on Domain Name Investing last year. It has some really good information in a statement we provided:
Stolen domains and ownership verification of domains being sold on our marketplace is something we take very seriously as a trusted third party service provider in the domain industry. We know it is a crucial part of the confidence our customers have in using us to buy and sell domains.
Stolen domains are a big issue in the domain name industry. GDPR and other privacy laws are making it harder to track the provenance of domain name ownership in Whois. At the same time, a lack of Whois information could make it harder for thieves to steal domains because they won’t know the contact details for the registrar accounts they want to target.