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HELP! Conned by a Web Developer. "Domain Thieves"

How do we resolve the issue where someone was building our website and we told him to also buy the domain name. We have been using the website for a while but later he redirected it to another host, changed the emails and is now receiving our business under himself. We are a fully registered company and all our clients know that domain and keep paying for our services of which he doesn't deliver and earning our revenue. On the website, there is the PayPal account and so he has put his account and receives revenue fraudulently. 

Super User II

@Danger_mouse  Whomever is the Registrant Name on the domain record owns the domain.


On the domain record who is down a the "Registrant Name" and Organizaion?  Is that you?  If so, you can contact the domain registrar of record, validate you are who you are and get the email address and details updated.


If this other person's information is down as the Registrant Name they own the domain name. Unless they are using a trademarked name that you can legally defend (or you have a legal contract stating the work they were doing for you that mentions the domain) you really have little recourse.


If it isn't a trademarked or legally protected name, just a generic name that any company could hypothetically use, I would immediately get a new domain and website in place and start letting your customers know of this siutation and where to find you.


This is why it is so important for website owners to make sure that their name and company details are on the domains that they use and want to own.  There is no reason to have anyone's elses name on your domain records as the formal "Registrant". 


Anyone reading this post should check their domain records right now and makes sure their info is down as the formal Registrant of their domain -- otherwise you do not own your domain!


I am not an attorney and I don't play one on T.V.  You may want to contact an attorney the specializes in domain disputes to find out if you do have any recourse. 


"Success is the sum of details." ~ Harvey S. Firestone

He, we have a company legally registered with the domain name and yes we do have a contract where they were to buy on our behalf but unfortunately, the registrant name is hidden from whois and we can't see it to verify what name he put.

if you have your name resisted in trademark you can go to advocate and make a complain regard that they will send a notice and they have to stop that domin.

@Danger_mouse  Legally registered company name may help, but isn't as powerful as a trademark.  If you have a legally binding contract why not discuss this with an attorney and have the attorney contact them demanding they surrender the domain?


Otherwise, there is the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution policy that all registrars must follow:


Here's is GoDaddy's Policy:


HTH! 😉



"Success is the sum of details." ~ Harvey S. Firestone