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NetSkopos
Getting Started

Help! A former employee stole our domain

We had a now former employee seek out and discover our GoDaddy account info when our CIO left the company.  He then, hijacked the account, placed our primary business domains under his account and turned on two factor authentication trying to extort a contract from us to continue getting paid.  We terminated him because he was trying to steal code.  So he found an easier way.

 

Sounds like this should be an easy one, but just like all else GoDaddy, it isn't.  No one responds and all we get are bot responses.  Their "Award Winning Support" has no escalation path and can only direct you to their bot URL with change update for bot responses.  Kind of mind blowing actually.

 

Since then, we've provided domain purchase and renewal receipts, Company EIN, Officers Statements, our CFO's DL, our tax info from the State and our former CIO and initial registrant is trying to help.  We even have the zone and RWHOIS info showing our assigned IP's as being where all hosts in the zone point.  Still, all we get are drone based bot responses and often, no response at all.

 

We're obviously taking legal action against the former employee and GoDaddy, as we have no other alternative.  Our customer payment systems, internal business processes and partner reporting is hardcoded with this domain which would take some heavy unrolling, not to mention, extremely costly.

 

Yet another hijacked domain and IP, enabled and assisted by GoDaddy.  If anyone knows of a better method than the changeupdate URL, I'd love to hear it.  We would try anything but I'm guessing based on what I've seen, it wouldn't matter.  Businesses, stay away from GoDaddy.  Go with someone (anyone) with actual "thinking" people on the other end.

3 REPLIES 3
Heather
Employee

Hello @NetSkopos,

 

Thank you for posting. I'm sorry to hear about your frustrating experience. Our ChangeUpdate team will do everything they can to help. If you've contacted them already they will be able to provide info on if we will be able to recover a domain for you. If not, you can use one of these options as next steps:

 

1. Try reaching out to the current registrant to see if you can resolve this dispute with them directly. 

2. Get in contact with an ICANN Arbitrator.

3. As this sounds like it's a business dispute, you may want to seek legal counsel. Should you do that, provide them with this link for information about submitting legal documents to GoDaddy

 

Again, I'm sorry that you're having this trouble and wish you the best of luck in getting this resolved. 

 

Heather - GoDaddy | Community Moderator
24/7 support available at x.co/247support

Hi Heather,

 

Thanks for the reply but the ChangeUpdate team has not been of any assistance and I don't believe it's the correct group to revert the changes performed by a former employee who stole our GoDaddy login information and updated everything to himself when terminated.

 

We've supplied our tax deferment, EIN, Officer's Statements, Officers DL, State Business and Tax association along with the previous receipts showing the purchase and renewal of the domain.  We've also provided the cert for the domain in question along with receipts for that.  We've called about 30 times and uploaded all this information almost an equal amount of time.  If there is more needed, we can't find anyone who can specify what else we can provide.  Because, if it exists, we have it and would do so.

 

It seems as if, GoDaddy Support Rep's have no available escalation path for a very blatant and direct domain hijack by an employee.  There's nothing to dispute with this one.  They can acknowledge it shouldn't be a problem to get it back and refer us to non-human generic URL's (such as change update), but when nothing is resolved or gets fixed, it's back to nothing, with no one to speak to, no case number to refer to, nothing.  Step 1 and wait.  Repeat again with no end in sight.

 

ICANN can not assist due to the .me ccTLD.

 

We are in the process of taking legal action but unfortunately that will do nothing to continue or further business continuity and we obviously can't shut our business down, losing millions of dollars.  Unfortunately, this domain is tied into our entire business delivery process effectively relying on the domain and certification for our entire consumer product.  

 

Seems straight forward and I'm at a loss for words.

Thanks for clarifying the situation, @NetSkopos. I understand your frustration. You've mentioned a few times that the person that accessed your account is a former employee. I'm not a lawyer, but I know that we can't make a judgement between two parties that are disputing the ownership of an account or a domain. Since that's what sounds like is going on here, then our change/update team won't be able to help you regain access to the account or the domain. I apologize for any confusion. Your best solution to move forward would be to get in contact with local authorities to have the dispute decided that way. GoDaddy has a long history of cooperating with the court system. 

 

Heather - GoDaddy | Community Moderator
24/7 support available at x.co/247support