Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Unfortunate Fraud Check

Every now and again I have an idea, and with that idea come thoughts of domain names. I like to think that I'm a positive guy, so I always hope against hope that I can use a 'word hack' to score a fun and useful domain.

Today I had one of those ideas, and that idea revolved around salaries. With my fingers crossed I gave the domain "" a shot in my browser address bar, but it didn't resolve to anything. That was definitely a start, but it didn't mean it was actually available. A quick search for ".es whois" and I was able to see if it was registered. To my amazement, it wasn't! I was super excited and ran (via my keyboard and browser) to my registrar of choice... which, it turns out, doesn't do .es domains. Ouch. Using the ".es whois" I was pushed to a particular site to register the domain, but for some reason I didn't feel comfortable using that site for registering the domain I wanted, so I kept looking.

I wondered if now was the time to try out another registrar I knew of: from everything I had heard, they were definitely trustworthy. I looked around, saw that they supported .es domains and quickly created an account.

I have to admit, I was super excited about this domain. It just seemed cool. I pulled out the first credit card I could found in my wallet, mash in the numbers and click 'Buy'.

Then I wait. And wait. And wait a little longer. This new registrar just kept telling me it was waiting for something... but I didn't know what. Until the phone rang. It was my credit card company in Australia calling to ensure that I had authorised payment to this new registrar, located in a country that is neither Australia (where my card "lives") nor Canada (where I live). Finally! I knew the hold up and so we were on our way again.

Or so I thought.

I'm not quite sure what the hold up was between then and there, to be honest, but suffice to say that it wasn't for at least a few more hours before things started to move again, and promptly failed. Turns out, someone else had registered it.

Now admittedly, I normally do these things a little differently. If I'm looking for a domain, I normally always use the search application in the registrar that I use. That way, if it's available, I buy it then and there. This time, however, they didn't support .es and I didn't feel like finding another registrar to sign up with, just to see if this seemingly awesome domain was already registered.

Don't read that the wrong way, though: I don't mean to imply that the initial site I was pushed to to register had anything to do with someone else registering the domain. It's just one of those things that make you question yourself.

Even if I hadn't done that, it still wouldn't have helped, as my credit card company was being fantastic, watching for and following up on possible online fraud. I can't fault them for that, either. If I had used the other one in my wallet, well, let's just say they don't seem to ever call me about these sorts of things :)

So I lost my first ever (cool) word hack domain name. At the end of the day, I got an account with a different registrar, and I don't expect I'll have any problems with the credit card company and them again. So that's a plus.

And to the new owner of "": I owe you a beer for being so lucky, and you probably owe one to my credit card company, too, for them being so particular. I hope you use it for something as awesome, ground-breaking, earth-shattering and paradigm-shifting as I was planning to...