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"Needless to say, I declined, number one, I did not want to USE name anyway and number two, that was ransom!
"Well, tonight I found out that this company is parking a PORN site at that domain name and once again offered to sell it back to me for $550.00. I feel this is obvious blackmail but not only do I not have money, I would not pay that ridiculous amount even if I could.
"My eBook had a "live" link that was accidentally left as jtdbizopps.com instead of marketingwarrioress.com though both my compiler and I thought they had all been changed.
"I was told off by a new subscriber who eagerly downloaded my eBook and then clicked link that went straight to porn site. I have spent past 3 years working myself half to death, as I know YOU know about, and now my credibility and NAME are in danger due to this "person" using my ex-domain for this purpose.
"I know there is no way to get name back without paying for it and/or stopping this "person" from using it for this or any other business, but I am hoping there is some damage control I can do to maybe make it worth his/her/ITS while to discontinue using a domain I can prove I had been using for over 2 years in this way if it hurts my business or name in any way.
"Sorry for rambling, but once I quit crying, screaming, throwing up, crying and screaming some more I am now down to incoherent stuttering.
Jan T-D Marketing Warrioress and Publisher (Rim Digest) charter iCop member"
My primary motivation in writing this article is to help get word out about what has happened to Jan so that, hopefully, those who do not know her will realize that she is, in fact, an innocent victim in all of this and not some nefarious person who gets her kicks from enticing people to visit a porn site when they thought they were visiting an internet marketing site.
That said, what lessons can we all learn from Jan's experience? Well, there are a few ...
1. KNOW WHEN YOUR DOMAIN NAMES EXPIRE AND RENEW THEM BEFORE THEY LAPSE
First and foremost, know when your domain names expire and take steps to renew them before they lapse. As Jan's experience illustrates only too well, there are vultures out there just waiting to swoop if you make even one false move. There are no second chances in this business and, until law catches up with reality of doing business online, it's every man and woman for themselves.
2. SOME THINGS COST MORE THAN MONEY
The second point to note is that Jan allowed her registration to lapse because she wanted to spend $10 rather than $35 (per year) to renew name. That decision cost her a whole lot more than $25. Once your good name and reputation are cast into doubt, no amount of money can get them back.
I know Network Solutions cop a lot of flak and possibly deservedly so, if some of stories I've heard are true. All I know is that my domain names are registered and renewed with them and I haven't had any problems (touch wood).
Bottom line, make sure your names are registered, stay registered and that you use a reputable domain registrar.
See It Could Happen To You - Part 2 for remainder of article.
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com/mmp/sub.cgi?AHBBO=!FLM