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i caught a dropped .uk, a club, paypal membership payments coming, do i refund or keep?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by JimAMG, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. JimAMG

    JimAMG Newbie

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    Occupation:
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    here's a conundrum for you...

    in my part time i'm a domainer but my day job is selling 4x4 related items via my own website.

    i realised that picking up lapsed domains that are 4x4 related that i could get a nice bit of free semi qualified traffic.

    one of the domains (it's a 4x4 response groups domain name) has lots of what look like yearly membership payments coming into a paypal account whose email is "treasurer at... my domain".

    I haven't tried logging into the paypal account so i don't know if the "treasurer" is getting and using the money ... i believe they are a local group who meet at least once a month so surely if there was a problem the members would stop the payments (this has been going on for probably a year or more)

    the domain concerned points at my site via a "xxx has closed, but while you're here have a look at:" type link (not quite like that but you get the picture!) and i'm showing in the whois so its no secret that it's to do with me and my company and i'm fairly well known / good rep in the 4x4 community, so i dont want to just "steal" the money

    so, what to do? the payments keep coming in, sometimes nothing for weeks, then 2-3 the same week, around £17 a throw ... one just arrived tonight which has prompted my post

    open to the floor gentlemen ...
     
  2. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    There is no conundrum at all, you don't steal people's money.
    You don't want to damage your reputation, so you should start a new membership club or at least advise the members that the site is under new ownership and that people should try to contact the previous owner if they wish to cancel.

    You should really attempt to contact the previous owner yourself, just to save any future headache.

    You should also contact PayPal too just to cover yourself.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. JimAMG

    JimAMG Newbie

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    indeed, i probably embelished the title for effect, i'm not going to take the money!

    as i say it would be too obvious and damaging to my reputation

    dunno about starting a new club, that might be seen as being a way for me to take the money... i can certainly not provide anything like the original club did

    the conumdrum is more what do i do to sort this out?

    contact paypal - its quite possible that this guy has forgotten that the my-domain address is on his paypal account and that he's ticking along processing peoples subs, giving them their club stuff at their monthly meetings etc!

    do i ask paypal to send the money back to everyone? its always possible that if they feel an account has become insecure and the real account owner cant be reached, they might lock the account, and then who gets all the money, paypal?

    should i email all the people who've paid over the time and ask them if they realise a payment (standing payment,every year?) has been made, and are they still in the club?

    just dont know
     
  4. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    I think somebody had a similar problem not too long ago.
    I don't have time to search for the thread, but my suggestion is to contact PayPal and also try to track down the previous owner.
     
  5. JimAMG

    JimAMG Newbie

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    yup, i think paypal should be a first task .. they'll probably ask why i took so long to do anything!
     
  6. ColonelSoldier

    ColonelSoldier Junior Member

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    I don't know the rules of .co.uk but can't you privatise your whois anyway if it's an issue with ruining your reputation in the community?
     
  7. hopsie2

    hopsie2 Registered Member Premium Member

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    if you intend to use it for business, I would recommend refunding the payers as soon as you are able to do so. else the reputation of negative feedback can ruin your real business
     
  8. proxygo

    proxygo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    as a fellow brit , if you have to ask what to do it means uve contemplated it
    we have enough scammers here thank you, doing the right thing isnt something
    you need to ask about, you should no.
     
  9. royserpa

    royserpa Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Run with people's money; be known as a thief.

    Give refunds; your credibility stays or maybe increase.

    Not sure what's the hard decision IMHO.
     
  10. JimAMG

    JimAMG Newbie

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    andrewloppol : as its a feeder domain for traffic the (my) company paid for the domain and is registrant and its only non-trading individuals who can have whois privacy

    hopsie2 : yes, quite true.

    i think i'll need to contact paypal anyway, as there have been many payments that are over the refundable time and would actually need a payment to them in order to refund. Techinically its not my money to be refunding to people.

    i have a feeling it's bsuiness as usual within the club itself (obviously not very web savvy) in terms of members etc, i know these groups usually meet every month or so and have communications between them ... i think the payments would've stopped if there was a problem there.

    thats what i was expecting but after the first couple, more kept coming and then i had a period of illness and wasnt able to deal with anything, but they are still coming

    have tried to contact the previous owner but only contact details on the site in the wayback machine are email address at the domain