Porn Star Falls Victim to Domain Name Scam

I was reading an interesting story today on PS Babylon.  Basically the girl who runs that website noticed that porn star Lexi Bardot was back through a message from what appeared to be the official website of the starlet.  Well it turns out the porn star wasn’t coming out of retirement, she had just fallen victim to one of the oldest Internet scams around. Lexi Bardot posted a message on the PS Babylon website and her message is ….

Lexi Bardot says on February 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm — I just wanted to set the record straight and let everyone know that someone illegally bought and is now using it as an affiliate site for other websites.  How did this happen? Well back in 2005, when I first started doing porn, I bought the domain name at I then proceeded to pay a web designer to design my website. He asked me to give him the passwords to my domain name so he could post the site. Little did I know, that he changed all the passwords and when I asked him to tell me what he had changed them to, he gave me a password that didn’t work. Hence, I was a victim to someone who knew he was taking advantage of me.  Why am I even writing this? I would like to let girls know this story. Keep your password to your websites safe and don’t let anyone have it. Lexi Bardot is not back in the industry. I don’t have anything against the porn world, but I’ve moved on. Thanks

Lexi Bardot

For more than a decade I have been helping people recover their domain names after being scammed out of them by webmasters and fly by night business partners.  And it’s not just a porn thing either, sure there are the three  Playboy playmates I helped, countless porn stars but I have helped an immigration attorney, a travel agent, a restaurant owner, a medical supply company, and once a lady who specialized in mainstream marketing and was making her first foray into cyberspace.  Oh yes and there was the guy who made custom racing boats who got scammed by a guy he hired to do some day trading for him.

How the scam works is pretty simple, you pay some guy to help you run or create your website.  They typically have the technical knowledge that you don’t, so for whatever reason people trust these people.  That’s mistake #1.   I once helped a lady recover her domain and then later get stuff together to file suit against the man who stole it in the first place, who had turned out been scamming her out of money for the previous two years.  He charged her $3,500 for “DNS Configuration“.  Keep in mind her website was hosted with some random hosting company on a virtual $9.99 a month account.  He also charged her just before that, $1900 for “establishing network protocol”.

So back to the scam.  So basically we trust these techie guys and we give them access to our domain name by either letting them register it for us or by giving them access to our accounts at places like GoDaddy and Network Solutions.  They in turn change the ownership information, and now they control your domain name.  Typically they write you a letter or call you and state that for X amount of money they will give it back to you.  This amount can be anything between $1 and $9,999.  I’ve personally seen it as low as $500 and as high as $9,000.  So why does it cap at $10,000?  Well because that is the amount it will cost the person to take the domain name to arbitration and if they are going to have to pay $10,000 mind as well just pay the arbitrators instead of you.  So for the scam to work they have to make it cost less money than they would have to pay in legal fees as well as make it appear easier, because well we all know what a hassle it is to ever deal with any official organization and all of that red tape.

Does anyone know where the name Club Jenna came from?  What most people don’t know is that when Jenna Jameson wanted to first establish her web presence someone else already owned and they wouldn’t give it back to her.  They wanted some crazy amount of money, something like $100,000.  I can’t remember the exact amount now because it’s been far to long so Jenna Jameson basically said FUCK YOU and instead established Club Jenna.

Back then things were different and there wasn’t an established cybersquatting arbitration system in place, like there is today and for that process we can thank Madonna.  Yes, the singer Madonna.  Someone bought up and she wouldn’t pay what they wanted.  If memory serves me correctly it wasn’t just a few thousand she wanted and she refused.  She stood her ground, filed suit and won.  It was the first time anyone had really ever won such a case and soon after ICANN established this arbitration system to recover domain names that were either stolen from you or your business or that some cybersquatter registered before you.

It’s not  a perfect system especially since it will cost you near $10,000 to get your domain name back but that’s a whole lot cheaper than the tens of thousands of dollars some hijackers would request in the past and even then, sometimes they just would not give it back, period.

So back to the scam, we give them control of our domain without realizing they would later take it and demand money for it to be returned.  We can either pay them the money they want and hope they return it like they said, because you know, these guys are all honest and stuff or we can go to ICANN domain name arbitration which will cost us $10,000.

It sucks, and it happens each and every day.  I can’t tell you how many people let some guy they hire or some fly by night company register their domain for them.  STOP DOING THAT PEOPLE.  Also CONTROL YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME.  Never give anyone access to your domain name account, EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. It’s your domain and there is NEVER a reason, no matter what anyone may say, that anyone but you would need control of it, PERIOD. Don’t be a dumb ass, protect your domain like it was a bar of gold because it could cost you that to get it back.