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E-gold Horrorstories

This domain is about e-gold.com. Their name, of course, is "e-gold". Our domain name contains the name "egold", not "e-gold".

We are going to play hardball. They won't like this domain. I am sure they would like to silence me. It's not the first time I play hardball. I assume that if this domain name were to contain the term "e-gold" some smartass lawyer would find reason to file a case against me for cybersquatting or brand name violation.

I'd get some email from them, claiming that m y use of the term "e-gold" could lead to my site to be mistaken form theirs.

I can't really imagine that somebody would be stupid enough to confuse this site with the site e-gold.com, but extra for lawyers and judges, I make it clear from the beginning. This site deals with e-gold.com but is not run by e-gold.com, nor has it been set up by e-gold.com. This is a site that intends to warn against e-gold.com.

I have set up this domain after my own e-gold.com account has been plundered within hours after the first time substantial funds had been paid into it. E-gold.com is very uncooperative in tracing the thieves. Actually, they are protecting them.

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I have decided to take this case into the public arena, as I have done previously with another online financial institution, PayPal (www.AboutPayPal.org).

Luckily, AboutPayPal.org ranks well with most search engines, and any query for "PayPal" will usually list my site among the first 10 returns.

Isn't it funny that I should first be a victim of PayPal, and then of e-gold? It's not that I would be a computer dummy. I'm definitely above-average computer-literate and Internet-literate. The Internet has been my sole source of income for about 10 years.

So how could I become a victim twice over? Actually, I have been a victim more than twice. Financial dealings over the Internet are not as established as they are with brick-and-mortar banks. This is new terrain, a kind of Wild West. Only that gunslingers now use a PC rather than a colt.

If one derives income from the Internet, as I do, one cannot avoid to deal with payment processors. Because normal credit card merchant accounts are marred by clear disadvantages (being vulnerable to chargeback artists, commissions of easily up to 15 percent), I have been drawn to alternative payment systems such as PayPal and e-gold.

Initially, I was even in favor of e-gold. Sales through e-gold are "final", so they say. And commissions are very low, so low that one wonders whether they can actually finance their operations from just these commissions.

My e-gold account has been plundered very professionally.

Mind you, I have never written down my e-gold "passphrase", neither on paper nor in a computer file. I have also not reacted on html mail that claims to have been from e-gold; actually, I have never even received such mail. I also run anti-spy and anti-keylogger software on my computers, and I have never accessed my e-gold account from any public machine.

Because e-gold.com obstructs my attempts to recover the money that was stolen from my account with them, and because they don't even answer my email, I have started to research whether others have had similar bad experiences with them. And yes, there are others. How many?

Well, I know of at least one case of an e-gold account holder who has lost much, much more than I have, and who has so far not been able to recover even a cent.

This domain now shall serve the purpose to collect data from other e-gold victims. Please let me know if your e-gold account has also been plundered, and we shall try to change the attitude of e-gold (and authorities that regulate them), so that in the future they will be willing to help clients whose money has been stolen from an account with them.

References:


1 Cybersquatting: Identity Theft in Disguise, 35 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 277 (2001)

2 Mathew, A.R, Cybersquatting, Dept. of Inf. Technol., Minist. of Higher Educ., Nizwa, Oman ; Al Hajj, A. ; Ambusaidi, M.

3 Matthew Edward Searing, What's in a Domain Name - A Critical Analysis of the National and International Impact on Domain Name Cybersquatting, 40 Washburn L.J. 110 (2000-2001)

4 Cybersquatting: Blackmail on the Information Superhighway, 6 B. U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 290 (2000)

5 John Mercer, Jacqueline Lipton, Beyond Cybersquatting: Taking Domain Name Disputes Past Trademark Policy, 40 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1361 (2005)

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