InDigitalWorks.com Update: Domain Hijacker Arrested In International Website Fraud

74 replies
I have an important update regarding the theft and recovery of IndigitalWorks.com – the domain name and online business worth over $100.000, which was stolen from me in February 2012, has not yet been returned - but I have critical information to its recovery that anyone doing business online will want to know.

After my domain was stolen, I started a court case in the US. Through the court order, I have found out the thieves IP addresses. They were all from Middle East, mostly from Amman, Jordan, so I decided to travel there and report this matter directly to their police.

They took this case very seriously. Only 2 days after submitting IP addresses and all the evidence, which I collected over the past year, they arrested one of the thieves and he confessed to everything. He is now facing many criminal charges. His brother is currently a fugitive in Saudi Arabia.

This news was published in one of the popular Jordanian daily newspapers. Here's the Google translated version of the article.

It seems they're specialized in these kind of crimes, because IndigitalWorks.com is not the only domain which was stolen. They have also stolen clicknewz.com, owned by Lynn Terry and plrassassin.com from Owen Smith. Both of which I believe have recovered their domains through their registrars.

Lynn Terry didn't even know her domain was stolen because they left her DNS unchanged. I found out the connection between her domain and the thieves by doing an online investigation about them. Her WHOIS was showing an email of one of the thieves, and she was quite shocked after I contacted her. I believe she managed to recover her domain since her website is still active. I sent her an email asking about the status of her domain, but she hasn't replied as of yet.

In my case, the thieves have created a false sales agreement where they claimed that they bought my domain, so this made things more complicated and I wasn't able to recover it so far till this day. I'm currently waiting for the decision of the US court.

I believe there are more people who have had their domains stolen by the same group of thieves.
If you know of anyone, please refer them to this post. They can contact me for more information or even join in this case, if we found that the same group is involved.


Why do I refuse to give up this domain and business?

First, its important you understand just how much IndigitalWorks.com means to me. This was my first online business which I started from my home about 5 years ago. At the time when it was stolen, the website had 24,000 members and it was the most popular PLR membership on the internet.

Being from Croatia, it was very hard for me to build an online business from scratch targeting English speaking visitors. I didn't know English very well and I had to outsource everything, especially content creation. With the income from my daily job I had in Croatia, which is 10x lower than in the US, it was very expensive for me to outsource. But little by little, sacrificing sleep and working mostly at night, I managed to achieve some earnings.

Over a period of almost 4 years, I re-invested nearly every dime, keeping very little for myself. I did not live any type of abundant lifestyle, and even had several troubles with internet connection being unable to get online for days at a time.

I was living in a small house near the town called Glina in Croatia. You can see it on Google here. The town and the surrounding area had only 10,000 people. The whole area is very poor and was devastated since it was under occupation during the Croatian-Serbian war.

After starting a business I had one goal - to make it profitable enough so that I can quit my day job and move with my girlfriend to a better place. I achieved my goal about 30 months after starting it.

At the time when IndigitalWorks.com was stolen, I was living in a nice apartment in Croatia's main city Zagreb. I had 7 employees, mostly freelancers, along with my sister who does graphic design and is responsible for many minisite, ebook and squeeze page designs... There's a quality squeeze pages package which she created, and as my thank you for your support you can download it free here.

I also had an office where we went every day to work in a quiet environment.

Although IndigitalWorks.com wasn't the only site I had, it was the most profitable one. After my domain was stolen, I lost most of my income. I had to cancel the product creation as well as future projects with the freelancers. I had to close my office. My sister had to find another job.

Through all the heartache and discouragement of losing my business, I decided to start a legal battle.

While thinking about starting a court case, I didn't think finding an attorney who was interested to take it on would be a huge issue. After contacting many attorneys in the US, I came to realize I was mistaken.

Although I was looking specifically for the ones who specialized in cyber crime, after explaining the situation, they all refused to take the case. I was from Croatia, thieves are from the Middle East, domain registrar is in China... it was too much for them. I even paid some of them for consultations, only to find out they didn't know what to do or where to start.

Despite all of that, I didn't want to give up.

So I continued to contact various lawyers and finally I found an attorney, Mr. Domingo J. Rivera, who accepted the case.

But I had another major problem facing me...

My savings weren't enough to cover the expensive US court case, so I had to borrow the money. Although many people suggested that it wasn't a good idea, I didn't want to give up so easily and leave the business which I was building for 4 years just like that. So I borrowed the money and hired him to represent me.

Through the legal process which we started in the US, we were able to get a court order for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Onlinenic, PayPal, a few forums as well as some hosting companies to reveal the information of all accounts related to the thieves. There was also a computer forensics company who did a full investigation of my server, uncovering solid evidence of various illegal activities performed by the same team of scammers... hacking, spamming and attacking other servers are just a few of them.

As I already said at the beginning, after finding out thieves IP addresses through the US court, I decided to travel to Jordan and report this matter directly to their police.

Knowing how hard it was to find an attorney in the US, I didn't even try to find an attorney in Jordan. I just collected all the evidence and took a flight there. Upon arriving at my hotel, I decided to contact a few attorneys.. who knows, maybe I'll have some luck.

I did have.

Although it was very late in the evening, one of the lawyers, Mr. Ziad Maraqa, answered my email right away. He offered a free consultation first thing in the morning, so I accepted. He was educated in the UK and was working with some international organizations like Creative Commons for the Middle East, so it wasn't hard to explain everything. He knew what to do and how to proceed with the case.

The next day we went to the police which lead to the thieves arrest.

Based on Jordanian cyber law, they did 8 out of 10 cyber crime acts and 3 serious "offline" charges consisting of fraud, stealing, and creating false agreements. By Jordanian law, each of these charges is up to 15 years in jail, and not less than 3.

Although the one thief confessed to everything, including the information that he's the owner of plrstore@yahoo.com - an email which is the current owner of IndigitalWorks.com - they still didn't want to return my domain. But this doesn't matter because after we submit all the documents from the Jordanian court to the US court, we believe the US court will make a default decision and return the domain.

Returning the domain before the court could be a mitigating circumstance for them, but for unknown reasons they don't want to do this. The domain has been inactive for the last 13 months, so a few more months won't make a difference.

Since the Jordanian court doesn't have much IT knowledge (their cyber crime law only exists from 2010 and this was their first cyber case), I would probably be nowhere without the help of my Jordanian lawyer and friend Ziad Maraqa, who, besides being a great lawyer, also has a lot of IT knowledge.

Because of its popularity, a lot of people are still searching for IndigitalWorks.com. Although the rankings of the domain are completely ruined and the current value is questionable, it has a sentimental value to me since it was my first internet business.

Currently the IndigitalWorks.com domain is still on hold status until the ownership decision is reached from the US court. In the meantime, I continue to run a PLR membership on IDplr.com domain.


In closing, I would also like to say thanks to the following IndigitalWorks.com and/or WF members who helped me either with support, information or some other way: Charles Q., Nicole D., Greg D., Felix A., Rob, Colin T., Jim D., Peter J.v.R., Andreea P. and her team., Suzana G., Timothy H. and others.

Sorry for the long post and thanks again for all your support!

--------------------
Since I received several requests to publish the story on other websites, I would like to mention that you're free to publish, rewrite or copy-paste everything I mentioned above.

I would be more than happy to find anyone else who has had their domain stolen by the same thieves.
#arrrested #domain #domain hijacker #domain hijacking #domain theft #fraud #hijacker #idplr #indigitalworkscom #international #update #website
  • Profile picture of the author KuhNoodle
    Wow, I skimmed through this for the most part man, but good job in taking it seriously and following up with everything. I'm subscribing to this thread and your other one. Best of luck to you. In the end it will all work out, and I'm sure it will work in your favor.
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  • Profile picture of the author mekdroid
    Hi Goran!

    Just out of curiosity, do you know how the crooks stole your domain?
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    Temporary occupation of some valuable piece of technical real-estate, followed by a negotiated retreat with full coffers

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    • Profile picture of the author dibbo
      Yay! Fantastic news! That's what I call perseverance - well done
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  • Profile picture of the author Goran Zinic
    Through the Trojan virus. It was setup to take screenshots of the system, log any typed keystrokes, and monitor clipboard for copy/paste information. That's how they found out logins from all my accounts like registrar, email, server...
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  • Profile picture of the author Goran Zinic
    Regarding the virus, it is not discoverable by many antiviruses.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    That's great news Goran.

    I remember reading your original post. You followed your gut and instincts to keep going and find the crooks that stole your income. Your persistence is really impressive. Glad you tracked down the thieves and you're finally getting justice.

    Thanks for sharing this update and valuable information with everyone here. Seems like cyber crime is getting more sophisticated and no one is immune.
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  • Profile picture of the author felixalbutra
    Hi Goran,

    I never thought that you struggled like this just to recover the IDW domain name. I do hope that your domain name will be returned to your account and used it. Though IDPLR already got it's good Google rankings and traffic, I guess InDigitalWorks will be having a good time recovering the loss for the pass 13 months.

    By the way, thanks for mentioning my name above. You are a great man with humble beginning. I admire you to your Internet Marketing achievements. Thanks for sharing this to us.

    - Felix
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Wow, what a story. I hope it's all resolved in your favor.
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  • Profile picture of the author sirtiman
    Yes, Goran. I love IndigitalWorks.com. I will always support you.
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  • Profile picture of the author GreginDFW
    Goran,

    Congratulations! I am so happy to hear the recent developments in your story. Your tools have been a huge help to me, and I can say that you are are one of the good guys in the IM business who is the "real deal." I know that you will persevere through these struggles and come out stronger. And yes, there is a part of me that is happy that one of the thieves is now facing jail time.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Goran,

      Your determination is admirable. Thanks for sharing your story.
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  • Profile picture of the author SergioFelix
    Dude, congratulations on not giving up on this and hope you get your domain back even if it's "ruined" in the search engines.

    I'm pretty sure you could probably file a manual revision on this or at least get Matt Cutts to see this when it's solved and see if there's anything Google can do to help.

    I think it would definitely be good press for any parties involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author gbsint
    Glad to hear that you have gotten this far. I am a subscriber and was before your domain was hijacked. I hope this gets resolved quickly here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sue McDonald
    Wow what a story. Glad you were able to get someone responsible for the theft arrested. I hope you get your domain back really quickly. Best of luck to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author rdilipk1
      Hi Goran,
      Amazing and Inspiring Story.. It is very less that we see somebody pursuing a case with such intensity.. when you know that the criminals are from various countries..
      Your persistence with the case shows how important it is for you..
      Just for your sheer attitude, I believe that it would be great doing business with you.. and I decided that I will signup for IDPLR..
      All the best..Justice will prevail and you will get your domain back..
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  • Profile picture of the author teavee
    I appreciate that you didn't stop giving your customers excellent service even though you were going through a lot stress!
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    • Profile picture of the author neoss
      Goran,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us and hat's off to your determination in getting to the bottom of this.

      I am pretty sure you will continue have a very successful business, no matter what.

      Best Wishes.
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    • Profile picture of the author healy009
      Fair play for persevering Goran
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  • Profile picture of the author TheFreeman
    Hi Goran
    Man what an inspiration you are. I read the story when it began, and I am very happy to see it coming close to an end. Wonderful.

    Have a great day.
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  • One for the GOOD GUYS!

    Talk about being tenacious!

    God Bless and keep going!
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  • Profile picture of the author mohammedkaram
    Nice post, God Bless Your work.
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  • Profile picture of the author davezan
    I've always thought that persistence is really one's best ally when it comes to recovering a
    hijacked domain name. Given your circumstances, OP, yours is one of the most recent and
    best examples of that.

    With your permission, I'd love to share your story. To think I was in the midst of writing a
    follow-up article to my previous domain-hijacking one until I took a break, checked here to
    see what's new, and read your update!
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    David

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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      An impressive story of determination, Goran. You deserve to have it resolved in your favor, and I certainly hope you do. Good luck!

      John.
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    • Profile picture of the author Goran Zinic
      Originally Posted by davezan View Post

      I've always thought that persistence is really one's best ally when it comes to recovering a hijacked domain name. Given your circumstances, OP, yours is one of the most recent and best examples of that.

      With your permission, I'd love to share your story. To think I was in the midst of writing a follow-up article to my previous domain-hijacking one until I took a break, checked here to see what's new, and read your update!
      David, of course you have my permission.

      Like I said, there are 2 other domains stolen by the same thieves. The more people see this post, chances are greater that we'll find more victims.
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  • Profile picture of the author nysoh
    Hi Goran,

    Good on you for keeping the ball rolling and the struggle you did to have your domain back.

    I do hope and pray for you to get your domain back.
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  • Profile picture of the author rbivans
    Goran,
    As a Lifetime supporting member, I am pleased that you have made such great progress. Congratulations!
    I look forward to the return of InDigitalWorks.com to your control and to the full punishment of the thieves.
    I'm glad you have continued to provide quality PLR products during this time. It's helped my business many times. Thanks for "being there".
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  • Profile picture of the author NBAY
    Above and beyond what most people would do but it looks like your efforts were not in vain. Good luck and thanks for sharing. Hopefully your story will help save someone else from having to go through this by prompting them to update their virus software and take extra security measures. This happens all the time however most of the time the bad guys get away with it.

    Sincerely, Team NBAY.COM
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    What registrar did you have the domain at and what did they tell you when you reported it as stolen?
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    hoping you get your domain back soon.

    I would like to ask, why didn't you try to raise this issue up to ICANN, you have prove that these domains are owned by you, and it was n't transferred upon sale / purchase.

    You would probably also need to hire a reputual company in computer forensics, they can provide you with sufficient evidence of how these domain been stolen.

    These would help you a lot in your case, and all luck with your case
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    • Profile picture of the author Milton
      Fact is stranger than fiction. Sounds like a plot for a novel.
      Glad you are getting this sorted out Gorin and trust for the outcome
      to be in your favour.
      Milton
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    • Profile picture of the author Goran Zinic
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      What registrar did you have the domain at and what did they tell you when you reported it as stolen?
      Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

      hoping you get your domain back soon.

      I would like to ask, why didn't you try to raise this issue up to ICANN, you have prove that these domains are owned by you, and it was n't transferred upon sale / purchase.

      You would probably also need to hire a reputual company in computer forensics, they can provide you with sufficient evidence of how these domain been stolen.

      These would help you a lot in your case, and all luck with your case
      Registrar was onlinenic.com. They said that domain has been transferred from my account and there's nothing they can do. They put domain onHold status (inactive) after a letter from my attorney.

      ICANN replied to me that they have nothing to do with domain disputes and that I should contact my registrar.
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      • Profile picture of the author drjoereviews
        Way to go Goram! I am a lifetime supporter. I wish you the very best.
        God bless your efforts!
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        • Profile picture of the author vivi62
          great post hope everything will turn out fine for you.I was a member of your website so I am very pleased that you have received some justice .perhaps you could get a screen writer to turn it into a script and make a film about it.
          regards
          vivi62
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          • Profile picture of the author research
            Originally Posted by vivi62 View Post

            great post hope everything will turn out fine for you.I was a member of your website so I am very pleased that you have received some justice .perhaps you could get a screen writer to turn it into a script and make a film about it.
            regards
            vivi62
            Wow . . . I was thinking more on the lines of an International Best Seller, but I'm sure a movie would also be great.

            Just needs some exotic fast cars, a diamond heist, a shooting and a Miami car chase, and a corrupt Police Chief.

            Goran . . . I wish you well and you are going to make it with your business.

            Best wishes . . .
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  • Profile picture of the author dhiyafaris
    wow.. you put some good effort..
    good luck goran!
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshster
    Great post Goran,

    I read some of the first post and had no idea about any of this.
    I did get a years membership to your new site IDPlr, hence seeing this update...

    Great work on your part and best of luck in your case.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeena
    Congratulations in not giving up the fight. I am so happy that justice was served in the end. 15 years for cybercrime is a lot. I love IDPLR!!! You have the best quality in PLR that I have come across. Regards, Zeena
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  • Profile picture of the author 56villages
    Wow! I'm deeply touched by your unwavering determination. Your story is a shining example for many. When your heart is really in it, you will find a way. Thank you for taking the time to share the process you have been going through with us. You will get everything that you lost back and some more. Keep pressing on! BIG things are on the way for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author douglasi
      Wow! What a story. As a lifetime member before the Hijack, I'm really impressed how you handled the situation and transition to idplr despite all these headaches. Great work Goran and may you continue to grow in strength.
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    Hey Goran

    I get to know you when you offered the ecover software in IDPLR.

    Really great to see that your efforts start to show results in your favor. But it is/was a tough ride.

    Who would be accountable for an indemnification in this case (if any) because after all you lost over 100k in annual sales due to this (what you also can proof)?

    Wishing you all the luck to get this back on track.

    G.
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    • Profile picture of the author Goran Zinic
      Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

      Hey Goran

      I get to know you when you offered the ecover software in IDPLR.

      Really great to see that your efforts start to show results in your favor. But it is/was a tough ride.

      Who would be accountable for an indemnification in this case (if any) because after all you lost over 100k in annual sales due to this (what you also can proof)?

      Wishing you all the luck to get this back on track.

      G.
      I'm hoping they will be... We will ask for the damage compensation, but I don't mind if I don't get any. I will be satisfied if I get a domain back.

      Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny
    Hope that you can get back the domain soon.

    >>It seems they're specialized in these kind of crimes, because IndigitalWorks.com is not the only domain which was stolen. They have also stolen clicknewz.com, owned by Lynn Terry and plrassassin.com from Owen Smith. Both of which I believe have recovered their domains through their registrars.

    Why they are able to recover their domains via registrars, but yours cannot?
    Does it do with the registrars we used?

    Sound scary ...
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    • Profile picture of the author Goran Zinic
      Originally Posted by Johnny View Post

      Hope that you can get back the domain soon.

      >>It seems they're specialized in these kind of crimes, because IndigitalWorks.com is not the only domain which was stolen. They have also stolen clicknewz.com, owned by Lynn Terry and plrassassin.com from Owen Smith. Both of which I believe have recovered their domains through their registrars.

      Why they are able to recover their domains via registrars, but yours cannot?
      Does it do with the registrars we used?

      Sound scary ...
      Yes, a lot depends on the registrar. Based on ICANN, the registrar has the power to decide in case of domain disputes. But if registrar doesn't care for its clients, then you're on your own...
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  • Wow , what an amazing heart felt accounting of what these thieves done to you. This story is one that everyone can relate to. Everbody, in one way or another has been wrong in their pass, and it's good to see the underdog come on top. All the best to you, Goran. I hope these thieves get what's coming them, to the fullest extent of the law.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketwar
    Goran ! You are a great achiever man..I am pretty sure that you will come out of this successfully pretty soon and get back your business very soon... perseverance pays...more so for good people like you...so wishing you all the best...
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  • Profile picture of the author Claire Koch
    Wow I think I have contributed to the success of your current business I have suggested your business through the how to make $20.00 a day video you have on there on the warrior forum among other places, never dreaming I would read this.

    IMHO you should focus on your new business. People start over all the time I have as well. Of course we all sympathize. I never heard of your stolen business till now. I don't understand that. Or maybe i just don't remember I'm in my 50's now.

    On another note I commend you I have a friend here in the states who migrated from Croatia. I taught her english for a few years. Amazing how you taught yourself english and built that business. Don't fret anymore just be satisfied in your amazing accomplishment. I am sorry your sister had to find work i know how hard it is over there to do that.

    I hope she is helping you again that is my hope. That would be happiness.

    btw your site is very nice and professional looking.
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    • Profile picture of the author Goran Zinic
      Originally Posted by Claire Koch View Post

      Wow I think I have contributed to the success of your current business I have suggested your business through the how to make $20.00 a day video you have on there on the warrior forum among other places, never dreaming I would read this.

      IMHO you should focus on your new business. People start over all the time I have as well. Of course we all sympathize. I never heard of your stolen business till now. I don't understand that. Or maybe i just don't remember I'm in my 50's now.

      On another note I commend you I have a friend here in the states who migrated from Croatia. I taught her english for a few years. Amazing how you taught yourself english and built that business. Don't fret anymore just be satisfied in your amazing accomplishment. I am sorry your sister had to find work i know how hard it is over there to do that.

      I hope she is helping you again that is my hope. That would be happiness.

      btw your site is very nice and professional looking.
      Hi Claire,

      Yes, I saw the post where you suggested my videos... thank your that, as well as your kind words and support!

      Goran
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  • Profile picture of the author seohallmark
    YEAH! I heard this bad news on that time by E mail, you made temporary site and announced all members.... Now you recovered the site after a lot of struggle. This would be a good news for thousands of subscribers like me.
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  • Profile picture of the author rsbedi
    Congrats! A rare recovery!! All this happened because of your dogged pursuit. Surely, your domain name is the worth that bother and suffering. You have created a history, lesson for all the domainers and warriors. God will bless you with increasing rewards.
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  • Profile picture of the author slim182
    Congratulations and thank you for sharing this!, hope you get to the end of it!
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    • Profile picture of the author keithwin
      Wow! What a story. Good on you for not giving up. I've just started my Monday morning with a list of attempted attacks on 6 of my websites. Not as serious as yours, but still time consuming and worrying. I hope everything works out well for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author jemacb
      Goran.....WOW! This could be made into a movie (why not sell the rights to the story to Hollywood? ).

      I remember reading your original post (even though I recently joined WF) and said to myself "self... check to make sure that all your domains are locked". Needless to say I did. But now knowing how they got at your domain credentials is even more astonishing. Technology is so amazing is it not?

      Your story serves as an inspiration to all I am sure. Your determination to get back your domain (and perseverance) only proves to me that you would succeed in this and any other industry once you have a DESIRE!

      Thanks so much for your update, obvious humbleness, hulility, and compassion for your fellow IMs. May you and your dependents prosper forever!

      Jerome
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    • Profile picture of the author Iza Kidist
      Hi Goran,
      Congratulations on your perseverance and thanks for the update on your progress. I am gad you were able to track down and stop these criminals. I hope you regain ownership of your domain name. Keep up the great work!
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  • Profile picture of the author linktomyworld
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your determination and persistence is to be admired. Good luck with regaining your domain, I'm sure it will be hard to rest until you get it back.
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    • Profile picture of the author amanita
      Hi Goran,

      I was a customer of yours a while ago (more than a year I think :rolleyes and always appreciated the service you provided.
      It is very sad that the Internet is being polluted by ******** and that business guys have to suffer such loss.

      I guess we all have to do our due diligence when we purchase anything, incl. a domain and have added protection on them. Some registars certainly do a better jobs than others and I am sorry you had to learn this at your own expense.

      Thanks for sharing this post with us. I will also send the threads to anyone I know who is in business.

      Kindest regards,
      M.
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  • Profile picture of the author Owen Smith
    Goran,

    It is brilliant to see that these thieves are behind bars. Thank you for the update.

    It was a VERY stressful time 13 months ago when I found out the domain had been taken!

    Regards
    Owen
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    All the Hottest eBooks, Graphics, Software, Videos, Articles, and Templates you want with PLR and MRR. Join PLR Assassin Today!

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  • Profile picture of the author Mohsin Rasool
    Hi Goran,

    Sorry to listen about your stolen domain. I am proud of your effort man. What a Brave story of our times.

    Good luck with your current and future projects and I hope you soon get your domain back.

    Best Regards,
    Mohsin
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  • I'm glad your not giving up, great job and good luck!
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    soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author dkla27
    All have to say is : Thank you!

    Anyone of us could have been their next victim. Thanks to you there's one less crook to worry about!

    Also thanks for setting an example for the rest of them who think they are untouchable...
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  • Profile picture of the author Laxmi1968
    Goran, thank you for sharing this great story. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. Also, your writing style is excellent, have you considered writing a book about it...?
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  • Profile picture of the author shawkyard
    Originally Posted by Goran Zinic View Post

    I have an important update regarding the theft and recovery of IndigitalWorks.com – the domain name and online business worth over $100.000, which was stolen from me in February 2012, has not yet been returned - but I have critical information to its recovery that anyone doing business online will want to know (if you don't know the story behind IndigitalWorks.com domain, you can read it here on the WF post I made shortly after the domain was stolen).

    After my domain was stolen, I started a court case in the US. Through the court order, I have found out the thieves IP addresses. They were all from Middle East, mostly from Amman, Jordan, so I decided to travel there and report this matter directly to their police.

    They took this case very seriously. Only 2 days after submitting IP addresses and all the evidence, which I collected over the past year, they arrested one of the thieves and he confessed to everything. He is now facing many criminal charges. His brother is currently a fugitive in Saudi Arabia.

    This news was published in one of the popular Jordanian daily newspapers. Here's the Google translated version of the article.

    It seems they're specialized in these kind of crimes, because IndigitalWorks.com is not the only domain which was stolen. They have also stolen clicknewz.com, owned by Lynn Terry and plrassassin.com from Owen Smith. Both of which I believe have recovered their domains through their registrars.

    Lynn Terry didn't even know her domain was stolen because they left her DNS unchanged. I found out the connection between her domain and the thieves by doing an online investigation about them. Her WHOIS was showing an email of one of the thieves, and she was quite shocked after I contacted her. I believe she managed to recover her domain since her website is still active. I sent her an email asking about the status of her domain, but she hasn't replied as of yet.

    In my case, the thieves have created a false sales agreement where they claimed that they bought my domain, so this made things more complicated and I wasn't able to recover it so far till this day. I'm currently waiting for the decision of the US court.

    I believe there are more people who have had their domains stolen by the same group of thieves.
    If you know of anyone, please refer them to this post. They can contact me for more information or even join in this case, if we found that the same group is involved.


    Why do I refuse to give up this domain and business?

    First, its important you understand just how much IndigitalWorks.com means to me. This was my first online business which I started from my home about 5 years ago. At the time when it was stolen, the website had 24,000 members and it was the most popular PLR membership on the internet.

    Being from Croatia, it was very hard for me to build an online business from scratch targeting English speaking visitors. I didn't know English very well and I had to outsource everything, especially content creation. With the income from my daily job I had in Croatia, which is 10x lower than in the US, it was very expensive for me to outsource. But little by little, sacrificing sleep and working mostly at night, I managed to achieve some earnings.

    Over a period of almost 4 years, I re-invested nearly every dime, keeping very little for myself. I did not live any type of abundant lifestyle, and even had several troubles with internet connection being unable to get online for days at a time.

    I was living in a small house near the town called Glina in Croatia. You can see it on Google here. The town and the surrounding area had only 10,000 people. The whole area is very poor and was devastated since it was under occupation during the Croatian-Serbian war.

    After starting a business I had one goal - to make it profitable enough so that I can quit my day job and move with my girlfriend to a better place. I achieved my goal about 30 months after starting it.

    At the time when IndigitalWorks.com was stolen, I was living in a nice apartment in Croatia's main city Zagreb. I had 7 employees, mostly freelancers, along with my sister who does graphic design and is responsible for many minisite, ebook and squeeze page designs... There's a quality squeeze pages package which she created, and as my thank you for your support you can download it free here.

    I also had an office where we went every day to work in a quiet environment.

    Although IndigitalWorks.com wasn't the only site I had, it was the most profitable one. After my domain was stolen, I lost most of my income. I had to cancel the product creation as well as future projects with the freelancers. I had to close my office. My sister had to find another job.

    Through all the heartache and discouragement of losing my business, I decided to start a legal battle.

    While thinking about starting a court case, I didn't think finding an attorney who was interested to take it on would be a huge issue. After contacting many attorneys in the US, I came to realize I was mistaken.

    Although I was looking specifically for the ones who specialized in cyber crime, after explaining the situation, they all refused to take the case. I was from Croatia, thieves are from the Middle East, domain registrar is in China... it was too much for them. I even paid some of them for consultations, only to find out they didn't know what to do or where to start.

    Despite all of that, I didn't want to give up.

    So I continued to contact various lawyers and finally I found an attorney, Mr. Domingo J. Rivera, who accepted the case.

    But I had another major problem facing me...

    My savings weren't enough to cover the expensive US court case, so I had to borrow the money. Although many people suggested that it wasn't a good idea, I didn't want to give up so easily and leave the business which I was building for 4 years just like that. So I borrowed the money and hired him to represent me.

    Through the legal process which we started in the US, we were able to get a court order for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Onlinenic, PayPal, a few forums as well as some hosting companies to reveal the information of all accounts related to the thieves. There was also a computer forensics company who did a full investigation of my server, uncovering solid evidence of various illegal activities performed by the same team of scammers... hacking, spamming and attacking other servers are just a few of them.

    As I already said at the beginning, after finding out thieves IP addresses through the US court, I decided to travel to Jordan and report this matter directly to their police.

    Knowing how hard it was to find an attorney in the US, I didn't even try to find an attorney in Jordan. I just collected all the evidence and took a flight there. Upon arriving at my hotel, I decided to contact a few attorneys.. who knows, maybe I'll have some luck.

    I did have.

    Although it was very late in the evening, one of the lawyers, Mr. Ziad Maraqa, answered my email right away. He offered a free consultation first thing in the morning, so I accepted. He was educated in the UK and was working with some international organizations like Creative Commons for the Middle East, so it wasn't hard to explain everything. He knew what to do and how to proceed with the case.

    The next day we went to the police which lead to the thieves arrest.

    Based on Jordanian cyber law, they did 8 out of 10 cyber crime acts and 3 serious "offline" charges consisting of fraud, stealing, and creating false agreements. By Jordanian law, each of these charges is up to 15 years in jail, and not less than 3.

    Although the one thief confessed to everything, including the information that he's the owner of plrstore@yahoo.com - an email which is the current owner of IndigitalWorks.com - they still didn't want to return my domain. But this doesn't matter because after we submit all the documents from the Jordanian court to the US court, we believe the US court will make a default decision and return the domain.

    Returning the domain before the court could be a mitigating circumstance for them, but for unknown reasons they don't want to do this. The domain has been inactive for the last 13 months, so a few more months won't make a difference.

    Since the Jordanian court doesn't have much IT knowledge (their cyber crime law only exists from 2010 and this was their first cyber case), I would probably be nowhere without the help of my Jordanian lawyer and friend Ziad Maraqa, who, besides being a great lawyer, also has a lot of IT knowledge.

    Because of its popularity, a lot of people are still searching for IndigitalWorks.com. Although the rankings of the domain are completely ruined and the current value is questionable, it has a sentimental value to me since it was my first internet business.

    Currently the IndigitalWorks.com domain is still on hold status until the ownership decision is reached from the US court. In the meantime, I continue to run a PLR membership on IDplr.com domain.


    In closing, I would also like to say thanks to the following IndigitalWorks.com and/or WF members who helped me either with support, information or some other way: Charles Q., Nicole D., Greg D., Felix A., Rob, Colin T., Jim D., Peter J.v.R., Andreea P. and her team., Suzana G., Timothy H. and others.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks again for all your support!

    --------------------
    Since I received several requests to publish the story on other websites, I would like to mention that you're free to publish, rewrite or copy-paste everything I mentioned above.

    I would be more than happy to find anyone else who has had their domain stolen by the same thieves.
    I really liked your site (bought the lifetime membership). I hope you get it back so I can gain access again. The outfit that currently is running the site did not honor my membership and I see why now...good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cameron Fulton
    This is fantastic news. Congratulations mate.

    That is some serious motivation right there, Good on you for sticking with it!!

    I hope the website comes back better then ever! Good luck with your future ventures and website!
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  • Profile picture of the author CheapTrafficDude
    Thank you for all your hard work. I say thank you because not many will go through the hassle you're going through, I'd do the same thing but not many would because of fear of repraisals (or however it's spelled). You're a great inspiration to any marketers in a sense that, you're teaching to, not take anyone crap and fight for what is rightfully yours.

    I really hope you get it back, I still remember the day when it was high jacked, I was really mad, IndigitalWorks is a great website and I hope the thieves get what they deserve.

    You're an inspiration to everyone in the IM world.

    All the best
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Jett
    What a long hard road you have been on just to recover what is yours. Glad you have got things back on track for you and your workers.

    Thank you for sharing this story. It is a nightmare I hope to never have.
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  • Profile picture of the author PROBIZ7777
    Hi Goran: A great and unbelievable story! You are the JOB of the 21st Century. When Job's wife told him to die, he answered: "You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?" Even in all this suffering Job said nothing against God. (Good News Bible) We should also thank your attorneys Mr. Domingo J. Rivera (USA) and Mr. Ziad Maraqa (Jordan) for their help and assistance. May God bless you richly!
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    The registrar is waiting for a court order to give the domain back to you. Tell your lawyer to get on the ball with that. It seems like the easiest path will be through the court local to the thief since he has been arrested.
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    • Way to go Goran! Great story...

      I'm so glad for you. You've proven that not quitting brings rewards!
      Looking forward to hearing an announcement stating you have your original domain back under your control where it belongs.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven123
        Hi Goran,

        Congratulations on tracking down the culprits. I hope you'll get your domain back quickly and see justice done.

        Good luck,
        Steve
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  • Well done for keeping at it.
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    That's excellent news. It's great to see the good guys win one
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    Free Special Report on Mindset - Level Up with Positive Thinking
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  • Profile picture of the author Kian88
    Hey Goran, Thanks for sharing your story...it just reminds us to be vigilant against potential threats that could just wipe out all the efforts, sweat and long nights put into building up the business. Your persistence and perseverance has paid off....Hope things will continue to look up for you...
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  • Profile picture of the author bmlawr
    Goran, have to congratulate you for your persistance. Following through with what you have, most certainly took you through much stress and unwanted expense to say the least. You should start a new site concentrating on the recovering of stolen domains. With the knowledge that you gained going through this you should do very well with it.

    All The Best

    Brian Lawrence
    bmlawr
    bmlawr@inbox.com
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