Domain Spotlight:


I’m not a Chinese t-shirt hacker

I stopped to get gas on the way home from work the other day and my PayPal debit card was declined at the pump. At that point I didn’t think anything catastrophic was happening, sometimes there’s a fraud alert or maybe a problem with the card reader at the gas station. After paying with a different card I pulled out the phone to check my paypal account.

All my money was in the “on hold” category with a zero balance available. Now I’m in the WTF mode. I take the circular route of trying to use the paypal message center, but it keeps running me in circles.

I check my email and find what I think is either a fishing attack email made to look like it’s from paypal, or that maybe paypal itself just got hacked on a grand scale.

The email:

We received a court order on March 16, 2021, affecting your access to your
PayPal account due to possible infringement of intellectual properties of
Sneaker Match. Until further notice, your ability to send payments, receive
payments, withdraw funds, or access the funds in your PayPal account has
been limited.

(Which meant I couldn’t do anything)

A judgment order may follow and require us to take further actions on the
funds in your PayPal account. If you have any questions about this
infringement action, it is important that you contact the plaintiff’s
representative outlined below to respond to this issue

Court Order Details
Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Plaintiff: Sneaker Match
Court Case Number: Sneaker Match, LLC et al v John Does et al; Case No.

I have never heard of Sneaker Match and I have no idea how I’ve infringed on anything, more importantly, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this case, the plaintiff or any concern about anything.

At the bottom of the email it tells me to contact revision legal to resolve the issue. My first email to the law firm gets my a link to the pleadings., Which tells me that I must be one of the John Doe defendants, that I am a Chinese or Vietnamese citizen that is involved in the manufacture and sales of counterfeit trademarked merchandise and that I’ve also developed websites to sell said fake merchandise in the US.

As solid as a business model this might or might not be, I’ve never undertaken the endeavor. lol I can’t even build out the legitimate website ideas that I have let alone build a network of sites selling the fake merchandise that I’ve had produced.

I mean seriously, have they seen how unorganized I am? They thought I was a mastermind counterfeiter? All they had to do was look at my email inbox “oh, nope it’s not him, he’s got 248K unread messages, no way he’s organized enough to manufacture, promote and ship anything”

So after a few emails with the law firm they tell me that a domain I owned, but no longer, DopeSkill, was one of the brands used by the plaintiff. They served the restraining order against my account, backed up by a federal court, based on whois information that wasn’t applicable. Obviously I didn’t build out this website or use it to violate and brand after picking it up from Dropcatch (maybe Godaddy, I may have transferred it to namebright after it expired) . The registration date should have told them that. There was no UDRP that I remember, and it looks like I dropped the name in 2018 anyway.

Despite all this, since my whois email address was also associated with my paypal account, they were able to shut my account down.

It’s not even the primary email address for my account. If I had simply stuck with the first email address I don’t think they would have bothered me.

But it brings up a bunch of things to think about, foremost in my mind anyway, how in the hell was this allowed to happen? It’s basically a shotgun approach, a dragnet, that could have easily been avoided had they contacted me simply looked at the registration date of the domain.

Have a problem with the registration and think I’m violating the TM?

Fine file a fucking UDRP like your supposed to instead of adding my email address to some international IP litigation. WTF

Today around noon they finally reinstated my account, it was locked all weekend. It’s not the end of the world, but what a pain in the ass. Revisions legal was helpful in getting the issue resolved, but it took 2 emails to PayPal legal to get them to fix the issue.

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