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Tsunami Web site dispute
Woman who donated domain name reportedly shocked to see it on eBay for $50K.
January 3, 2005: 8:06 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A woman who registered the domain name says she was conned to donate it by someone who then tried to sell the site name for $50,000 on eBay, according to a published report.

The New York Post quoted Michelle Tirado, of Southbury, Conn., as saying she was shocked to see the domain for sale on eBay (Research) with a starting bid of $50,000. She said she had donated the domain name to Canadian college student Josh Kaplan with the understanding he would use it to raise relief funds.

Kaplan withdrew the eBay listing without any bids after being contacted by the Post, the paper reported. His listing on eBay said that he planned to donate any proceeds from a sale to help victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami that is now estimated to have killed more than 150,000.

"There's no potential scam involved," Kaplan said before yanking the item. "I'm auctioning it to raise money for relief." But he told the Post he never told Tirado of his plans to auction the domain name.

Tirado registered the domain name shortly after the disaster and she listed it on eBay herself, with a minimum bid of $99.99. But she withdrew the listing Dec. 27 without any bids. She told the Post she had a change of heart about profiting from the domain name as the death toll began to climb. She said she was contacted by Kaplan, who told her since he would be using the site to help victims, he would not be able to pay her for it.

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Another tsunami domain name,, also has been listed for sale on eBay since Dec. 31, but has attracted no bids even with a starting bid price of only $9.99. The seller does not make any claims of using proceeds to help victims.

While the tsunamitide site is not active, is active and includes links to the American and Canadian Red Cross as well as a link to the (Research) Web page that can be used to make donations to the Red Cross for tsunami relief.  Top of page

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