Well, it appears I’ve landed myself in the middle of an Internet fraud. The web hosting provider I was using, which vanished overnight, is supposedly one of the numerous web hosts set up by someone known as “Shang”… and also known as Josuee Shang, Joe Shang, Joe Sheikron, Josuee Ortiz, Joe Guadalupe and Joshua Shang Ortiz.
It gets weirder. His step-father is apparently named Daniel Milk, and is a VP at Compaq who managed to lend his son a bunch of Compaq machines to start his hobby web hosting business with.
Yes, his son. “Shang” is apparently a teenage kid. Reports of his precise age vary, but the mode is 19 years, with a range of 15 to 21.
The person “Shang” listed as the head of finance for his companies is a Ms Milk, which means she’s probably his mother… but her full name was on the domain records as Guadalupe Milk, so perhaps it’s just another alias.
Whoever “Shang” is, he lives in Porter, TX, just outside Houston, close enough to Compaq that at least the bit about his dad seems credible. His recent companies include Tacidhost.com, tacidhost.net, eryxma.com, and tacidblue.com.
The interesting thing is that while lots of people claim to have been fraudulently billed, I’ve checked my credit cards online and he hasn’t attempted to defraud me at all. The services were provided and worked fine right up until the implosion. And sure, I’m out a few months of really cheap hosting, but companies go bust all the time. That’s one of the reasons why the “bargain” 100 year domain registrations from Network Solutions are worth avoiding. (Even more worth avoiding than anything else involving Network Solutions, that is.)
So for a second time, I’m watching an online tempest of allegations and counter-allegations swirling around, with insufficient verified information to let me reach any kind of firm conclusion. However, as this entry will no doubt soon shoot to the top of Google, I will take the opportunity to say that anyone reading this should probably be wary of doing business with any web hosting company with a name starting with “tacid”…
Mean time, my web site is back, sorta, at a company which is based in… Porter, TX. Hmm.