One of the oldest scams out there is the domain appraisal scam. Someone contacts you and says they are willing to offer some large sum of money for your domain name. They indicate they are ready to buy but first need you to appraise the domain name at a service that they recommend. Then, after you pay for the appraisal they disappear without a trace.
Since I know a lot of new Domain Investors read my blog I want to alert you to one of the latest scammers out there. I received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org inquiring about one of the domain names that I own. When I got back to him, he sent the typical scam letter which you can find below for reference:
What do you think about 10,000 USD for your domain name?
Have you had your domain names evaluated in the past? I mean domain
appraisals. Without valuation we cannot be sure in the sale price. It’s very
important for me in terms of reselling too. But we must engage a valuation
company with REAL manual service. So I will only accept valuations from
independent sources I and my partners trust.
To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about reputable appraisal
companies. Please check this blog with suggestions from other sellers and
Do you sell domain with a web site or just the name?
Domain without content is ok with me. Web site is not necessary.
If, for example, the valuation comes higher you can adjust your asking price
accordingly. It will be fair. I also hope you can give me 12% – 15%
After you send me the valuation via email (usually it takes 1-2 days to
obtain it) we’ll continue our negotiations.
What is your preferred payment method: Escrow.com, International wire
transfer, PayPal.com or something else?
Hope we can come to an agreement fast.
The sad thing about this is that many new Domainer Investors fall for this and end-up wasting time and money on a scammer that wants nothing more than to take your money and run. Over the years I have done my best to expose these scammers and ensure they can’t scam anyone else.
In this case I can expose two scammers, domain-hosting-shop.com and forum-windows-club.com. If you receive an email from anyone at either of these email address know that this is a scammer and do not respond.
Please help spread awareness about this scam by tweeting and sharing this post. The more people that share this post, the higher it will rank for domain-hosting-shop.com which means anyone researching the domain will immediately see that it is a scam. Of course it doesn’t stop there – our team at DomainTheft.org
is already on the case tracking down this company and getting their hosting and email account shut down.
You can also help by emailing email@example.com as well and letting them know that this person is using this domain name and hiding their identity in order to perpetuate this scam.
I love this industry, it has changed my life and nothing makes me more angry than thieves and scammers that prey on new Domainers. Help me put this scammer out of business and make sure to spread the word to they can’t scam anyone else!