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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of ROI

Domain Name Scams

I own several domain names so it is not unusual for me to get an email asking if I would be interested in selling. I typically respond that for the right price, I am interested. However, something about today’s unsolicited email struck me as a little off. Here is the message body:

Hello!

I’m interested in buying gothandglamour.com.

I’ve found it through Sedo.

Please respond with how much you are looking for it. Just specify this price in the subject line.

If you have other names for sale please email me your list with prices.

Regards,
Abram Weinstein, Ph.D.
Best Web Hosting Services

So I did a little research which turned up this blog post by domain name investor Morgan Linton. It was a very interesting read about how the domain appraisal scam works. In a nut shell, a prospective buyer of your domain name contacts you agrees to your price if XYZ domain appraisal company (which is owned by the scammer) agrees with the valuation of the domain. You pay for the appraisal and then never hear back from the prospect.

The comments were equally as informative and several readers had posted similar stories, with emails very similar to the one I received above.

Suffice to say, I replied to the email, stating that “bidding woudl start at $10,000 USD” and I am awaiting the return reply as to which “domain appraiser” they want me to use. I will keep you posted.

2 Comments

  • Aigars
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    One more scam, I think from the same person. I have list my domains on SEDO.

    From email: xxxxxxxxx@asp-net-hosting.org

    Hello!

    I’m interested in buying xxxxxxxxxx.com.

    I’ve found it through Sedo.

    Please respond with how much you are looking for it. Just specify this price in the subject line.

    If you have other names for sale please email me your list with prices.

    Regards,

    Abram Bernstein

    CEO

    ASP Hosting Net Services

    —————————————–

    I offer 7,000 usd. I have 42,000 usd budget for 12-15 domain names.

    How can I pay you (PayPal, Western Union, escrow.com etc.)? If this is your first time domain sale I may help you with the sale/transfer process.

    Are you a member of domain seller communities/forums? Probably, we know each other under some nicknames?

    I’m going to invest in hosting, adult and online shopping related names.

    Best regards,

    Abram Bernstein

    CEO

    —————————————–

    Ok. Since you are a novice in domain selling I can help you with the transfer process. Before we go further we need the following:

    Please send me an official appraisal (certificate of price).

    Please don’t worry, it will take only 2 minutes to order it. I prefer appraisal service that also verifies possible trademark infringements. It’s important for me to know that your domain has no problems with trademarks. It won’t be a problem for you since some good appraisers offer this option (trademark infringement verification) as a free bonus to the appraisal service.
    Without it we cannot be 100% sure in the final sale price. The appraisal will help determine the true value of your domain’s worth so you can maximize profits during the sale. On the other hand, it will minimize my risks too.

    To avoid mistakes and wasting money on useless automated services I asked in the forum about reliable manual valuation/TM verification services. Please read this:
    http://www.xxxxxxxxx.biz/Archive/72905816431.htm

    The process is very easy:
    1. Go to the appraisal site and order the valuation with the TM verification. After several hours you will get the results.
    2. Please resend these results via email and we’ll proceed with the deal.
    Hi There,

    Sounds great, we can process via escrow this domain name for $7000.00

  • Posted July 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting Aigars. The only way to stop this scam is to keep pushing the word out about it.

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  • By Domain Name Scams – Part 2 | roiBert on June 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    […] I had posted about an email I had received from a Mr. Abram Weinstein, Ph.D. who was interested in buying one […]