How to spot a domain scammer

Posted on April 21, 2007
Filed Under Scams |

Make money online with someuseless.infoIf you have a domain to sell, then you are likely to be the target of scammers who express interest in buying your domain. In your excitement at receiving an enquiry, you may well let your guard down and end up losing instead of making money. I hope this will help more people to become more aware of domain name scams.

What scammers do
They use a template email that is tweaked to say they are interested in buying your domain and ask you like to quote them a price. The sender is usually a Ph.D qualified CEO of some software company. The company may even seem legit with their own complete website. Make money online with someuseless.infoEven if you manage to receive payment, remember that online payments can be charged back later - in many cases up to 90 days. That’s more than enough time for your domain to be completely transferred to the scammer - a process that you cannot reverse and for your payment to be reversed.

Samples of scam emails
Here are some samples of emails from scammers expressing interest in buying your domain name. Note how they are basically the same template, with tweaks here and there.

Hello,

What is your price for the domain mentioned in the subject line?
I’m very interested in this name.
Did you get offers from other people already?
I run a software company. We develop client-server systems and databases in MS SQL and Delphi. Buying and selling domain names is not my main business. Just another way to invest money and make additional income.

Looking forward to do business with you.

Best regards,
Robert Johansen Ph.D.
CEO
Opera Engineering

Another example:

Hello,

Our company develops software. Investing in domains is an additional way to generate income.
Please email me price for your domain name mentioned in the subject line. If it’s reasonable we’ll do business.
If you have other domain names for sale please send us the complete list with prices for consideration.
I’m a very busy person so it may take several hours before I respond :-)
Looking forward to do business with you.

Regards,
Mark Hansen
Vice President
Opera Software

And another:

Hello,

Please email a price you can accept for your domain name.
Our company develops software for multiple video systems. Domain names is not our business but a new way to earn on reselling. We are going to buy domains to resell them at higher prices. Our company has a large database of clients interested in good domains.
If you offer more domains for sale with good reselling potential please email us your list.
Looking forward to do business with you.

Regards,
Jacob Cohen, Ph. D.
CEO
TGN Technologies

How not to get scammed
If you’re fairly new at domain reselling like me, it’s best to use a third party. There are several established companies that handle domain auctions and resale. They include www.sedo.com, www.afternic.com, www.moniker.com, www.escrow.com. You will be charge a percentage fee or commission from the sale but it’s better than losing your domain and money.

Some helpful websites
If you want more information regarding domain resale, this is a very good site:

www.domainsellingtips.com/sell
Keep yourself in the loop about the latest scams on the internet:
www.scam.com
And as always, the best forum to go to for domain name discussion:
www.webhostingtalk.com

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Comments

17 Responses to “How to spot a domain scammer”

  1. Audrey on April 22nd, 2007 9:17 am

    I did receive an email from Jacob Cohen, which is one of the scammer you mentioned in your post. Thank you for the heads up. I am glad I do some research and found your post.

  2. My exchanges with a domain scammer : Some Useless Info - A Useful Make Money Online Resource on April 22nd, 2007 7:23 pm

    […] Related post: How to spot a domain scammer […]

  3. Lisa on April 23rd, 2007 4:20 am

    Thank you so much for your post!! I also received an email from Jacob Cohen TGN Technologies…the exact same one that was posted as a matter of fact. Thanks so much for letting new domain sellers like me know about this terrible scam.

  4. Gariel on April 23rd, 2007 6:25 am

    Man, thx! .. Good article.

  5. Anonymous on April 23rd, 2007 10:14 am

    How to spot a domain scammer…

    If you have a domain name to sell, you are likely to receive some email offers. How do you know if they are genuine?…

  6. bob on April 23rd, 2007 9:48 pm

    Thank you very much.
    Just received Jacob Cohen’s email and didn’t trust it. Your blog gave me the information I was looking for.

  7. emigre on April 24th, 2007 6:17 pm

    Audrey, Lisa, Gariel, Bob:

    You’re all most welcome. These scammers must be stopped.

  8. Nikolaos Karagiannis on May 7th, 2007 4:09 am

    I am a victom of the last email. 24 hours ago I ‘ve lost $407. He asked me to send my domains to appraisers (www.SecureNameSale.com) that he trust only.
    Stay away from -www.SecureNameSale.com- !!!
    Stay away from any site that ask money in order to include your domain for sale in a list.
    I trust -www.sedo.com-

  9. emigre on May 7th, 2007 9:18 am

    Nikolaos

    I’m so sorry you lost money to a scammer. I wish you had found this post earlier. Hope others will learn.

  10. Domain name appraisal scam : Make Money Online with Some Useless Info on May 8th, 2007 10:31 am

    […] Following my posts about domain name scams targeting those with domain names to sell, many readers said that they have received similar scam emails offering to buy their domains. Unfortunately someone found my post too late and got scammed of US$407. Read about how he fell victim to this domain name scam. […]

  11. Kul on May 13th, 2007 1:11 am

    latest mail from a scammer : posting it here for people to know the new name going around. I own a few hundred domains so I keep getting these mails ! Have posted this in the other threads on this topics as well …

    Hello,

    Please send the lowest acceptable price for your virtual property (domain name).

    Our company develops software for multiple video systems. Domain names is not our business but a new way to earn on reselling. We are going to buy domains to resell them at higher prices. Our company has a large database of clients interested in good domains.

    If you offer more domains for sale with good reselling potential please email us your list.

    Looking forward to do business with you.

    Regards,
    Jacob Connelly
    CEO
    FJS Solutions

  12. Rob on June 12th, 2007 2:12 am

    Hello,

    Your domain was advertised for sale.

    Just send an email with your price in Euro or other currency

    Our company is working on custom software and hardware projects for several large corporation. Domain names is not our business but a new way to earn on reselling. We are going to buy domains to resell them at higher prices. Our company has a large database of clients interested in good domains.

    If you offer more domains for sale with good reselling potential please email us your list.

    Looking forward to do business with you.

    Regards,
    Ian Whitmore
    BO Network Solutions

  13. emigre on June 13th, 2007 8:57 pm

    The names have changed but the tactics are the same. Always domain names are not their business.

  14. Bill on June 24th, 2007 5:04 am

    Thanks so much for your information!

    I got exactly the same e-mail that Rob got (from Ian Whitmore at BO Network Solutions).

    The funny thing is how long “Ian” kept e-mailing me. The e-mails went back and forth for several weeks before I looked up his e-mail site (bonbon.com) and BO Network Solutions and found your site.

    Thanks again!

    Billy

  15. emigre on June 24th, 2007 4:22 pm

    Bill

    You’re most welcome..glad you did some searching and found us.

  16. David Ayre on June 26th, 2007 12:27 pm

    Thought i’d do a search for “whitmore domain” and this came up. Thanks very much for the heads up… unfortunately, i did shell out a bit of money to use an appraisal service they recommended which will likely be useless (www.SecureNameSale.com). I’ve asked emetrix for a refund… no word yet. Sadness.

    My email goes like this

    “Your domain was listed for sale.

    Just send an email with your price in Euro or other currency

    Our company is working on custom software and hardware projects for several large corporation. Domain names is not our business but a new way to earn on reselling. We are going to buy domains to resell them at higher prices. Our company has a large database of clients interested in good domains.

    If you offer more domains for sale with good reselling potential please email us your list.

    Looking forward to do business with you.

    Regards,
    Samuel Whitmore
    BON Technologies”

  17. emigre on June 26th, 2007 7:15 pm

    Unfortunately the internet is such a vast place that it is still very easy to fall into traps like these.

    But at least you stopped in time.

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