My exchanges with a domain scammer

Posted on April 22, 2007
Filed Under Scams |

Make money online with someuseless.infoRecently, I received an email from someone who expressed interest in buying one of my domains. Thanks to some searching I did, I realised that I wasn’t going to get rich selling my domain.

Here are my email exchanges with Mr Scammer.

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

Let’s see what happened when I sent him this reply:

Hello Mr Cohen

Thank you for your interest. I am using SEDO to handle the domain sale.
Please make an offer at:
http://www.sedo.com/search/details.php4?domain=felinephilosophy.net

Mr Scammer aka Mr Cohen got quite anxious at receiving a response and wants to close the deal ASAP in case I wised up in time:

Sedo is ok as an agent.

I need to know the lowest price you can accept.

What is your price range: $10,000 or $15,000 or even higher?

Please send it to me via email as soon as possible.

Now anyone, myself included, would become very excited at seeing numbers like “$10,000 and $15,000 or even higher” bandied about, my immediate thoughts would be - I’m rich!! Too bad that all this is only a dream; scam rather. Anyway, I string him along for abit with:

I do not deal directly with buyers. If you offer $15,000 at Sedo, you will
secure the domain.

Mr Scammer must’ve thought he’d reeled in a big one because he sent this response talking big business:

$15,000. Ok.

Do you sell the name only without web site? I’m interested in the name so web site is not so important.

Do you have an appraisal certificate for your domain name?

Domain name is an investment for me. In other words I’m going to sell your name later and make a profit. If I overpay I won’t be able to make a profit in the future. It’s very important for you and me to know the current market value of your domain.

Of course, we must be sure that you are engaging a reputable appraisal company. I heard many appraisal companies often made inaccurate appraisals. I will only accept appraisals from independent sources I trust. To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about reputable appraisal companies in a forum http://domaintalk.ourplace.com/Archive/297514.htm

Just check this posting.

If the appraisal comes higher you can adjust your asking price accordingly. I also hope you can give me 10% - 15% discount of the appraised value.

After I get an appraisal from you we’ll continue our negotiations.

How do you prefer to get paid: www.escrow.com, www.PayPal.com check or wire?

Hope we can come to an agreement fast.

Looking forward to your reply.

Make money online with someuseless.infoIf I had said the domain would cost $100,000 he would still have said “OK”. The link he gave leads to some fake forum page which has him and some domain appraisal “expert” posting some exchanges. Notice also, how he keeps on ignoring my repeated requests for the transaction to be made on SEDO.

I replied:

Before I proceed with this transaction, I have to take some precautionary measures to make sure you are genuine. You know how it is on the internet with so many scammers running about.

To prove that you are genuine in your offer, you need to do the following:

1. Find a cat. A real one - not some stuffed toy.
2. Draw some cat whiskers and a cat nose on your face.
3. Make some cat ears out of black paper or cardboard and stick them on top of your head.
4. Take a photo of yourself carrying the cat.
5. Send me that photo.

Only after I have received this will I know that I am dealing with a real person who is sincere to do business.

We will deal after that.

Regards

Sadly, I never did receive that photo.

UPDATE: A reader got scammed by this guy and has revealed how the scammer does it. He asks for a certificate of appraisal from securenamesale.com and this costs US$407. If you believe you can sell your domain for US$15,000, you’d be more than willing to fork out US$407 to get to US$15,000.

Actually this is a scaled down version of the Nigerian scams where the amounts are in tens of millions and you need to pay several hundred thousand dollars for taxes etc.
People, if something is too good to be true, it’s not true. Never forget that.

Related post: How to spot a domain scammer

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Comments

14 Responses to “My exchanges with a domain scammer”

  1. Shirley on April 24th, 2007 2:26 am

    I received the same email and googled TGN Technologies and found your site!! Thank you for the info!!

  2. ralph emerson on April 24th, 2007 3:09 pm

    It’s very important for you and me to know the current market value of your domain.

  3. Kul on April 24th, 2007 4:49 pm

    I’ve been interacting with this guy of late as well :) . Please accept a big THANK YOU for this post !

    btw, I had posted the entire email exchange with this guy but that seems to have gotten caught by the spam filter!

  4. Kul on April 24th, 2007 4:55 pm

    And today, he seems to have changed his name and company! Though is qualification and designation remains the same. :D

    I got an offer from him today for a few more domains that I own.

    His new name and company
    Robert Cohen, Ph. D.
    CEO
    TGT Systems

  5. emigre on April 24th, 2007 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the update Kul!

  6. Deborah on April 26th, 2007 2:39 am

    LMAO with your last reply to him!

    I’ve never heard of this scam before…never ceases to amaze me with new ideas they come up with.

    Good that he didn’t sucker you in :)

  7. George on April 26th, 2007 2:54 am

    Too bad he didn’t make the cat photo for you… that would have been priceless!

  8. emigre on April 26th, 2007 9:56 am

    I would have loved to have that photo…I would’ve even paid him a little something for it. :D

  9. Owais Qarni on April 27th, 2007 11:48 pm

    I got carbon copy of same guy interested in one of my domain 3 days back ! he even asked me domain appraisal but not from sedo or afternic but just from www securenamesale com but I thought it’s too good to be true so searched this guy on net and luckily got this message. You saved many ppl budy. Thanks!

  10. emigre on May 7th, 2007 9:39 am

    Unfortunately, there are still people who got scammed by this guy. A reader has posted in the comments of the other post that he lost a few hundred dollars to this guy.

  11. Domain name appraisal scam : Make Money Online with Some Useless Info on May 8th, 2007 10:33 am

    […] My own exchanges with the domain scammer ended when I asked for verification by way of a photo of himself with cat make-up carrying a cat. He had asked for a certificate of appraisal for my domain from securenamesale.com a scam domain appraisal site that no doubt belongs to him. […]

  12. Kul on May 13th, 2007 1:10 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 !

    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

  13. Smoova on May 16th, 2007 1:16 am

    The same ‘Mr Cohen’ contacted me for the same thing. We emailed about 3 or 4 times but something just didnt feel right about it so I never responded to his last email. Glad I didnt now after just finding your page! Nice work :)

  14. emigre on May 16th, 2007 9:52 am

    Thanks! Glad you dropped by in time!

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