My Experience With a Domain Sale Scam

I recently had someone email me the following:

Hello!
Our client is interested in buying optimumppc.com.
The buyer is an investor from Canada.
I located your contact information in a domain name whois lookup and understand that you own the domain name.
Are you still interested in selling?
If you have more names I can help you to sell them.
Best Regards,

Fred Goldberg
Lawyer
Intellectual Property Specialist
123 REG UK HOSTING

At first, I was excited. I asked about what kind of price they would be willing to pay and got a response that said they’d be willing to pay five figures for the domain, as long as I got a certificate of appraised value from a reputable source. Of course, he had a suggestion on what source that should be.

domain-scam

I’ve been scammed online more than once. I’ve probably lost $500 or so in scams during my time on the internet. I like to think I’m smart, but I’m also far too trusting.

When I first started working online, I worked for a month, full-time on dozens of blog posts without getting paid until the end of the month. The person I was working for could have changed the password on the WordPress websites, not paid me, and I would have been out of luck. Thankfully, that’s not what happened and I worked with Jacob for another two years at Bloggy Network.

So I looked at the price of the domain appraisal services that are out there, including the one Fred suggested to me. I was hesitant to pull the trigger, so I wrote back saying that I would give him 20% of the sale price if he purchased the appraisal. This would be on top of the fee he said he gets for hunting down these great domains for his clients.

His response was the following:

Only you as the owner can obtain the certification. It’s a standard practice. Professional investors won’t buy without it. It will increase the value of your domain and will become your own property. Sooner or later you will have to order it or you risk no to sell your domain.

He is a professional investor and cannot proceed without the certificate from a source he knows and trusts.

I understand your concerns and doubts. I talked to him and he confirmed his intentions. I give you 100% guarantee he will buy after you order the certification. I worked with him before. He is a reliable buyer.

I checked the domain appraisal services, and none of them asked for information that required proof of ownership, meaning anyone could purchase it for any domain. He was outright lying and my weak intuition said, “run away!” I mean, who would let $100-$200 in certification fees stand in the way of a commission of around $3000? A scammer, that’s who!

I did a quick search on Google for domain appraisal scams and found the exact conversation I had plastered online on dozens of different websites. I went back to my email, marked the conversation as spam, and then realized that I really do need to divest myself of some of my domains.

That’s why the previous post on selling them. So if you are looking for a new .com domain to add to your collection, check out my list.

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