Warning: The Domain Appraisal Scam

Yesterday I received an email from a prospective buyer asking if I could supply a price for the domain. Here is a transcript of the email.

Hello,

I found the name in the subject line listed in auction. Please email me your price in US dollars or euros.

Domain names is not my main business. Just another way to make money online on domain reselling. Our company develops software in databases in Delphi and MS Access.

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

Looking forward to do business with you.

Regards,

I was pretty interested so I responded encouraging him to make a bid on the name in question and on a few other related names. Fast forward to earlier this morning, I was sitting in work just back from lunch and this landed in my inbox.

I need to know the lowest price you can accept.

What is your price range: $40,000 or $50,000 or even higher?

I had to read it about 12 times. Was this serious? Why would someone pay that amount for a non-premium domain? Strange. Alarm bells were ringing loudly at this point.

I then checked the header, noticing that the email came from a Russian dialup user. Why the hell would supposedly someone from America park a page on Norwegian hosting and have a Russian hostname? If it wasn’t already obvious that this was fishy, it now certainly was!

It seems as if other people have had run ins with this scammer, some losing money on appraisals and even their domains. Here are a few accounts I found through Google.

I think the old addage applies here, that if its too good to be true it probably is! My heart nearly missed a beat though when that second email came through!

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