Domain Scam back in circulation
(and a hilarious story!)
Fun with a domain appraisal scammer
by Gene Pimentel
There have been many domain scams circulating the web
for years... one of the most prolific scams is where you receive
a legitimate-looking email from a company who pretends to be
interested in buying your domain name.
The reality is, once you begin negotiating, they will
promise to buy your domain immediately if it appraises
to the price you're asking. Sounds reasonable, but
their only goal is to steer you to an appraisal service
they either own or profit from in some way. Once you
buy the appraisal, you'll never hear from this 'buyer'
again. They play this game thousands of times per week
and make a virtual killing.
Please be careful not to fall into this trap.
Never, ever, buy an appraisal for a domain name to satisfy
a potential buyer. In all my years of selling domains, I
have NEVER been asked for an appraisal from a legitimate
prospect, but hundreds of times from scammers.
The one that seems to have revived recently is this one:
domainsecondhand-com (that is a 100% scam site).
This is only one of many. There are many variations, and
they're out in droves.
What follows next is my actual email conversation with
this scammer. I hope you get as much of a chuckle out of
it as I did :-)
Our company is interested in your domain name. What is
We have a solid investing budget and our company is very
interested in Internet names and web sites.
If you have other domains for sale feel free to send
Looking forward to do business with you.
Domain & Web Site Brokerage
(edited).com is selling for the bargain price
of only $3,500,000.00.
Payment accepted in silver dollars only.
Can you accept 3,400,000.00 USD?
Do you sell domain with a web site or just the name?
Domain without content is ok with me. Web site is not
Have you had your domain names evaluated in the past?
I mean domain appraisals. Without valuation we cannot
be sure in the sale price. It's very important for me
in terms of reselling too. But we must engage a
valuation company with REAL manual service. So I will
only accept valuations from independent sources I and
my partners trust.
To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about
reputable appraisal companies.
Please check this blog with suggestions from other
sellers and buyers:
(another scam site created for this deception)
If, for example, the valuation comes higher you can
adjust your asking price accordingly. It will be fair.
I also hope you can give me 12% - 15% discount.
After you send me the valuation via email (usually it
takes 1-2 days to obtain it) we'll continue our
What is your preferred payment method: Escrow.com,
International wire transfer, PayPal.com or something
Hope we can come to an agreement fast.
Looking forward to your reply.
Sorry, but I'm sticking to my guns. I want $3,500,000.00,
not $3,400,000.00. Just send the payment to my address
in the whois record. Remember, I accept Silver Dollars
only. Once I receive the payment, I'll transfer the
domain to you immediately. Please allow 3 days for me
to count the coins.
It's a standard practice to show independent valuation
to buyers/resellers. Nobody will do business without
it. I'm a businessman and have no intention of
changing rules which help both parties to avoid
Of course, investors never take into account
auto-generated valuations. So manual valuation is a
I read the following information about appraisals at:
(link to same scam site)
Thank you for understanding. I'm looking forward to do
business with you.
Thank you so much for this opportunity. $3,500,000.00
will surely come in handy. I need a new car. Oh, and I
think I'll splurge and buy me a new iPod too.
I love Silver dollars, don't you? They're SO shiny. I
just hope I'll be able to count them all without losing
count halfway through, that would be a bummer! By the
way, do you sell coin-counting machines? If you do,
send one along and just deduct the cost from the total.
I looked at the site you linked me to. Quite
impressive! My only problem is that I can't read. It's
an unfortunate part of my upbringing -- long story. I
can write with no problem, but I cannot read to save
my life! I have to have everything read to my by my
assistant, but she is is currently in the hospital
having a hangnail removed. You know how painful
those can be.
Anyway, I'm anxious to do business! My address again
is in the whois info. I know $3,500,000.00 worth of
silver dollars is going to be a very heavy package,
but I think there's enough room in my garage. I've
already cleared a space and set up 12 banquet tables.
I figure I'll have my friends come over and help me
count to speed the process. I don't mind if they
pocket a few for themselves. The BEST part is, since
the 12 banquet tables will already be set up, we can
CELEBRATE and have a big feast after we're done
counting! I'd like to invite you to celebrate with
us... just give me a call!
As a seller you should provide me with an appraisal
first. This is a reasonable practice. I've found not
all the appraisals are accurate. So I accept real
manual appraisals from trusted sources only. I don't
trust $14-$20 services. Nobody will do a research for
$14. We need a real manual service. I researched
several companies and here are the results:
(here he lists four legitimate appraisal services but
claims they are fraudulant)
Many experienced sellers suggested us
http://www.(edited).com as a trustworth manual service.
They charge per name not per
hour. We've read only positive comments about them.
And I have my own positive experience with this
company and their support.
Hello again Bradford,
Thanks for getting back to me, I've been waiting all
day. I'm very sad that after all our emails you haven't
agreed to my request for silver dollars. Let me know
if you agree, then I will have the domain appraised
for you. I have to cut this short because I haven't
been to the bathroom all day, waiting for you. I
really have to go now.
No deal without appraisal from a trusted source. This
simple rule has saved me a lot of money and time. Feel
free to contact me when you change your position and
let's do business the right way.
Hi again Bradford,
I must have typed my last message too fast for you to
keep up with, because I said I would get an appraisal.
I'm typing this message much slower so you don't miss
anything this time.
A friend of mine let me know that 3.5 million silver
dollars would weigh over 103 tons, and recommended
this method of transportation:
Another option would be for me to fly to your location
and spend the silver dollars there. We could go
shopping together! Wouldn't that be fun? The first
thing I'd do is buy you a conscience. Let me know what
Show me the appraisal
(NOTE: I think my buddy Bradford has caught on
to me. His latest email now contained only TWO words.
I think you can guess the words. It rhymes with Yuck Foo.)
Sorry, that's not negotiable.
Haven't heard back from him since. I kinda miss him.