Recently I decide to sell one of my domains. After a few days I was contacted by someone via email. Probably he got my email from checking domain’s whois information.
From (1): firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m a broker of an investor who would like to buy memonerd.com.
My investor has six figure budget for 75-80 domains.
Please email me your desired price.
How can we transfer money to you (wire transfer, escrow)?
If you have other names please email me the list. I may help you to sell them.
Michael Friedman Woods, Ph. D.
Internet Domain Name Lawyer
5 Roundwood Avenue
0345 467 2619
My answer was simple. You can buy the domain via Sedo and I have provided the link. Next day I got an email back.
From (2): email@example.com
I’m not interested in transactions under $1000. My client pays me 10%-15% on every sale.
May I suggest to change your price to $5000? In this case I will earn a better commission.
I hope you understand my business model better now.
I started to smell something, so for an experiment I have increased the domain price from few hundred Euro to several thousand. After that I notified “the buyer”.
From (3): firstname.lastname@example.org
4499 eur – Ok.
Before my client buys he will need one thing from you:
To be sure in legitimacy of this sale and to avoid possible trademark problems my client buys domains certified by an official certification authority.
The certificate my client needs must include two things:
1. Independent manual valuation of the market price. My client does not trust automated valuations. It must be a manual valuation. The expert evaluation will help to determine the true value of your domain’s worth so you can maximize profits during the sale. On the other hand, it minimizes risks of my buyer.
2. Trademark infringement verification. It proves your domain has no trademark problems.
If your domain has been certified please email me the certificate and we will proceed with the sale. If you don’t have a certificate I may send you a link where you can obtain it. Please don’t worry. It won’t take much time and money. It takes 1-2 minutes to order it. The results will be sent to you within 24 hours. Then you send me the certificate via email and we’ll proceed with the sale.
As a broker I’m very interested in a good valuation part of this certificate because my client pays me a commission (10-15% of the sale price) on every domain purchase. You can read suggestions about choosing a right certificate agency at http://answers.google-answers.net/archive/threadview192724.htm (“Domain Broker” is my nickname).
The process is very easy:
1. Go to the Certification authority site (http://tools.domainsaletools.com/certificates.htm) and order a certificate for your domain. Just enter your domains in the “Domain List” field at Certificate Order Form (http://tools.domainsaletools.com/appraisal_order.htm) and specify in the “Comments” field you have a buyer with $X,XXX offer so you need an evaluation near this value.
After 24 hours you will get the results. If the appraised value in your certificate comes higher he will increase the offer accordingly.
2. Then send these results via email and we’ll proceed with the sale.
What a surprise. I need to spend a small amount of money to get a big amount of money. 100 % scam\fraud\phishing schema. I started checking everything what I know about this guy:
- Email of the “serious” buyer is a free email box, not a company email. After I asked him about it, he explained me that he doesn’t need such “brand” email.
- Provided address points to an empty building. Thanks to Google street view you can be a detective very easily.
- Domain google-answers.net is fake one, to make you believe it is found via Google or something similar. Only one page is available and the domain is registered only few months ago: http://domain-kb.com/www/google-answers.net. I even saved discussion page to pdf for the future readers Google Answers_ Can someone recommend a good appraisal service with a trademark verification_
- The same applies to “Certification site”. Very young site (few months old) with a style of year 2000: http://domain-kb.com/www/domainsaletools.com
What I did next, I have “placed an order” for evaluating my domain.
From (3): email@example.com
You have submitted your domain for the certification. We will help you to certify your domain in 4499 euro range.
Please pay for the service at https://secure.2000charge.com/sys/PaymentSelect.asp?id=10564&pricepoint=10564100&purchaseamt=79¤cyid=EUR&purchasedesc=DomainCertification
After we receive your payment we will certify your domain. It will also include the TM verification. The results will be sent to you within 24 hours.
Here you see a new scam domain name-tools.net (http://domain-kb.com/www/name-tools.net), which points to the same site as domainsaletools.com. Payments site (secure.2000charge.com) probably has nothing to do with this fraud, but I am not sure.
I hope I have helped all the people who will be looking for information about this domain buying fraud. In general, be smart, think at first and don’t forget to check on the internet.
Google “frauds list” to see how many deceptions there can be . If it is too good to be true – then it probably is not real.
p.s. The funny thing is, that all domains are hosted in the Netherlands (NL), where I currently live. I hope the bad guys are not my neighbours 🙂
Update 2015-09-06. All mentioned scam addresses: