There is a new scam that is circulating and targeting domain name owners.
The scammer registers a domain name incorporating the name of a credible person and makes an offer to purchase a domain name for a very high price. The scammer uses the newly registered domain name to email potential victims but uses the real website of the person he/she is impersonating in the signature of the email.
Here is the email I received from “email@example.com”:
I and my partner are interested in purchasing your domain name usecondom.com
Our budget for the domain name is $500K
Please let me know if you are interested in selling this domain name to us. I await your reply at your earliest convenience.
Of course it was not the real Martin Mignot that emailed me to purchase this probably bad domain for this ridiculous price of $500k.
I immediately replied this:
“I want 1 million USD and a boat in lake alabournezika.”
The scammer replied and said:
Thank you for your reply. How long have you owned the domain name for?
Do you have any information regarding pass sales? In regards to the offer increase you suggested, I and my partner can
raise up to $1M maximum for the domain purchase. Please let me know
what you think.
The scammer asked for past sales so this leads me to believe that this is just another domain appraisal scam where a big offer is made, the owner gets excited, scammer/buyer asks for an appraisal from a website he/she is running, owner pays for the appraisal, scammer vanishes.
I have written about similar scams in the past:
New appraisal scam – Old scammer
New Domain Appraisal Scam Using A Fake HostGator Email Address
I contacted Martin Mignot about this scam and someone from his team replied and told me that the domain was suspended. I tried emailing the scammer again but the email bounced. The suspended domain used martinmignot.us was registered on June 19 at Porkbun. The .us domain was registered using the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
The problem is that at the same day the .com was registered at a different registrar: Openprovider. The .com is probably also used for the same purpose and it is not yet suspended.
Similar scam happened to be me back in December. They offered 750k for domain, which was a good domain but far from that.
I initially didn’t caught on, as they even initiated escrow transaction. In their case, they were impersonatin VC firm with a lot of domain portfolios.
They way they money, is they ask you for some special govermental approval and as it happens they know just the guy who can help you prepare the papers. It just he charges 5k, but hey you getting 750 k right…. So i think scam is focused on people who are greedy and a bit careless. Because sure, anyone would pay 5k to close 750k. But in my case i said, dont worry give me 745k and you handle escrow fees. They were bsing about how they already hit their budget….
I think it is dangerous scam for new investors, as it plays on that hope of big sale. And using credible person + email that seems credible lulls senses of danger. Than 5k later, reality can kick in. I think it can work on domainers who are new to industry, and dont know how things work.
I am guessing the email you sent that bounced said “thanks for agreeing to my $1 million dollar price but what about the boat in lake alabournezika? lol…
How did you guess it??? lol
They didn’t even mention the boat!
I was trying to close the deal…
I’d be happy to pay Scam Appraisals, Inc. $1,000 for a domain appraisal. However, I will first need you to pay me the $500 negotiation fee.
I got some and same scam emails last year
If these idiots contacted you offering $60 like most of the chancers you might actually engage with them if only to tell them to fukc off or push up the price.