Domain appraisal scam

Be careful if you receive an email like the following:

We are interested to buy your domain name YOUR-DOMAIN-HERE and offer to buy it from you for 80% of the appraised market value.

As of now we accept appraisals from either one of the following leading appraisal companies:

– fleos.com
– sedo.com

If you already have an appraisal please forward it to us.

As soon as we have received your appraisal we will send you our payment (we use paypal for amounts less than $2,000 and escrow for amounts above $2,000) as well as
further instructions on how to complete the transfer of the domain name.

We appreciate your business,

Yours truly,

Mark Evans

The offered percentage or the alias of the sender may be different. The list of appraisal companies may vary too and the catch is in the requested appraisal: Whereas sedo.com is a well established company dealing in domain resale and appraisal, domains fleos.com, flyrating.com and others are new:

Domain Name: FLEOS.COM
Registrar: WEB COMMERCE COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED DBA WEBNIC.CC
Whois Server: whois.webnic.cc
Referral URL: http://www.webnic.cc
Name Server: NS1.EZYDOMAIN.COM
Name Server: NS2.EZYDOMAIN.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 04-jul-2009
Creation Date: 04-jul-2009
Expiration Date: 04-jul-2010

Registrant Contact:
Modern Outlook Sdn Bhd
Modern Outlook Sdn Bhd (reg_460127@whoisprotection.cc)
Lot 13-01A, Level 13 (East Wing) Berjaya Times Square, No.1, Jalan Imbi
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia 55100
P: +603.21491999 F: +603.21431685

This one was used earlier than in the above sample:

Domain Name: FLYRATING.COM
Registrar: WEB COMMERCE COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED DBA WEBNIC.CC
Whois Server: whois.webnic.cc
Referral URL: http://www.webnic.cc
Name Server: NS1.EZYDOMAIN.COM
Name Server: NS2.EZYDOMAIN.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 26-may-2009
Creation Date: 26-may-2009
Expiration Date: 26-may-2010

Registrant Contact:
Modern Outlook Sdn Bhd
Modern Outlook Sdn Bhd (reg_449229@whoisprotection.cc)
Lot 13-01A, Level 13 (East Wing) Berjaya Times Square, No.1, Jalan Imbi
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia 55100
P: +603.21491999 F: +603.21431685

Notice how they’re both registered via the same registrar. If anyone checks out the fees they’ll find that not coincidentally these no-names charge less than Sedo.com for their service, so they might easily get picked by domain owners hoping to make quick cash.

Your guess is as good as mine who sends out those buy offer spams that drive business to those cookie cutter domain appraisal firms, who take $22.95 from anyone falling for this scam.

Unless you enjoy getting scammed, avoid any domain purchase offer in which the would be buyer does not come up with an offer price on his own but asks you to get an appraisal from a third party and promises to pay you a percentage of the appraised value!

Other “appraisal company” domains used:

  • nameorange.com
  • pedma.com
  • pozde.com
  • podzz.com
  • domainexplorer.org
  • pddomains.com

See also:

Last updated: 2009-08-10

9 thoughts on “Domain appraisal scam

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  5. Hello Jannies,
    it doesn’t seem related to the domain appraisal scammers that this blog post is about, but probably is a Nigerian scam.

    A WHOIS lookup shows the domain was only registered a few weeks ago, on 03-Feb-2010. The fake “British Currency Post Express” website is actually a rip-off of Pony Express (ponex.co.uk), UK parcel service franchise.

    The scam is probably run by Nigerian scammers based in Malaysia. It’s one their main base in South East Asia, followed by Indonesia and Thailand.

  6. What an excellent blog! Your guess is as good as mine who sends out those buy offer spams that drive business to those cookie cutter domain appraisal firms, who take $22.95 from anyone falling for this scam.

  7. Good advice here! I too got emails (a “David Gillerman” was the contact) offering massive amounts for my domain name! Let’s spread the word about these scammers!

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