Domain scams are still running rampant. Here are 2 that were pulled on me this week. I’m going to delete the actual domain names out of these emails so I don’t tamper with their search engine results in the future.
#1. I received an email trying to sell me the .com version of a .ca domain name I own.
Our company specializes in acquiring expired domain names to help individuals and businesses protect their brand online.
The domain name ____.COM expired recently and we were able to secure it.
We noticed that you own ____.CA and felt that you may be interested in acquiring the .COM version of your existing domain name.
It is available for a one-time fee of only $99.00 USD.
To purchase or learn more, please visit http://zipdomains.com/buy.php?domain=____.com
At first I thought – hmmm – I was thinking about dumping my .ca version now that I don’t sell the product anymore. However the affiliate income from the site has picked up over the last year. Maybe it would be worth $99 to secure the .com version? The site was my biggest competitor a few years ago.
So I clicked on the link to see what the details were, and quickly realized that no where did it mention actually transfering the domain name to my ownership at all. Were they just going to lease it to me year by year? This seemed fishy. I Googled ‘Zip Domains’ and quickly learned that these people don’t often own the domains at all! I leaped over to GoDaddy.com, where I purchase my domains, and did a search for the domain name in question. It was available! I quickly scooped it up for just over $12 Canadian. And to think how many people probably fall for this one when the domain name is actually freely available!! I’ll have to develop this site soon because there are lots of links up on the web for the site. Could be a nice little trickle of income.
#2. I got an email saying:
my name is Brandon Birdwell and I would be interested in buying your domain ____.COM from you. Are you interested in selling it? If yes, how much would you want for it? What payment method would you prefer?
And just in case you are wondering how I got your email, anyone can get that info at whois.net
Hmm. Odd. First glance, seems legit, but I’m incredibly skeptical. I Googled his name and found nothing out of the ordinary. I Googled his name again with the word ‘domain’ and still nothing out of the ordinary. It seems weird to me that the domain name is all in capital letters, as if this email was created by a bot that grabbed domain names in capital letters from WHOIS records. It also seems odd that the letter is defensive about how they got my contact info. And why mention what payment method I prefer when I haven’t agreed to sell it? Still a skeptic, I Googled “I would be interested in buying your domain”. BINGO! Several other people with the same email, word for word, with different names. It seems this person is looking for people wanting to sell by Paypal. I don’t know if they plan to reverse the payment after they have the domain name, or what this particular scheme is, but I’m out.
Be careful with your domain names! It is better to be skeptical than taken as a fool!