NameSilo

Fake appraisal scam, fake "google-answers.net" (lol) phishing site

Located in Warnings and Alerts, started by Fliporium, May 12, 2015

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12
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6,632

  1. Fliporium

    Fliporium Top Contributor VIP Blue Account

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    Today I was contacted by a man claiming to be a premium domain name broker asking if my domain was for sale. He said he represented an interested party in Norway and that he just had to have a domain name of mine for a project. My excited quickly faded when he signed off with Ph. D. on the end of their name, I still bit to see what's up. Here's how it when, first contact to me:


    [email protected]
    2:43 AM (17 hours ago)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Hello!

    I represent an investor from Norway who needs xxxxx.com for a new project.

    Are you still interested in selling this domain? If so, please reply back to our email and we will proceed with the sale.

    Our company is in hosting business. I help our VIP clients to buy premium names for their projects. If you have other domains for sale, I may offer them to our investors.

    Best Regards,

    Joseph Halpert, Ph. D.

    Vice President Investor Relations

    Front Office Web Solutions

    Jakob Askelandsvei 13

    4314

    SANDNES

    NO


    Naturally I wrote back:

    Dear Dr. Halpert,

    Yes, the domain is for sale and I currently have it listed here on Sedo:

    https://sedo.com/search/xxxxxx

    There is a minimum offer on the listing so it can be bought for $599.

    Thank you for your interest in other domains I have for sale:

    http://fliporium.blogspot.mx/

    Best regards,

    Christer

    He counters back, WITH an image attached to the email claiming to be him, to make the email look "professional":


    VP Investor Relations<[email protected]>
    11:01 AM (9 hours ago)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    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.
    Sincerely yours,
    [​IMG]
    and some sig here

    When he went to my Sedo link he saw that my listing was under $1000, clever way to get someone excited.

    I'm super skeptical now, I downloaded the image and loaded it up to Google image search and it came back as a Linkedin profile pic of some Australian businessman. Now I'm still hanging on to every hope that there is a plausible reason for that, so I play along:

    to VP

    [​IMG]
    I do understand it perfectly and am happy that someone understands the potential value of the domain name. Is $5000 the best all around or should it be higher, because I obviously wouldn't mind. I'm not trying to hold out for more believe me, if you tell me to change the price on Sedo for $5000 I will.

    What would you suggest?

    Christer

    He countered with this:

    VP Investor Relations<[email protected]>
    11:55 AM (8 hours ago)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    to me
    [​IMG]
    My client offers a sum in $5,000 - $15,000 range. The exact figure will depend on the appraisal results (see below).

    Before we go further we need only one thing from you:

    My client is a professional investor and he buys certified domains only.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 it’s not a problem. I may send you a link where you can obtain it. Please don’t worry. 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

    The certification includes the following:

    1. Independent valuation of the market price. It will show your domain name is not overpriced. On the other hand if the valuation comes higher we will increase the price accordingly.

    2. Trademark infringement verification. It proves your domain has no trademark problems.

    3. Verification of the owner. It proves you are a legitimate owner and your domain has no any obligations and restrictions. I’m sure that you are a legitimate owner so it will be only a formality.

    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. So I’m not interested in a low price too.

    You can read about the certificate agency at http:// answers.google-answers.net/archive/threadview192711.htm(“Domain Broker” is my nickname).

    The process is very easy:1. Go to the certificate agency site and order a certificate. Just submit your domains and let them know you have a buyer with $XX,XXX offer and need a valuation near this value. After several hours you will get the results. If the price in your certificate comes higher we will increase our offer accordingly.
    2. Then send these results via email and we’ll proceed with the deal.

    If you are new to the certification process, I can help you with the step by step instructions.
    Sincerely yours,
    [​IMG]
    sig here.

    That link he gave for the certification process is funny but it fooled me: http:/ /answers.google-answers.net

    I clicked the link and the big red warning popped up about the site being a detected phishing site.

    Anyway, that's my scam story of the day, I'm sure there will be more to come lol
     
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  2. Fliporium

    Fliporium Top Contributor VIP Blue Account

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    PS: Sorry for the ugly post, I can't edit out the messiness.
     
  3. mozzie13

    mozzie13 Established Member

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    I received a similar message today from David Ginsberg, vice president of the same company, he almost fooled me, the offer was too good to be real. I'm glad I found this thread before doing something else.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  4. vdonline

    vdonline Top Contributor VIP

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    Try to ask him send you 50% of the money to buy the appraisal cert.

    I got few bucks just one time before, then never received any email like that again.
     
  5. iamonline

    iamonline Restricted (Market)

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    very nice trick from a scammer point of view. always check urls before proceeding. that's one sure way to detect scams.
     
  6. om

    om Established Member

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    I have received a similar thing (other name, almost the same text) offering $75,000-$90,000 for one of my names. While my browser did not warn me with google-answers.org (they have registered this as well, apparently), noticing the apparently misleading domain name (registered by someone hiding behind a private registration) that blatantly tries to mimic one of the google sites and publish obviously forged "discussion" without date stamps, within a hidden URL and a lot of vague hot air was enough for me. Apparently, selling their appraisal service was the (weakly) hidden point.
     
  7. Fancy.domains

    Fancy.domains Selling gTLDs like delicious hotcakes VIP Gold Account

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    The domain-name-Nigerian-style-scam.

    I got a few of these e-mails about a year ago. I played along all the way until they wanted me to pay for the appraisal certificate. Then I started acting weird just to confuse them, until they got bored and stopped replying...

    Nothing (really?!) is more fun than to waste these scammers time. The more you can waste their time, the better.
     
  8. DNGear

    DNGear Domainnaut VIP

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    I got the same email. I told him, why dont you buy an appraisal on behalf of me...
     
  9. ProDomanico

    ProDomanico Established Member

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    stay away.... i was tried once
     
  10. Casey L

    Casey L Top Contributor VIP

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    i got an identical email, except the buyer is a "very rich investor from Qatar"

    very glad i found this thread
     
  11. Chickentaco

    Chickentaco New Member

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    add this new URL to the list of URLs this person is using to phish people:
    answers-google.online
     
  12. kevinkassimo

    kevinkassimo New Member

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    And surprise, the same guy behind it now came back with another domain answersgoogle.org. Wonder why he is so obsessed with answers+google combination
     
  13. RamBabuSEO

    RamBabuSEO Established Member

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    [​IMG]


    Got below same sort of fake suspicious email , requesting to buy certificate before sale:


    Do you own ".net" extension? If it's yours he would be interested in purchasing it too.

    Commission of our company is only 5%. It's paid by the buyer.

    He will pay you via the Authorize Merchant Escrow service. They accept payment from his country and can pay you via wire, Paypal, check or any other method you prefer.

    The buyer offers a price in $25,000 - $40,000 range.

    Do you have a certificate? It's required by his bank.

    The final sale price will depend on the certificate.

    If you don't have the certificate it's not a problem. You can order it online.

    Please note he cannot accept it from any agency. He needs a manual service. It also must be a third party independent agency (not your broker our auction site) and must be accepted by his bank.

    The certification includes the following:

    1. Independent valuation of the market price. It will show your domain name is not overpriced. On the other hand if the valuation comes higher, he will increase the price accordingly. In the domain name industry, there are many appraisal tools that people use to estimate the value of a domain name. My client does not want to risk and doesn't accept services that use scripts. If you are unsure about some service feel free to ask me.

    2. TM verification. It proves your domain has no trademark problems. He would like this verification to be included in the appraisal report. It's not a problem because some companies include the TM verification for free.

    You can read about certification agencies at http://answersgoogle.org/answers/threadview/id/70351682.htm (“Domain Broker” is my nickname).

    The process is very easy:

    1. Go to the certificate agency site and order a certificate. Just submit your domains and let them know you have a buyer with $XX,XXX offer. It will help you to get a better valuation.

    If your domain is worth at least $1000, they will send you the payment instructions. If it's not possible, they won't send you the instructions. This way you will not lose anything. It's very convenient and gives you the full protection. Other services charge you upfront even if your domain is not worth spending the appraisal fee, so I don't recommend them.

    2. Send the certificate to me and we will start the sale process. As soon as he receives your certificate he will buy your domain.

    If you are new to the certification process, I can help you with the step by step instructions.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017

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