It appears that the number of domain name scam e-mails is increasing.
Over the past few days I’ve received a number of emails from people that received solicitations to sell their domains but the buyers turned out to be scammers. With the large number of people entering the domain investing world I think this is a good time to send out a warning about domain scams.
Two common scams that I’ve discussed on Domain Name Wire are the appraisal scam and trademark scam:
Appraisal Scam: Someone contacts you asking to buy your domain. When you settle on a price, the buyer insists on getting a domain appraisal at your cost. He directs you to an appraisal company that he actually owns (or which pays the buyer compensation). You can see an actual email thread of this scam here.
Trademark Scam: This is similar to the domain appraisal scam, but the buyer wants you to pay to verify that your domain doesn’t infringe on any trademarks. Click here to see an actual example of this scam.
Each of these scams uses great social engineering to try to sucker you. But if you step back and review the e-mails there are plenty of hints about the true intentions of the buyer. In short, never pay an upfront fee at the request of the buyer in a domain name transaction.