This scam will sound familiar to domain name owners.
Dan Primack of Fortune has an interesting story about executives falling for a scam that’s very similar in operation to the domain name appraisal scam.
If you aren’t familiar with it, the domain name appraisal scam gets domain owners to pay for a domain name appraisal with the carrot that someone wants to pay them big bucks for their domain.
The scam Primack discovered is similar in nature but involves job resumes. And it’s much, much more sophisticated. It involves a sham venture capital firm and recruiting firm.
It starts with an email from someone at a fake venture capital firm. The sender informs an executive that they’re in the late stages of acquiring a company in a similar field to the recipient. They are firing the current executive team and are interested in hiring the recipient.
If the recipient responds with interest, they get a follow-up from the recruiting firm. The victim is then asked to send their resume.
Once the resume is received, they get a response that the resume isn’t readable by the computer and suggests that the victim optimize his or her resume in the ATS format. The email helpfully includes a link to a service that charges about $100 to do so.
Once the victim pays for the ATS translation, the recruiter disappears. They are told the acquisition fell through.
Sound familiar? The goal is to dangle a carrot out in front of someone. A big domain sale. A big job opportunity. Paying $50 for a domain appraisal or $100 for a resume conversion is a small price to pay for such a big opportunity, right?
This is why it works, and why the domain appraisal scam has been going on for a decade.