Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Twist on Domain Appraisal Scam

Here is a new twist on the domain appraisal scam that I haven't seen before.

Usually the way it goes is you get an email from someone who wants to buy your domain for a large sum, but first they want an 'official' appraisal on the domain.  They suggest where they want the appraisal done, and after you pay for the appraisal and send it to them you never hear back.  Ofcourse the person contacting you is tied to the appraisal company and is just trying to scam you to pay for an appraisal.

But instead of just an appraisal, this new scheme is asking for something else.  I think they are doing this to cut down on the number of places for you to get what they are asking for, to make sure you buy it from the appraisal company they are scheming for.

The contact info they use is:

I've cut and paste the initial email and follow up I received below (typos and all, btw the second email is so long I almost fell asleep getting through it!).

---------- Initial email ----------


I represent an investor who wants to buy for a his new online startup.

Is it still for sale? Please respond and we we'll discuss the details.

Best regards,

Anna Dawidowicz

Net Firms CA

Intellectual Property Specialist

Personal Domain Broker

6832 Derry Rd Building


---------- follow up email ----------

What is your appraised value? He will pay you this sum.

Based on my experience your intellectual property is in $ 10 000 - $ 20 000 range.

Do you have a certificate of the appraised value?

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

He needs it from a source he knows and trusts.

I’m also interested in a good estimate of the market price because he pays me % on each sale.

The process is very easy:

1. Go to the certificate agency site (see instructions below) and submit your domain for the certification. Please let them know you have a buyer with $XX,XXX offer. It will help you to get a better valuation. In the comment field please ask them to guarantee that the appraised value will be higher than the appraisal service fee. In this case you will not risk to pay and get a low appraisal. I suggest you this company because they protect you as the seller from getting a low appraised value. They will send you the payment instruction only if your domain is worth $1000 or higher. Otherwise your request will be declined and you will not pay them anything. Other companies does not offer this option.

2. If your request will be approved, please pay them the fee and wait for 24 hours. Then send me the results via email and we will start the sale process. As soon as he receives your certificate, he will buy your domain via an escrow service. Any escrow service will be able to pay you via Paypal, Wire, Western Union or any other method you prefer.

He wants to ensure the safe delivery of the funds to you. Furthermore, since this is our first time conducting any business, I believe that using a third-party escrow service can provide a safe, well defined sale process.

The certificate must include only 2 things to be accepted by my buyer:

1. Independent valuation of the market price. Only manual valuation is accepted. No valuations generated by scripts.

2. Trademark infringement 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 the recommended certification agency at Google Answers: (“Domain Broker” is my nickname there).

If you are new to certifications, I can send you step by step instructions.


If you get one of these emails, best thing to do is just ignore it!