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  #1  
Old 08-02-2005, 10:32 AM
bluecrab bluecrab is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 20
Exclamation

Domain Name Appraisal Scam


After buying a couple of new domains, I received a suspicious email from a Richard Chavez who claimed to be interested in purchasing one of them as an investment. At first he simply asked how much I wanted for the domain and whether I had received any offers on it yet (I found this strange since I has just purchased the domain in question and just put the listing up on afternic.com... and the price was clearly shown on my parked page.)

After I told him my asking price, he then insisted that I have the domain name appraised so that we would both know the fair market value of the domain so that he would know whether it was a good deal or not. He even sent a link to a fake discussion forum where everyone recommended one particular appraisal site. Very clever. I told him that it's HIS responsibility to determine whether the domain was a good investment or not, not mine.

After another email insisting that I purchase an appraisal, I did a Google search and discovered that many other people have been scammed by this guy. Here are a couple of links that I came across:

http://domainnamewire.com/2005/06/13...ppraisal-scam/

http://www.idnauction.com/appraisal-scam.html

So, the moral of the story: If someone insists that you buy a domain appraisal, red warning flags should go up! After all, when you invest in real estate or equities, it's the BUYER'S responsibility to research/evaluate/appraise said property, not the seller!

Here is the discussion thread that I had with the scammer:

Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: R Chavez [mailto:rchavez@toughguy.net]
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 2:37 PM
To: ********
Subject: Re: ********.com (sent 29-Jul-05)

You are asking for serious money and I need to be sure your name is not
overpriced.

Usually, sellers provide buyers with appraisals. It's good practice because
both parties must know a fair price.

Thank you for understanding. I'm looking forward to do business with you.


----- Original Message -----
From: ********
To: "'R Chavez'" <rchavez@toughguy.net>
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 8:54 PM
Subject: RE: ********.com (sent 29-Jul-05)


> When you buy real estate, it's the buyer's responsibility to know the value
> of said property. That's why the buyer pays for a professional appraisal.
>
> When investing in the stock market, the buyer must be prudent in determining
> the value (and risk) of said equity to access whether it will increase in
> value over time.
>
> So, with that said, it is not my responsibility to do your legwork in
> determining whether your investment is a smart one or not.
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: R Chavez [mailto:rchavez@toughguy.net]
> Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 12:17 PM
> To: ********
> Subject: Re: ********.com (sent 29-Jul-05)
>
> I visited your site.
>
> Ok.
>
> Do you offer a web site or domain name only? I'm mostly interested in
> names.
>
> Do you have an appraisal ? I need an independent appraisal certificate for
> domain priced in your range. I consider your name as an investment. In other
> words I'm going to sell your name later and make a profit. If I overpay I
> won't be able to make a profit in the future. It's very important for you
> and me to know the current market value of your domain.
>
> Of course, we must be sure that you are engaging a reputable appraisal
> company. Please note that I don't trust free or cheap appraisals.
>
> To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about reputable appraisal companies
> in a forum
> http://www.domaintalk.ourplace.com/Archive/28014.htm
>
> Juck check this posting.
>
> After I verify an appraisal from you we'll continue our negotiations.
>
>
> Looking forward to your reply.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: ********
> To: "'Tough Technologies Consulting'" <rchavez@toughguy.net>
> Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 6:31 PM
> Subject: RE: ********.com (sent 29-Jul-05)
>
>
> > Dr. Chavez,
> >
> > My asking price is clearly listed on the domain's homepage
> > (http://www.********.com). If you're interested, please submit a serious
> > offer.
> >
> > Best regards
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Tough Technologies Consulting [mailto:rchavez@toughguy.net]
> > Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 3:09 PM
> > To: ********
> > Subject: ********.com (sent 29-Jul-05)
> >
> >
> > To Whom It May Concern,
> >
> > I'm interested in your domain name listed for sale.
> >
> > Can you drop me your desired price?
> >
> > If I can afford it I'll reply.
> >
> > By the way, did you receive offers from other buyers?
> >
> > I run a software development company. Selling & buying names is not my main
> > business. Just another way to invest money and make additional income.
> >
> > Please keep our correspondence confidential.
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Richard Chavez
> >
> > Ph. D. President
> >
> > Tough Technologies Consulting
> >
> >
>
============================================================================
> > NOTICE - This communication may contain confidential and privileged
> > information that is for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any
> > viewing, copying or distribution of, or reliance on this message by
> > unintended recipients is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
> > message in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the message
> > and deleting it from your computer.
> >
> >
>
===========================================================================



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  #2  
Old 08-02-2005, 10:52 AM
bear bear is offline
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Quote:
Any viewing, copying or distribution of, or reliance on this message by unintended recipients is strictly prohibited.
Oops.

Thank you for the warning.

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  #3  
Old 08-02-2005, 11:19 AM
Steve_F2H Steve_F2H is offline
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Location: UK
Posts: 26
It's always suspicious when someone wants to buy your domain only days after you registered it. If they were that desperate, they would have registered it before you.

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  #4  
Old 08-02-2005, 02:15 PM
4solutions 4solutions is offline
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Location: The OC
Posts: 2,094
This IS a common and continuing scam that's been around in several different forms.

I had not seen the link to the fake forum before... that was precious. It sounds to me like the same person wrote the whole forum script. And the inclusion of the $4,100 PayPal "transaction" was a real knee slapper.

Thanks, bluecrab, that was a useful warning for those who haven't heard about the scam and that fake forum was a fun read for me.

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  #5  
Old 08-02-2005, 04:08 PM
Krang Krang is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 106
Thanks for the warning, bluecrab. Additionally, here's something funny about the fake forum posts:

http://domaintalk.ourplace.com/Archive/24076.htm
http://domaintalk.ourplace.com/Archive/26074.htm

Watch the names change!

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  #6  
Old 08-02-2005, 04:40 PM
Domainitor Domainitor is offline
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Posts: 531
Priceless. Not knowing quite what you meant by "watch the names change" I opened the two posts in tabs and clicked back and forth between them. Absolutely priceless.

On another note, though, as a responsibile seller of domains it seems to me that one may want to consider getting appraisals for your high-ticket domains. As a personal case in point, I just purchased appraisals for 65 of my domains from sedo. They were done by a human (in Germany, it would seem).

Now, on the face of it, sedo have a very good reputation and there's no reason to not place some faith in their appraisals. But (there's always a 'but') the report contains numerous typos where the person that did it clearly neglected to change things like "this" to "these" in the boiler-plate paragraphs. So it's not clear to me how attentive she really was.

And note that I said appraisals. Some of the same domains have been appraised and/or valued by other organizations. And the numbers are quite different.

Sedo values one of my .coms at 50K while GreatDomains say its 150K. Some of my two-character domains are valued by sedo at $2K while GreatDomains say $20K.

Who's right? Both. And neither.

It demonstrates that there's a range. Using the real estate analogy from above, if you build houses, the value of swampland in Florida isn't so great. But if I raise alligators, Florida swampland's worth far more to me.

So when someone offers you a number that you think is rediculously low for one of your domains, don't take it personally or get annoyed. It used to really annoy me, because I thought they were wasting my time. But in reality, there really are different values placed by different people/organizations for the same domain.

The true value of any domain is whatever you're able to sell it for.

  #7  
Old 08-02-2005, 07:05 PM
bluecrab bluecrab is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Krang
Thanks for the warning, bluecrab. Additionally, here's something funny about the fake forum posts:

http://domaintalk.ourplace.com/Archive/24076.htm
http://domaintalk.ourplace.com/Archive/26074.htm

Watch the names change!
Too funny!!

  #8  
Old 08-03-2005, 05:56 AM
dfilm dfilm is offline
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and if you have an attachment to a name you are less likley to sell it cheap

  #9  
Old 08-05-2005, 03:43 AM
danjahner.com danjahner.com is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 84
I stumbled onto this thread and had a good laugh because this exact same thing happened to me. I thought it was a little suspicious when he remained interested after I told him my name was $10k, but didn't fall into his appraisal scam. This guy is copy-pasting these emails, because it was the same thing word for word.

  #10  
Old 08-05-2005, 03:45 AM
danjahner.com danjahner.com is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 84
My domain was also on Afternic, so it might be a script that he is using to harvest email adresses from them. They might want to look into this.

  #11  
Old 08-18-2005, 01:11 PM
kittiwat kittiwat is offline
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I got an email from, probably, this guy in the last couple days too. He seemed to use a different email address.

  #12  
Old 08-18-2005, 09:09 PM
dmaven dmaven is offline
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I used to get these all the time until my spam filter started catching them

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  #13  
Old 08-19-2005, 02:10 AM
ComputerSurge ComputerSurge is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 65
hey, if i could obtain ********.com, I'd want a fair price too!


In reality, thats a whole lot of scheming and trouble to go through. I feel bad for the guy, really.....

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  #14  
Old 08-20-2005, 12:06 AM
Randomizer Randomizer is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally posted by Domainitor
Priceless. Not knowing quite what you meant by "watch the names change" I opened the two posts in tabs and clicked back and forth between them. Absolutely priceless.
Classic


Recently, right after I purchase a domain I've been getting a letter in the mail stating that the domain that I just bought a few days ago is about to expire immediately and I must renew the domain for the low low price of $59 a year.

They could at least send the letter a few months after the fact to make it just a bit more convincing

  #15  
Old 08-20-2005, 09:01 AM
bluecrab bluecrab is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Randomizer
Classic


Recently, right after I purchase a domain I've been getting a letter in the mail stating that the domain that I just bought a few days ago is about to expire immediately and I must renew the domain for the low low price of $59 a year.

They could at least send the letter a few months after the fact to make it just a bit more convincing
Let me guess... from the Domain Registry of America?

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