I started a thread yesterday on the DigitalPoint forums asking for 3 character domains to buy and 2 members already tried to scam me. Surprisingly the way they try to do it is extremely simple – they try to sell you a domain they don’t really own and accept payment through Western Union, Bank Wire, or MoneyBookers or even paypal even though with paypal the transaction can be reversed. But I suppose they might be able to transfer the funds away before you do a chargeback in this case.
One of them is ShayGA. He pmed me offering to buy A66.com for $500. However a quick check reveals that it’s an active site and they are not likely to be interested in selling the domain. So I asked him to confirm that he owns the domain and he never replied. I dug a bit on him and found out that he only joined a couple days ago, but already had a lot of ‘sales’ going on. Most of these threads end with the members accusing the topic starter of being a scammer. I guess there are people who actually buy into this, otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it.
Update: I was told by another fellow domainer that this guy is also trying to “sell” that domain on NamePros. Luckily on NP and DNF the mods and members are alert and swift in banning scammers.
Another one was Venliven – a recently joined member, I guess he joined when he saw my thread because that is where he made his first and second posts. It took me about 5 seconds to realize this might be a scammer by the strange question “What is your payment method?” – naturally it’s going to be paypal. I decided to play it out and see if I can get his details to post them here.
So I replied to his pm asking what were the domains – he answered with www.wut.com and www.juk.com. To get the final confirmation that it was a scammer I decided to lowball and offered $2k for each (the actual market price for these would be at least $5k each) and told him that if he accepts to pm me his bank and western union details, as well as moneybookers and I’ll see what’s easier for me to pay with. Scammers register new usernames daily, but in case someone asks you to send money to these addresses you’ll know who you are dealing with:
Zaid Lutfi , United arab emirates
UpHill Sight 3/2
Bank Account in UK:
Afterwards I asked him to confirm that he actually owns the domains by adding something in the whois contacts – he started sending weird messages with all kinds of lame excuses. Many of them didn’t even make much sense: “Without my hosting on I don’t have a server” – huh?
There are so many scammers on DP it’s ridiculous. And the mods don’t usually ban them since they don’t break any petty rules, while DP mods don’t get involved in business between members. However those scammers are very easy to recognize. More sophisticated are the scammers that actually steal or sell stolen domains. Sometimes even experienced domainers fall victim to such crimes in this popular thread at dnf.