A New Site Selling Scam Scheme Uncovered

Lately I’ve noticed several interesting site sales on DP and all had the same in common:

- sellers were very eager to sell their sites quick and asked for quick offers
- sellers provided only partial and outdated stats data
- all looked like very good deals

Many of the deals were quite enticing and the stats and data seemed realistic enough, so I dug deeper and as expected they were all scams, but following a very interesting pattern.

The scammers tried to “sell” sites that were previously listed for sale on flippa, so they used the screenshots and data posted by the actual owners on flippa at the time of the auction. Some of these were still active, some ended unsold. After an auction ends on flippa the screenshots are no longer visible. It’s also fairly easy to make similar, “updated”, fake screenshots having the original.

This is not a “grey” type of scam where site owners would slightly exaggerate their stats, round it up, or even show fake screenshots. The scammers didn’t own any sites and those who fell victim and sent them the cash through paypal quickly to buy it never got anything in return.

How can you spot a scam like that?

1. First and foremost a quick google search for the site will show if there was a flippa auction or if it was for sale anywhere else before so that the scammer could gather the data from there.
2. Request the scammer to prove ownership by inserting some unique text in the site  code – this is the easiest way to prove he actually owns the site.
3. Further background checks on the seller, his forum/email/messenger ids will frequently reveal any previous misdoings.

Stay safe, don’t rush and do proper due diligence before any purchase!

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  1. Mike says:

    Flippa is full of scams and if they haven’t provided verified Google Analytics and legit screenshot from sales and adsense earning that match the analytics data then just keep away from listing. If the user gives only server side stats just say no to him and ask to install Google Analytics at least for time the auctions goes. Server side stats are really easy to manipulate with simple scripts so more likely they are fake.

  2. Abayomi Aje says:

    I have not experienced any scam on flippa but I have read of many of them. Thing is, my buyers get too greedy. To me, it is so easy to spot scams and one tip, do business via escrow.com.

  3. Have to agree with Abayomi and Mike on this one .. i’ve come close in the past in my less experienced days … quite simply put only ever escrow and never do business without the evidence upfront.
    We have a few sites like this in Aus that specialize in flipping .au sites and tend to be a lot safer

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