In a previous post on March 4, 2014, I discussed that I received an e-mail claiming to be the owner of a domain name and that they wished to sell the domain name to me. It turned out that the domain name was not owned by them, in fact, it was not even registered.
A registered domain name, means that the domain name is owned by someone, known as the registrant.
Guess what? I received yet another one. A company claiming to be the owner of a domain name and inquired if I wanted to buy it. Just like the other domain name, this domain name was not even registered. Here is what the e-mail looked like:
email@example.com May 3 (2 days ago) We are selling the domain bootstrapplus.com. Since you own bootstrapplus.org if you would like the preferred .COM version we are making it available. The one time cost is just $69.95. That includes a full year of registration and transfer of ownership to you. To purchase or to learn more go to: http://www.domainsreserved.com/co.php?domain=bootstrapplus.com We respect your privacy. Unless you respond we will not contact you again regarding this domain. Thank you for your time and consideration. Remove: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
How did I know this domain name was not even registered? I checked Domain Tools whois tool. The result was this:
So, what is strange about this e-mail? For one, the cost is $69.95, which is extremely high. I mean, you can buy domain names from $8-20 per year and the cost of domain name transfers is nothing – only the person’s time. In addition, some domain name extensions have restrictions on when the domain name can be transferred, in this case up to 60 days before the expiration of the domain name. This, coupled with the fact I faced these fraudulent e-mails before, I wanted to check before I even considered making an offer and / or buying the domain name.
Here are some key tips to remember when receiving these types of e-mails:
- Make sure the domain name is registered;
- Make sure the seller is the owner or is authorized to sell the domain;
- If the domain seller is a company, check the company out;
- Never use PayPal to buy a domain name;
- When buying a domain name, use a specialized domain name brokerage service like Sedo; and
- Make sure the domain name can be transferred, i.e. not expiring before x days and therefore cannot be transferred.
I also should point out, that you should never let them be your domain name provider. Always transfer the domain away from them to your own domain name provider.
Since the domain name was unregistered, I registered the domain name myself for $10 USD.
I did reply to this e-mail and currently have received no response.