Interesting Possible Domain Acquisition Scam Attempt
Yesterday morning, I received an email that was supposedly from a person who worked at a multi-national bank, and his company wanted my help in acquiring a ccTLD domain name. The person said he had trouble getting in touch with the domain owner, and his company needed the name for an urgent project.
Based on the email’s url, it appeared to be from a person at that bank, and upon my reply, he asked me to either put him in touch with the domain owner or to negotiate on his behalf. I told him I don’t offer negotiation services, but I would try to get in touch with the owner for him and put him in touch.
I reached out to the owner via email, and I was able to get a reply from him within a few hours. I thought it was a bit strange that I could get a reply so easily but the person from the large bank couldn’t. Nevertheless, I emailed the guy from the bank to let him know I was able to get in touch with the domain owner, and he asked me to offer him up to $1 million for the domain name paid using an escrow service.
At this point, I really felt something was fishy, and I looked at the email headers to determine that the email hadn’t originated at the bank, and in fact, the url in the original email was spoofed. I again reiterated that I don’t do negotiations and I have not heard back from the guy.
I don’t know where the scam comes in with this, but it’s clear there was an attempt made. Perhaps they were going to ask me to front some money or send me a check that is in a greater amount than a deal I could strike, and I would cash it and send them the difference, which wouldn’t be noticed until the check didn’t clear, and I would be out that money. Whatever the case is, it appears that this is a new scam.
If you get an email like I received, keep in mind that it could be a scam.