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Another Flippa Scam Story....

Discussion in 'Site Flipping' started by David2k8, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. David2k8

    David2k8 Registered Member

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    I bought a website back in January from flippa as a newbie, and at that point didnt know enough about what questions to ask and how to detect a scam. The red flags should have come up when the seller contacted me after another of his sites ended to buy this one outside of flippa. The seller knew I was new to this, so when I started to realize what was going on, his responses were always that I was misunderstanding what he was saying, didnt understand how the traffic worked, etc. The site is monetized with adsense, and was initially earning about half of what was claimed. But each month the earnings have decreased.

    The problem is that according to GA, the traffic is mostly coming from 2 different urls, which I believe are proxies. When the sellers host has gone down a couple of times, the traffic stops. The bounce rate, time on the site, page views etc are all what would be expected from a bot. The adsense clicks are all on the same ad, and a couple of times I have been online talking to the seller, and magically a few clicks appeared, like he clicked on them. When I bought the site, I was told that all of the traffic was organic, and later I think the seller claimed that they were coming from referrals from various websites. But, the seller can not provide one link or source for the traffic. There are not any backlinks to the site, and the last time I checked, it did not rank for any keywords.

    The seller also recommended a specific SEO company, which it turned out he owns. I paid them the first month just to make sure the traffic kept coming, but it does not seem like they did one thing as far as seo. So I obviously havent paid since.

    I was able to track down this person including his home address. He just happens to live in the same state as me. It turns out it is a 21 y/o and his friend in on this, and they have each sold $20k+ in websites over the last 6-12 months. They do not have any negative feedback, I assume because the first month or two the site generally earns as it should, and only do the earnings start to decrease once it is too late to come back to them. On my site the clicks have been about what they claimed, but the CPC is much lower.

    I have come to the conclusion I need to let it go, and be happy that the site is earning any money back. But, they just sold another site, and I cant believe this is still going on.
     
  2. David2k8

    David2k8 Registered Member

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    Ok, so this seller and his partner continue to occasionally list sites with the exact same stats. Even more amazing is that judging by the 100% feedback none of the buyers ever figure out that the traffic is fake.

    I am not saying I am going to do this, but had the thought that I could set up an anonymous account, buy another site from them, pay by credit card, collect the adsense for a month or two, then do a charge back through the credit card.
     
  3. KardoseR

    KardoseR Regular Member

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    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  4. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    I wouldn't advise you to stoop to the scammer level. If these jokers are in the USA then the State Attorney General is your friend. Document all your findings and file a report with the Attorney General in the State they are operating and then send a copy of that report to Flippa. You'll get a lot more mileage for your effort and maybe prevent someone else from being ripped off. I'd request on the Attorney General report that you're demanding a full refund.

    See how much these 21 year olds "grow up" when they get a letter from the local Attorney General. Even if nothing comes of it on your case; the record will remain on their file and with enough filings the AG will take the matter seriously.

    I'd probably drop them on ROR and BBB as well just to tarnish their selling IDs while the rest plays out. Most buyers will Google seller names before placing significant bids.