1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

I'm Buying A Website, Is This A Scam?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by kebertt, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. kebertt

    kebertt Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    35
    I was on Craigslist a few days ago and saw an ad for a local domain that looked very profitable. It's a great opportunity for me to open up a directory service, but I'm not sure if it's a scam.

    I've been emailing this person, only to realize that the domain owner is not local, but located on the other side of the country. He offered using Paypal but instead I reccomended Escrow and he has sent me the transaction today. He doesn't have any analytics on the site, and the site isn't monetized currently so there is no proof of earnings.

    What should I ask for in order to confirm that he is in fact the owner of this website? I've done a lot of work with websites in the past, but never transferred a domain.
     
  2. SilverSultan

    SilverSultan Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    85
    Occupation:
    Confidential,
    Location:
    Where you think ? xD
    i wouldn't not trust him, sound odd
     
  3. KraftyKyle

    KraftyKyle Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,941
    Likes Received:
    4,609
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Unknown
    Scam written all over it.

    What's the site? How much is he asking for it? Without analytics or adsense, you can pretty much expect zero earnings. So if he claims it's making $x/day then he's probably lying.
     
  4. cherub

    cherub Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Boss
    Location:
    UK
    You could ask the owner to upload a html page with a specific name (eg your username) to the site. This would prove he at least has ftp access to the site
     
  5. Kickflip

    Kickflip BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes Received:
    2,465
    Do you just want it for the domain/content? Ask him to put it on SEDO and SEDO will handle all the escrow and transfer so you don't get scammed.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  6. SmileAtmyWins

    SmileAtmyWins BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    1,955
    Ask him to verify earnings and verify ownership of the site. If he is able to properly, then fine. But if not, then its a scam and you should walk away from it.
     
  7. oxonbeef

    oxonbeef BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    7,872
    Please clarify, are you buying a domain or a site?
    In your thread title you say a site yet in your post you say domain.
    Now these are two different things. Please stop hurting my brain with
    these conundrums it's hard enough answering questions without them
    being asked in cryptic.
    You say the site is not monetized or has analytics installed so you cannot
    be that interested in the content.
    If it is just a domain transfer you do it via the domain registrar.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  8. obdcodes

    obdcodes Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    ask for traffic detail for awstats
     
  9. bilbo

    bilbo Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    1,134
    Occupation:
    an actor on wizard of oz - the 3rd munchkin
    Location:
    middle earth
    if you can see his detaisl via whois then tell him that you are going to communicate to him via the whois email contact. obviously you then know its for real.

    escrow and offer to pay for the transaction fees
     
  10. ppcmaster

    ppcmaster Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,492
    Likes Received:
    161
    Occupation:
    Article writing, link wheel, link building, etc
    Location:
    Lowell, MA
    Home Page:
    Is he not listed on whois? If you are not dealing the contact listed on whois, then you are not dealing with the owner.
     
  11. nonin

    nonin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    497
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    I connect dots..
    Home Page:
    paypal is fine :)

    ask him to add 5$ and to put the domain as buy it now on eBay - you will get your guarantees :)

    you are welcome
     
  12. roamer

    roamer Power Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    479
    Occupation:
    Gfx designer, vfx and mgfx
    Location:
    plɹoʍ ǝɥʇ punoɹɐ ƃuıɯɐoɹ
    I've always used escrow for any domain transaction above $1.5k. So far, no surprises or headaches.
     
  13. ExpressFans

    ExpressFans Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    528
    Occupation:
    Service Provider
    Location:
    Probably on GitHub
    Home Page:
    I don't understand something. How do you determine it "looked profitable"? You can see hundreds of site online that "look profitable' but without any traffic or any means to get traffic is just some worthless data!

    How much is he asking for?
     
  14. kebertt

    kebertt Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    35
    It's a profitable domain for my local city [city]clubs.com with some content. I plan on changing a lot of the content though.

    It's listed on the first page of google and in my eyes can be a very profitable business if done correctly. He's asking $400 for it, and isn't currently monetizing it or earning (I'm assuming because he isn't anywhere near my area).
     
  15. Kickflip

    Kickflip BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes Received:
    2,465
    Well if its [city]clubs.com then ya getting ranked #1 shouldn't be a problem. How big is the city? Do you already have an idea how to monetize it or just jumping on the chance?

    Either way, there is absolutely no reason that the site shouldn't be put on SEDO and bought/sold through there.
     
  16. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    13,919
    Don't put it on SEDO, that's a waste of money. Their commissions are very expensive.

    Just use Escrow.com for the transaction. Hope you're not paying too much for it. Assuming you're doing Escrow, there's no real need to verify he owns it as Escrow protects you on that front.
     
  17. Kickflip

    Kickflip BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes Received:
    2,465
    I hadn't used SEDO in a long time and just checked the commission, and yes it was quite high. I didn't even realize they took that much from my deals. From what I understand though, the seller pays the fee in SEDO so he might be able to get lucky from that. So ya, for a domain transfer where you already have hooked up with the buyer, Escrow.com looks like a better deal then SEDO.
     
  18. bontii

    bontii Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Sounds like a serious scam to me! However, you never know...make sure you check all the details out fully before you pay a single cent.
     
  19. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    13,919
    How does it sound like a "serious scam"? Are you just saying that because others did?

    I've been in this industry for years, and from what the OP says, I don't see anything that sounds that scammy.

    People who want to sell domains on CL, probably don't know what they are doing. So asking for Paypal and having no stats to show is hardly surprising.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  20. Crewchief007

    Crewchief007 Power Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    730
    Likes Received:
    525
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Internet Marketer
    Location:
    Online
    Actually there is an adjustment to your statement. SEO wise, if your name is on all of your web properties, meaning, your name shows up on your SOAs, you are leaving a huge footprint that is easily tracked.

    If you have private BL networks or otherwise own a lot of domains, putting your name on all of your virtual properties would be the death of your network and IM dreams. Yes, you can make them private, but I choose to make some private and some an open book just to keep my competition guessing.

    I second that sentiment! Escrow.com has never let me down.