I received this email today:
Our company specializes in acquiring expired domain names to help individuals and businesses protect their brand online.
The domain name TRUCKSTOPLOCATIONDIRECTORY.COM expired recently and we were able to secure it.
We noticed that you own TRUCKSTOPLOCATIONDIRECTORY.NET and felt that you may be interested in acquiring the .COM version of your existing domain name.
It is available for a one-time fee of only $49.00 USD.
To purchase or learn more, please visit http://lawe.us/buy.php?domain=truckstoplocationdirectory.com
At first glance I thought "Hey, that's a cool business model." Then, for some reason, the sneaky voice in the back of my head whispered "I bet it's a scam. I bet the .com expired and they don't own it."
Sure enough, these guys do not own the domain! They are selling domains that they don't own -- and only registering the domains if a customer buys them.
I just registered TRUCKSTOPLOCATIONDIRECTORY.COM at NameCheap for $8.81 -- a hefty discount from $49.00.
I rate this scam as AWESOME because it notified me about a domain I actually wanted.
This is actually quite ingenious. It seems like a smart way to sell domains at a fantastic markup.
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Yeah it's been running for a few years now. They usually offer the .com version of the domain you own for about $100 and it's usually unregistered. It's pretty smart when you think about it. Many not so tech savvy people probably pay them
dmi (29 October, 2009)
Yup, this has happened to me twice before. The last time it happened, it was actually a domain I have been waiting for a few years to expire so that I could pick it up, but the owner had always renewed it. So I was surprised that this company had obtained the domain and I would have been willing to pay the $60 they were asking for it but I decided to check if they really owned it first. Sure enough, it was available and I registered it for about $8.
I remember a company from Hong Kong contacted me once. They told me that they were a popular domain registrar and someone was trying to register an alternate .tld of one of my domain names, and they were giving me the opportunity to register it first, before their 'client'. Of course, the price was ridiculously expensive! I replied and told them that I appreciated the concern, but was not interested, and to allow their client to make the purchase. (Because, 1. I wasn't interested and 2. They obviously didn't have a client trying to buy it.)
They ended up trying to convince me by telling me how it's crucial to own all available .tlds for a brand name. I eventually confronted them and told them what I assumed they were doing, and then I made up information about how what they were doing was illegal and I was going to contact an attorney. They never contacted me again. xD
I don't know if what they were doing was actually illegal. I don't think it was. But they didn't know, so they weren't going to risk it I guess. Legal action, even when it's fake, usually works wonders against suspicious people. And, the client obviously didn't exist because the domains were never registered. For reference, though, if someone like a real estate agent tells you they have another offer, and they really don't - it's illegal. =P
On another note, I randomly get letters in the mail telling me when my domains are going to expire, and then the company sending the letters asks me to renew with them for like $50 bucks. Why do I get these? Does anybody else? (I only got it for a few domain names over the years.)
Never agree/get into to ANY financial deals with random strangers/businesses who email you for your "benefit".
Hah that's happened to be me before. I just replied and said 'Thanks for the heads up.'
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