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Why Scams Work (Appraisal Scam Inside Look)

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We've all been there. Nigerian oil money or dead relative who left you a pile of gold. Whatever the scam is we think they are stupid and easy to spot and what kind of person would ever fall for this sort of junk. Well, the problem is that sometimes that story hits home and we want to believe it. The ever prevalent domain appraisal scam is a good example.

Veteran domainers can often spot these things a mile away, I will admit I have and I am sure all of you have replied to them at least once for fun, boredom or actually thinking it might be a legit offer we know not to follow through. The longer you've been in this business (and the more jaded you've become because of it) you ignore and don't get emotionally sucked into these traps. But, we're probably not even in the majority of people trying to invest in domain names anymore. With more newcomers each day, it's just providing fodder for these spammer/scammers. They come into the business with high hopes and these fresh registrations thinking they've discovered some path to easy money and a large offer (I think $10,000 is used a lot) comes their way, and slowly but surely an appraisal request is made.

This is the point where veterans go, hah, almost got me with your appraisal scam. Newbies, at least some of them (and I see evidence almost every day that someone fell for this scam) rationalize it and make sense of getting an appraisal because the risk:reward seems like nothing (They don't recognize risk properly, since they are new their natural weighting systems aren't really tuned into the domain world) and they buy it. Inevitably, they get pissed and realize it, often after some googling.

The most dangerous trend I have only noticed in the past week is this: The scammers are getting more aggressive. They are actually going out to some forums and posting that they actually made sales (sign up for multiple accounts and post 'success' stories in their awful broken english - no this isn't a stereotype, it's what I have personally witnessed though it appears the thread got deleted). Now, when a newbie gets an email and tries to do due diligence, they get mixed messages and see some people claiming to have made a sale. Of course proper research would reveal it a scam, but it I bet it tips a few more skeptics into the believers column when it comes to paying.

This is one of the posts I allude to:

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