Advice

Scammer on LinkedIn ‘Domain Brokers’ Group

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Accusing someone of being a scammer is a serious charge but I am pretty sure what this guy is up to is illegal and he is abusing the Domain Brokers group on LinkedIn.  This person has what looks to be a good reputation and connections on LinkedIn which is why I decided to share the story here.

I posted a few domains for sale in a new thread in the Domain Brokers group on LinkedIn.com. A day or two later I got a reply to the thread asking if I would email the domains and prices to a fellow at his hotmail email address. Warning bells going off already…  but since this person has a pretty well established LinkedIn account, I was interested to see if there was a chance this was a legitimate domain buyer. I emailed him and shortly after that he replied saying he wanted to talk on MSN, Skype or another IM service.. Warning bells going off again..

Now, I’m 99.9% sure this won’t result in a sale of any of my domains but I wanted to see what he was up to. I sent my msn messenger info and added him, after the weekend he emailed me asking if we could chat more about the domains I had for sale. So, I got on MSN messenger with him. Turns out he wants to try and have sign up for parking accounts at TrafficZ.com, DDC.com, HitFarm.com and HotKeys.com and sell these accounts to him. Here is our conversation, I am [email protected] and playing along (xxxxxx replaces some of my domain info):

[email protected] says:
Hi Steven this is Mike Law from LinkedIn group.

Steven says:
Hi Mike. Finally there I gotta you.
How are you doing? my friend.

[email protected] says:
Doing well and you?

Steven says:
I am good.

[email protected] says:
Good! So, you were interested in some names I posted for sale?
Is that correct?

Steven says:
Yeap. I am.

Steven says:
I need to know details about them pls.

[email protected] says:
I posted a few, do you remember which ones?

Steven says:
SocialXXXXXXXX.com
SocialXXXXXXXXX.com
SocialXXXX.com
Hope I am right.

[email protected] says:
Yes, ok.

Steven says:
So how many names you have pls in total?

[email protected] says:
My portfolio is around 200 names.. The names you inquired about are all registered with Godaddy.com through 2013

Steven says:
OK.
So how many names you have for sale pls?

[email protected] says:
many names for sale, are you looking to buy a whole portfolio?

Steven says:
Are they with any natural traffic pls?

[email protected] says:
some have natural traffic. The social names you inquired about have little natural traffic to speak of.. a few with existing traffic that I have are:
xxxxxxxxxxxx.com avg 300 UV’s/mo
xxxxxxxxxxxx.com avg 500 UV’s/mo
a few more with 100-200 unique visitors each month, what exactly are you looking to purchase?

Steven says:
names with natural traffic.
I am a domain parker. so I need to buy names traffic.
One more question. where you park these domain names pls?

[email protected] says:
ok, well besides names that I have started development on the two I listed have the most natural traffic.. xxxxxxxxxxxx is parked at xxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxx with xxxxxxxx.   Anyway, well.. I thought you may be interested in the Social names.. that’s why you contacted me right?

Steven says:
right.
You heard trafficz.com b4? we can park names there.
a site to park names.

[email protected] says:
oh ya I have heard of that

Steven says:
since you names have a number of traffic. I think you can sign up there and park your names there.

[email protected] says:
Oh, that might be good. do you work there?

Steven says:
Nop. I am a domain invester and domain parking accts invester as well.
so if you are interested, I have a proposal here for you as well.
we buy names and domain parking accts as well.

[email protected] says:
Ok, what is your proposal?

Steven says:
You use your full list of names and apply to trafficz.com and open up an account there.
and we will buy the account from you at the price of 300 USD.
and you can keep your names if you do not wanan sell.

[email protected] says:
So, if I set up the account there then sell to you.. you will keep revenues my domains make?

Steven says:
Nop. We will not park the your names there at the account as I said you can take back your names.
we take only the acct.
not your names.

[email protected] says:
oh, what is your interest in the account with no names? Just curious

Steven says:
We buy accounts to park our names and test our names there.
I guess you will ask why I do not open one myself there. .
I can be honest with you. Mike. My names are not names with quality like yours. so hard to get one there.

[email protected] says:
oh, I see. let me think on that. in the meantime, are you looking at buying names still?

Steven says:
sure. If the offer is good. we will take some of them for sure.
So here I will give you my offer for the parking accounts. Pls check them out.

trafficz.com 300 USD each one
hotkeys.com 300 USD each one
DDC.com 400 USD each one
hitfarm.com 400 USD each one

Please sign up at these sites with the full list of names you have. Once you open up accounts successfully,pls let me know. I will pay you a down payment of 20% after we verify the accounts. and I will pay you the rest of 80% once you transfer the account to me.

[email protected] says:
Ok, and after that maybe you’ll buy domains from me

Steven says:
sure. we will buy some from you if they are still for sale. Mike.

[email protected] says:
Gotcha

Steven says:
Btw, could you please send me the full list of names pls?
[email protected] pls.
I will let me partners help estimate the names.
Cool?
Pls keep me updated when you have anything new about the domain parking accounts. OK?

[email protected] says:
Gotcha

Steven says:
OK. Cool.Thanks. Mike.

Obviously, ‘Steven’ is not going to be buying my domain names which is the reason he contacted me and the purpose for the group through which he contacted me. Also, as far as I know selling parking accounts is against the TOS of all of these parking companies. I did a little search on this type of scam and Michael Gilmour elaborates very well why this is such a bad practice in this post.

Anyway, all I will say is this ‘parking accounts investor’ is supposedly named Steven with the email address [email protected]  I have reported this LinkedIn member to the group admin.  Don’t waste your time if someone contacts you to buy domain names and starts talking about your portfolio, traffic names and being a parking account investor.

About the author

Mike

5 Comments

  • These guys are slowly killing the parking industry. Hope you don’t get with DDOS attack. That’s what happened to Whizzbangsblog when he exposed these guys.

  • @Gnanes – I considered that when I published the post, the more we do to fight this kind of practice the better off we are. Thanks!

  • It’s been suggested to me on Twitter that perhaps this persons LinkedIn profile has been hacked. I’ve removed the profile link and full name.

  • This has just happened to me. This guy Steven Gorge tried to scam me, and of course like you Mike, I saw it coming from a distance, as this was not a first. I have added him on Skype,and here is the chat we had. He didnt like the whole conversation typed so he wanted to do a voice chat which didnt last long because of the poor quality.
    He had a Nigerian accent, no offense nigerian friends but that is what it was, this guy gives Nigerians a bad name . However he claims to be from France.

    His Linkedin profile is still active to my surprise , here it is
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steven-gorge/2b/a73/315
    and his Skype ID steven.gorge

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