By: Mike Awada. I’ve received numerous phony domain inquiries over my career as a domainer. It’s generally pretty obvious when someone is pulling your leg and wasting your time. Typos and odd requests are often a dead giveaway. Why do people do this? Trying to trick people into sending them personal information or wiring them money is a common theme. Some individuals more than others, though, take these inquiries from silly spamming to an art form. Last week I received an e-mail inquiry regarding a CCCV.com that I recently purchased on Ebay. The e-mail was from a gentleman named Robbie Prikinski. The e-mail read:
“Hello, would you take $500 for this domain? I am very interested.
No typos, pretty coherent, not asking for my credit card number, looked good to me. His e-mail address was [email protected] His last name was Prikinski so it kind of flowed, but I obviously was a little suspicious. I’ve got a decent sized portfolio, so I went to DomainTools to review the specifics on this name. Regged for 6 years, expires in a year, looked good. I needed some cash so I informed him if we were to complete the deal that day, that I would accept his $500 offer. I received a response from him later that day reading:
“Woops, thanks but now I notice that this nice domain you’ve let expire and it is being auctioned off tomorrow morning on Godaddy expired auctions. It seems I can get it for $15 if nobody outbids me. I would prefer getting it for $15 as opposed to the $500 you are asking, though I would have paid $500.
This was perplexing, as I was under the impression that I had renewed the name, and even saw a year of life left on DT. I checked my GoDaddy portfolio and the cat was right, it was not in my account. We all know that short, non-ridiculous domains are hard to come by. I had somehow let this one drop, what was I going to do!
I called my GoDaddy rep and they informed me that I did renew some names on the date I thought, but not this particular CCCV.com. I reviewed my records to find out that I indeed let this name slip through the cracks. The name was at auction with multiple bids and had less than an hour until it ended!
GoDaddy told me not to worry, and that it was still recoverable for $20. Was having to pay a $20 premium to keep a name I thought was mine the ideal situation? Obviously not. But did I have to break the bank? No way. I completed the deal and got my name back. I did some research on the name to find out what made this guy make me the offer that he did. As it turned out, the CCCV.com happened to be an acronym for a 1000+ employee electric company doing business in multiple continents. Wow was I glad this guy pointed out my mistake. Before I had a chance to send him a follow-up regarding the confusion, I received another e-mail from him:
“Oh, you redeem it? Did you pay $80??
I think you should read this:
Yes, it’s me, Frank.
Thanks for playing my Godaddy game.”
So evidently this guy, Adam Smitherman, spends his days researching expiring domains, and pontificating with the owners from various secret e-mail addresses. Most of the great schemers and criminals of our time have had some sort of a motive: money, revenge, impressing a famous actress. This guy just wants to make people feel stupid and waste money.
Apparently he doesn’t have a job, loving family, goals, hopes, or dreams. He wasn’t really interested in completing a transaction, but inadvertently helped me catch letting a prime 4-letter .com drop out of my account. His goal was for me to be upset but it’s hard to be considering the circumstances.
Have you ever dealt with any similar people, that you just wonder what could possibly be going on inside their brain?