Am I being scammed by someone who wants to buy my website?

by pj6334
10 replies
A stranger tracked me down online and offered me money to buy an old established website of mine. This was a successful affiliate marketing site (around $4k/mo commissions) about 10 years ago. I have since moved on, and this website just sits there. It makes no money currently.

I'm tempted to sell it to them, but have no clue how or if he is just a scammer.

My biggest concern is I have domain emails that I used to create various online accounts.
Some of them are attached to my banking information, or other private information. Since it's been SO LONG, I do not even recall all of them out there.

After they buy my website, they would have sole access to my domain emails. And could feasibly log into any of my online accounts that I may have forgotten about. Right?

Is there a way to protect myself?

They would have access to my old emails too?

How do other people do this?

I'd love any opinions and advice.
#buy #scammed #website
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Delete the domain emails, Change your banking information. Use a site like empire flippers to handle the transaction

    al
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    A bar of iron cost $5. Made into horseshoes, it's worth $12. Made into needles, it's worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it's worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you are able to make of yourself

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  • Profile picture of the author pj6334
    What if the buyer just creates the same domain email? One of them is contact@mydomain.com

    And let's say I forgot about an online account connected to that same email address?
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    If you have let the website just sit there, why would you use it for
    emails? Do you have access to the email account that you setup
    for this domain? And how could someone else log into accounts
    that you have forgotten about?

    Do you have an escrow account? If not, set one up and have the
    stranger deposit the money they offered you. That will inform you
    whether or not they are serious.

    In the meanwhile, change your bank accounts (and whatever other
    accounts) contact information to your main email address and start
    tracking your future accounts and passwords and try to be better
    organized.
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  • Profile picture of the author pj6334
    Let me clarify a bit better.

    10 years ago I created an email contact@mydomain.com and this email was used A LOT to set up various accounts with affiliates that I advertised for, ect.

    Since it has been so long, I don't have confidence that I will remember all of them now.

    What would prevent the buyer from creating the same email after he buys my domain/website? He could then use that email to log into my affiliate accounts by changing the passwords. This won't be a problem, unless there are some out there that I forget about, which is very likely. Yes, I'll try to be better organized, thanks LOL

    And P.S. I guess I'm skeptical as to WHY anyone would want to buy at 10 year old dead website. He offered thousands. Seems a bit odd, so I'm afraid it's a scam that someone here may have heard about?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
      Originally Posted by pj6334 View Post

      And P.S. I guess I'm skeptical as to WHY anyone would want to buy at 10 year old dead website. He offered thousands. Seems a bit odd, so I'm afraid it's a scam that someone here may have heard about?
      There is no current income or activity?

      Is it a premium domain name perhaps?

      More than likely it's a domain appraisal scam or similar. They will ask you to get the domain officially appraised at ____ site. That site charges maybe hundreds but is far less than the offer. That site is also run by the buyer themselves or a buddy.

      You pay for a chance at your good fortune, the appraisal comes back, the offer falls through for some reason or another and you have lost your fee.

      As far as the domain emails you are right. Without two factor authentication, they could change your account passwords. To avoid that if you do sell, you could start watching the email again, even if you aren't using the site and see what emails come from which banks or whatever and change the info before the sale. Or proactively go through all your important accounts and make sure the contact information is current and portable (not tied to something you might sell).

      In the end, you have cause for concern on both accounts. The email situation and you are probably a mark for a scammer ring.

      Mark
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      • Profile picture of the author Monetize
        Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

        More than likely it's a domain appraisal scam or similar. They will ask you to get the domain officially appraised at ____ site. That site charges maybe hundreds but is far less than the offer. That site is also run by the buyer themselves or a buddy.

        You are right about this one but that's an old scam.
        Surely people are too smart to fall for something like
        paying hundreds of dollars to valuate a website.
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      • Profile picture of the author pj6334
        Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

        There is no current income or activity?

        Is it a premium domain name perhaps?

        More than likely it's a domain appraisal scam or similar. They will ask you to get the domain officially appraised at ____ site. That site charges maybe hundreds but is far less than the offer. That site is also run by the buyer themselves or a buddy.

        You pay for a chance at your good fortune, the appraisal comes back, the offer falls through for some reason or another and you have lost your fee.

        As far as the domain emails you are right. Without two factor authentication, they could change your account passwords. To avoid that if you do sell, you could start watching the email again, even if you aren't using the site and see what emails come from which banks or whatever and change the info before the sale. Or proactively go through all your important accounts and make sure the contact information is current and portable (not tied to something you might sell).

        In the end, you have cause for concern on both accounts. The email situation and you are probably a mark for a scammer ring.

        Mark
        Thank you! He did not ask for a valuation. Just offered money and said to use Escrow.com. His suggestion.

        I am still skeptical as to why he'd want to buy it. Lol.

        I wouldn't consider it a premium domain. And it has zero income now. He didn't even ask! It has A LOT of content though. And user generated reviews and comments. And a Facebook page with a small old following. So it has value I suppose. I've actually been kinda ignoring him and he keeps coming back. He seems ready to move on though if I don't reciprocate soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    Thanks for elaborating.

    Everything is not a scam. Some of these domain/website
    buyers get hooked on wanting something and that's all they
    want and they will pay for it. Send them your escrow details
    and you will find out if they are serious.

    If you want to sell the site, you should move fast so that this
    person doesn't lose interest. There are a gazillion things out
    there for them to spend money on.

    If you still have access to the email account you need to look
    through it and see what all you registered with that address.
    And maybe close some of the affiliate accounts if you are no
    longer pushing them. I don't know what else to tell you.

    In order to prevent the buyer from accessing your old emails
    you would need to move the hosting to somewhere else.
    That's what I would do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mrwasi
    use good platforms for a deal
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    It's old, you dont remember the emails, it's not making money, there are banking security issues, and the buyer's intent isnt clear. Plus you have other projects going on right now as I'm sure.

    I wouldn't entertain this guy even the least. If he cant take "no" for an answer, relieve your stress and block him.
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