Beware Too Good To Be True Domain Name Offers

Phish Buster

Today we received an email enquiring about the purchase of one of our domain names. Giving the benefit of the doubt, we responded, and then received the sting, offering a ridiculously high price for said domain provided we supply an “appraisal certificate”. Here’s the email from Domain Lawyer <geneva.domain.advisor.1970@gmail.com>:

Our commission is 3 %. It’s paid after you receive the funds.

The buyer offers $15,000.

How do you want to get paid: Check, Wire, Western Union ? If my buyer does not support your preferred method he can send you the funds via an escrow service that supports it.

Do you have a certificate? The appraisal certificate gives buyer confidence to proceed.

My buyer also needs it for tax and accounting purposes.

If you don’t have it’s not a problem. You can order it online.

Please note he cannot accept it from any agency. He needs a manual service. It also must be a third party independent agency (not your broker our auction site) he knows and trusts.

The certification must include the following:

1. Independent valuation of the market price. It will show your domain name is not overpriced. On the other hand if the valuation comes higher, he will increase the price accordingly. In the domain name industry, there are many appraisal tools that people use to estimate the value of a domain name. My client does not want to risk and doesn’t accept services that use scripts. If you are unsure about some service feel free to ask me.

2. Trademark infringement verification. It proves your domain has no trademark problems. He would like this verification to be included in the appraisal report. It’s not a problem because some companies include the TM verification for free.

I’m also interested in a good estimate of the market price because you will pays me % on each sale.

You can read about certification agencies at http://answersgoogle.org/answers/threadview/id/96283720.htm (“Domain Broker” is my nickname).

The process is very easy:

1. Go to the certificate agency site and order a certificate. Just submit your domains and let them know you have a buyer with $XX,XXX offer. It will help you to get a better valuation.

If your domain is worth at least $1000, they will send you the payment instructions. If it’s not possible, they won’t send you the instructions. This way you will not lose anything. It’s very convenient and gives you the full protection. Other services charge you upfront even if your domain is not worth spending the appraisal fee, so I don’t recommend them.

2. Send the certificate to me and we will start the sale process. As soon as he receives your certificate he will buy your domain via an escrow service of his choice.

If the appraisal comes higher he will make a better offer. His final offer will only depend on the appraisal results.

If you are new to the certification process, I can help you with the step by step instructions.

The answergoogle thread, like the email, looked concocted and suspicious so we googled the email address Domain Lawyer <geneva.domain.advisor.1970@gmail.com> and quickly found evidence of multiple attempts at this scam.

Another gift horse exposed! Lesson – always verify that offers are legit and deliver no information to these scammers if you reply. Also it is best to use a throwaway account when one does reply to prevent your email being added to additional scammer/spammer lists.

To Bernadette McMenamin, Internet Censorship Advocate

Dear Ms McMenamin,

Yesterday I noticed your comments in the press that people protesting against Conroy’s ISP filters were “not fully aware of the facts and secondly, those who are aware are, in effect, advocating child pornography”.

This is a loathsome accusation which lambasts and belittles those like myself, who abhor child pornography and child abuse yet who also abhor unaccountable government censorship and ineffective, costly exercises which pander to right wing fundamentalists, social conservatives and wowsers, some of whom appear to be completely sexually repressed in wanting all adult material filtered and/or banned.

I don’t look for or watch adult material myself, yet will support the cause of those who wish to do so freely – there is no SOUND research I’ve been able to find that pornography causes harm to its viewers, in fact quite the reverse. Wielders of moral outrage slogans, on the other hand, have been responsible for a plethora of hideous pogroms and human rights abuses throughout history.

What people wish to do legally in the privacy of their own homes and bedroooms is their business, not the government’s or other interferring parties. Will random spot checks of people’s libraries be next? A sexually repressed society is a sick society – rightly, prudery and wowserism has ALWAYS been sneered at throughout Australia – healthy, sceptical Australians do not tolerate fools. The current moral panic expressed recently under the pernicious guise of “what about the children?” and now from you and Conroy – that those who are against filtering are “advocating child pornography”, is yet another manifestation of the wowser underbelly which occasionally rears its miserable head here. You’ve lost me.

Please desist from patronising Australians – you are damaging your cause and past achievements.

From both technical and democratic points of view, Conroy’s filters are intractably flawed.

Anyone with a slight understanding of how the internet works would be able to broach the filters within minutes – and please remember, that the ‘forbidden’ often radiates an irresistible attraction. The proposed ISP based filters would not affect the main conduits which are used by abusers, would do nothing to reduce the amount of child pornography travelling across the net, yet they would cripple the already very slow internet speeds of everyone and be rife with false positive and negative results – as a web developer, I am extremely concerned that my clients’ sites (and none of them are adult sites, I might add) could be adversely affected. (If they are, I would be advising them to seek legal opinion with a view to suing the government.)

The above counter-productive effects have already been proven by the outcomes of Tasmanian filtering tests this year, and are echoed in recent statements from ISP heads and technically knowledgeable system administrators throughout the country. In addition, our already way too high ISP costs will rise.

In making filters mandatory, the government would be sending a detestable message that all Australians are criminals, unable to be trusted. Our mindsets would change. In adopting unaccountable net authoritarianism, we would be setting a dreadful retrograde example to existing authoritarian nations which already filter their feeds for all sorts of things which their paternalistic, intrusive governments deem unfit for their citizens’ viewing.

Australians would not, as is with other material currently banned by the Film & Classification Board, be able to know what is on the banned url list, and it will be unaccountable, with a distinct probability, influenced by future wailing ‘moral champions’, insidious scope creep may occur – with banning or filtering of more vague “unwanted material”.

All these resultant effects are unacceptable.

A people which trusts government to make unaccountable decisions on its behalf is not a democratic, free people. Furthermore, free speech and free expression are inalienable individual human rights.

If Conroy’s undemocratic filters are instituted, I will be amongst the first to ‘opt out’ as a declaration of freedom and distaste for wowserism.

Please reconsider your stance. The government is not the parents of our children – we are, and we are adults who are capable of discriminating what is best for our children, and should insist our government treat us as such. As you would be aware, there are free filters and ISP feeds available to those who want them now. Even if Conroy’s anti-democratic censorship filters are instituted, they will never be a substitute for appropriate parental supervision, education and better funding for our police task force which is doing a wonderful job catching child abuse perpetrators at present.

Please help keep the internet and our society free from interferring pseudo-intellectual religious and secular mind control freaks who pathetically claim to know what’s best for everyone else. As has been shown very obviously in the past few years with the exposure of long term abusers in the churches, it is often these people who have the most to hide. I don’t trust moralisers who claim to know what’s good for me and I don’t need or want Big Brother or Big Church in my house.

Facebook Koobface Worm plague

Beware Facebook messages in your inbox or on your wall containing off site links and mesages like “is this u here on insertsuspectdomainhere.com” – on no account follow the link and instructions to install software as you could be infected with the Koobface worm.

If the viewer approves the Flash installation, Koobface attempts to download a program called tinyproxy.exe. This loads a proxy server called Security Accounts Manager (SamSs) the next time the computer boots up. Koobface then listens to traffic on TCP port 9090 and proxies all outgoing HTTP traffic.

This pernicious little monster will send messages attempting to entice users’ facebook friends to download the worm, can steal sensitive information and take users to “contaminated sites when they try to use search engines from Google, Yahoo, MSN and Live.com, according McAfee.”

Removal instructions for the W32.Koobface.A worm.