|Discerning the Bona Fide vs Scurrilous Intentions of a Unknown Domain Buyer|
Here's the scenario.
Instructions for this deal were "Payment by wire transfer only to my bank account." Do I always insist on wired funds? Not always, but when I do "that's the deal".
Response 1: Buyer ignores instruction and sets up Escrow.com transaction. FAIL.
Response 2: Buyer sends fund by ACH, not wire transfer.
The problem with ACH is, that unlike wired funds, ACH transactions (to my understanding) are more readily reversed, e.g., a stolen credit/debit card was used, an online bank account used to approve transfer was actually "hacked", etc.
Why insist on a wire transfer? In most/all wired funds transactions you have to show up at the bank, show ID, have funds in your account, commit/lock those funds for the transfer, sign an authorization to transfer funds, etc. So, when in doubt, I like wire transfers.
When I received an email that "the transfer" was made I promptly asked for account info on "wire transfer". This request was ignored. Instead, I was forwarded a "confirmation #".
Only when my bank couldn't confirm receipt of an inbound wire did I dig deeper to find it was an ACH transfer, not a wire transfer.
Also, given the "I don't know you" nature of the buyer I conditioned the transfer on a "2 step delivery". Buyer sets up a Moniker acct, I push domain, buyer can do what they please after that. Why this route? Hmmmm . . because it would be easier for me to confirm that I did, indeed, "deliver the goods" in case of issues later.
Last/worst, buyer uses a HotMail account to do business. An "actual name" appears on the fund transfer but it's not too hard to open a Hotmail account to match a stolen credit card name . . so . .
So, what do YOU do when someone just doesn't do the deal as the deal was laid out?
The buyer could be a bona fide purchaser, through and through, but he just hasn't done himself any favors by how he has proceeded.
If you still have the domain ..
I resorted to one of my old stand-bys: Get a phone number. Make a phone call.
Nothing is fool proof but a phone conversation, however brief, can go a long way in helping to determine if dodginess is more a matter of the medium (communication by email) or the person. In this case, after a brief talk, I plan to move ahead.
Still, having just been through this bit of drama, in a world where fraud is rampant and it is an practice that keeps "improving", my question remains:
What steps do you take to be certain . . the deal is the deal?
Sure, transactions by Escrow.com offers some assurances, but in a world where credit card numbers are a commodity amongst fraudsters, and where credit card fraud isn't always instantly caught or reported, what other steps do you take?
I agree with Leosghost.
Don't complete the transaction. Reject the payment keep the domain.
If you are concerned enough about the potential of being scammed to start this thread, you are probably being scammed.
some folks may not know the difference between wire transfer and ACH.