Most of the experienced members here are probably familiar with this type of scam, but for those who never heard of it, make sure you know how it works to be able to recognize it quickly and avoid.
The pattern is fairly simple: you'd get a first email from someone interested in your domain which might seem completely legit, and after you reply his next email will have a high offer or even a price range (which is completely weird btw, no serious buyer will ever give you range, they'll make an offer) for the domain, saying they are very interested in buying it and willing to proceed quickly with the purchase should you accept their offer. And after that they'll request you to have the domain appraised, since they "can't buy domains without an appraisal". You'll be redirected to a "trusted manual appraisal site", which charges from $19 to $99 per appraisal. And the site is of course owned by the same person who sent the email, so after you pay and get the domain appraised you'll never hear from the buyer again.
Here is a recent example I received just today:
Originally Posted by first emailOriginally Posted by my quick replyIt's interesting to note how they try to spoof a popular domaining forum in an attempt to convey legitimacy.Originally Posted by second email
The first email looked strange to me, something wasn't quite right, but I didn't bother to check at first and just gave them my regular reply. And right after their second email, about 5 seconds reading into it I knew what it was.
A quick google search on the company or person's name will usually reveal that its a known appraisal scam. These appraisal scams have been around for many years and even as stupid as it looks this must be working for them if they keep sending them out.
I believe they mostly target beginners so I haven't gotten that many emails myself lately, even though I have a lot of domains. It makes sense also, many people who just registered one of their first domains would be very excited to get a high offer for it and might easily pay some $50 for the appraisal in hopes of getting their big payout.
* sender's name and details are hidden according with the forum rules