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BUYER ALERT! When buying a website, watch out for those Adsense screenshots!

Discussion in 'Sites' started by kokopelli, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. #1
    Buyers. when buying a website with "Adsense income", watch out for those screenshots showing (good) income, as they may be fake. :mad:

    We all know that screenshots can be faked with Photoshop, but here's a new trick in the fraudsters' arsenal. Have a look at the screenshot below with my "Adsense income" for the month. Impressed? So am I! The only problem is, it's fake and I didn't even have to use Photoshop - just Firefox and some Javascript.
    [​IMG]
    (Yes, I know the figures don't add up, but you get the idea!)

    Of course, this "trick" can also be used for other data/website screenshots, so watch out. Caveat Emptor!

    (The original post that alerted me to this is here])
    SEMrush
     
    kokopelli, Aug 29, 2008 IP
    Uvex, Valhalla and chittagongboy like this.
    SEMrush
  2. Valhalla

    Valhalla Well-Known Member

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    #2
    Thanks for the warning, you need to be careful buying sites especially with fraudsters using tactics like this.
    Rep added!
     
    Valhalla, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  3. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    #3
    Big income sites should be bought through Escrow.com, that way you have an opportunity to verify income before the funds are released.
     
    mdvaldosta, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  4. Grit.

    Grit. Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Wow... thanks for the heads up. I'm going to be cautious in the fututre. Do you have any ideas for proving that a screenshot you post is real?
     
    Grit., Aug 29, 2008 IP
  5. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #5
    I believe a recent image hosting site for sale here is using a fake screenshot. If you look around you will find it. I have no proof but one just has to look at the site then compare income with reality and it doesn't match. A 5-7% CTR for an image host is unfathomable. Especially if the images are all lame pics of their friends from Pakistan/India.

    So everyone...question everything, use common sense, and look at reputation. Reputation should also be questioned. Look for what type of deals the person has made. If they are a 10+ itrader but it's all $5 link sales or similar...then they are selling a $500 site..well you do the math.

    kokopelli- Thanks for making this thread.

    You can also do a partial payment (down payment?) for say 1 month income and ask to host the site. You should know very quickly if the traffic was real and the income legit. A genuine seller shouldn't mind allowing a verified buyer to test the sites traffic and revenue especially for a large sale. They don't have to push the domain until full payment is made.
     
    RectangleMan, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  6. MarcL

    MarcL Notable Member

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    #6
    Oh yea, I never thought. You could just get the page source and change the numbers. Stupid scammers...
     
    MarcL, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  7. adorton

    adorton Peon

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    #7
    Why do I suddenly feel like some MF just kicked my puppy? I think the punishment for this sort of behavior should be something like repeated whacks to the hands with a keyboard until the keyboard breaks or the offenders hands break...whichever comes first.
     
    adorton, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  8. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith Peon

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    #8
    I quite agree with all the comments as someone who has been conned out of around $10K on various transactions from SP & DP.

    There should be mandatory rules put in place for any site sale over $1000.

    *A first payment of 1 months stated income allowing the buyer to host the site for 1 month to verify the figures. If ok then the balance paid. Preferably all through Escrow. The seller holds the domain until final payment made.

    * The figures should be more specific - last 3 months net profit should be stated clearly and backed up with evidence - not $150 to $400 which we all know means the bottom figure!

    *The unique visitor figures should be backed up with evidence.

    I think we as buyers tend to get hooked up in a sale and see only the rosey points rather than the whole picture. I say be extremely sceptical and demand proof's of everything. I would bet my bottom dollar that there is nobody using these selling sites to buy has not had their fingers burnt at one time or another.

    My cents worth....

    JohnT
     
    Wordsmith, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  9. asmodeus

    asmodeus Notable Member

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    #9
    There's also a web based program out there for faking earnings. You just type the number you want to show and it produces the new faked screenshot for you. I rarely take screenshots into account when buying sites.

    Even a real income earning site can be run into the ground by a buyer who doesn't know what he's doing anyway. I look at the site from the angle of what potential it could have for me personally with what I could do with myself and that's what I base my bid on. I have to look at it from my own reality when it seems everything in the virtual world can be faked.
     
    asmodeus, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  10. MarcL

    MarcL Notable Member

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    #10
    Yes, if you are a smart buyer this should be in the way. You should be able to tell earnings from traffic, unless they forge the traffic screenshots also.

    Anyway, I think the escrow idea is good. Have the person hold the site for a month.
     
    MarcL, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  11. sumit1710

    sumit1710 Peon

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    #11
    Alexa is best to judge traffic on any website just add firefox add-on for Alexa and judge rep of website quickly
     
    sumit1710, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  12. bhanuprasad1981

    bhanuprasad1981 Active Member

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    #12
    i am one of victim of that guy but his tactic is different untill i sent payment and transferred site it gave me good $ but soon it perished to zero clicks he blamed me for not doing what he did ,but later i felt he did something to get high counter :( i spent 750$ for an image host with nulled script / 5$ a month income :(
     
    bhanuprasad1981, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  13. butternyk

    butternyk Well-Known Member

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    #13
    thanxs- wish it reduces some scams out here in selling section
     
    butternyk, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  14. Pingler.com

    Pingler.com Well-Known Member

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    #14
    Jan (Kokopelli) this is one of the reasons why I buy most of my sites from you...

    Thank you
     
    Pingler.com, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  15. nicheestates

    nicheestates Peon

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    #15
    As with anything that can be somewhat lucrative there will always be someone out there trying to "game" the system. Think counterfeiters, thieves and hackers to name a few. Some get caught and have to pay a price, others get away with it so they continue doing it. It's a trend that will continue to happen as their will always be thieves and scammers.

    I think the most important thing in this scenario is that when you are shelling out any kind of money, you should question everything and arm yourself with the best weapon against scammers. Information! Research all you can about the site, stats, earnings etc. If something doesn't add up their is probably something wrong with it. Just stay away! The important thing is to stay vigilant and stay informed.

    If you don't know ask around. For all the scammers out there, there are at least that many good people out there who will help you out if you just ask. They can provide advice, information and or even just their opinion as to whether a certain site seems like its on the up and up.

    As with anything this business is a risk. You risk your time and money in the hopes of more money. Some work and some don't. Stay vigilant! Stay Informed! Stay the Course!

    Threads like these are very beneficial for everyone. Thanks kokopelli for opening this thread up and providing sound information that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
     
    nicheestates, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  16. Next

    Next Active Member

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    #16
    They don't need Photoshop anymore, now there are browser editing tools like Firebug, which also is great for web development (which is my use for it).
     
    Next, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  17. Hoyles

    Hoyles Peon

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    #17
    I disagree. Besides a scammer getting banned from DP or SP, what "price to pay" do they get? A few pissed off messages on a website forum, and that's it.

    I was scammed on a smaller scale with a few proxy sites. Traffic and revenue shots were total BS because the DAY I took it over, it suddenly all disappeared...

    Getting banned on DP and re-registering under a different name is a minor setback and a slap on the wrist. Reporting them to Google gets you nowhere, they are so slow to act on anybody faking analytics screenshots that they're practically stopped...
     
    Hoyles, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  18. b7r

    b7r Well-Known Member

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    #18
    We should insist on posting of entire screen shots rather then just the cropped up image... so we have the URL seen..
     
    b7r, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  19. uswc45

    uswc45 Peon

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    #19
    Good topic. I am a victim of this adsense screenshot scam so I know first hand how they work. Be careful; especially on www.websitebroker.com.
     
    uswc45, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  20. acronym007

    acronym007 Peon

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    #20
    Thank OP for the tip!
     
    acronym007, Aug 29, 2008 IP