How internet servers help internet fraud


Staff member

The Bad Boys of the Internet: How Big Internet Companies are Supporting Scammers​


According to previous research, the number of online scams increased by 40% last year. For 2021 a similar growth rate is expected due to the Corona pandemic. Online scammers are no longer 15-year-old kids who set-up an online store but do not deliver. In the past few years, professional crime syndicates have taken over running scam networks with hundreds of websites supporting investment scams, cryptocurrency schemes, romantic dating plots and subscription hoaxes. These networks often make millions of “sales” monthly at nearly zero costs.

Like in the physical world, every criminal has support. Offline, these are production plants, distribution companies, creative accountants, and lawyers (lots of them). Online, they need to register their domain name, host their websites, preferably in a country that does not prioritize fighting cybercrime.

Scamadviser analyzed 7 million domain names and discovered that some hosting companies, registrars (where you register a domain name), registries (the owners of extensions such as .com, .biz and .store) and countries seem to support scammers much more than others (see “About the Data” at the end of this article for more information).

Bad Registrars

Every scammer needs a domain name to promote his website. You can purchase a website name from a registrar. GoDaddy is one of the most used registrars (and hosting company) worldwide. In the table below you find that 3% of the websites which are registered at GoDaddy have a Trust Score equal or lower than 20 (on a scale from 1 to 100). This percentage is in line with the overall average.

However, this percentage is relatively low compared to other registrars. In the last 90 days, 36,000 websites registered on Alibaba were scanned by Of these, 14.3% are considered dubious. This may be due to the very high number of online stores offering fakes or not delivering products with roots in China. However, American based companies like NameSilo (13.2%) and NameCheap (10.5%) likewise do not score well.

Registrar Hosted Domains Low Score Domains % Low Score Domains
Network Solutions82,5315320.6%
1&1 IONOS49,0024831.0%
Alibaba Cloud Computing35,9255,13914.3%
GMO INTERNET, INC.29,8251,0393.5%

If we look at registrars with the lowest average Trust Score, mainly registrars with an Asian background pop-up. Some, like Shanghai Meicheng and Alibaba appear several times as they use different company entities.

RegistrarAverage ScoreDomains Hosted
shanghai meicheng technology information development5511
Shanghai Meicheng Technology Information13199
EIMS (Shenzhen) Culture & Technology2537
Shanghai Meicheng Technology Information Development27270
Hongkong Domain Name Information Management284,144
Media Elite Holding311,728
Alibaba Cloud Computing332,422