How expired domains can lead to credit card theft

Well here’s something I never thought of – criminals are using expired domain names to steal credit card numbers. As a domain investor I see expired domains as potential investment, I’m less concerned with if there was or wasn’t a site on the domain in the past, I’m more interested in who might want to build a business on it in the future.

For scammers, well, they’re wired a bit differently and for them expired domains mean an easy way to trick people into giving them their credit card number. How big of a problem is this practice? It’s certainly more prevalent that I thought:

“We have observed more than 800 sites hosting these brand impersonation/skimming stores since June 2018,” the report notes.
“This group’s strategy appears rather simple: the perpetrators set up a large number of stores impersonating as many popular brands as possible and drive traffic to these fake stores with a variety of methods,” the report continues. “Some visitors will attempt to make purchases, entering their payment information into the payment form where the skimmer copies it and sends it to a drop server. The payment page even displays badges from various security companies in order to appear more legitimate.” (Source –

So what does this mean for you? Here’s the rub. Let’s say you ran a business for a few years on a domain. The business never took off so you let the domain expire…well now someone buys the domain after it expires and boom – somehow you’re linked to a scam site.

“Giving up on a long-held domain name — particularly one tied to your name — is always a tough call, because you simply never know what it will be used for when it falls into someone else’s hands.”

For most Domainers this will be a non-issues since you’re not developing your domains, but if you do, and that website has your name on it, be careful if you decide to let it expire. If it ends up in the hands of a scammer you could end up getting confused with them, and unraveling that could cost you a lot of time and money…

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton