About Scams in General

Online Scammers' Best Friends, China, Russia & The Netherlands

Scamadviser.com in cooperation with REACT has analyzed over 65 million websites. Based on its data, it had identified a top 8 of hosting companies and registrars who support the most unreliable websites in the world.

Scamadviser.com helps over 2.5 million consumers monthly to check if a website is legit or a possible scam. The website helps consumers making informed online shopping decisions by rating websites with an algorithm-based Trust Score. The algorithm of Scamadviser utilizes 40 independent data sources. From the IP address of the web server, the availability of contact details on the website, the age of the URL, ratings on review sites and much, much more. The website warns consumers not only about online shopping scams (online stores that never deliver) but also phishing sites, notorious spammers and online stores selling fake products. To identify online stores selling fakes, Scamadviser works closely together with REACT, an anti-counterfeiting network representing 300 global brands.

An online scammer needs a domain name and hosting provider to do its shady business. Based on an analysis of 65 million websites, the study has identified which hosting providers and registrars support the most websites with a low trust score.

Registrars

Registering a domain name always involves a registrant, registrar and registry. Registrars sell different domain names like store.com, store.nl and store.xyz to companies or private persons, the registrant. At the moment for most domain name no authentication is needed apart from an email address (Gmail is used the most) and a (fake) address.

Registrar Country Total # of IP’s Unique IP's Bad IP's % Bad IP's Avg. Trust Rating
Chengdu west dimension digital China 1113 643 937 84% 9
West263 International Hong Kong 3033 2187 2148 71% 17
Beijing Innovative Linkage Technology China 3730 2565 1978 53% 31
Guangzhou Ehost Tech.co China 1760 1148 921 52% 30
Shanghai Meicheng Technology Information Development China 15116 7976 7562 50% 29
Xiamen Nawang Technology China 1119 939 558 50% 25
Reg.Ru Russia 11405 5770 5089 45% 35
Bizcn.com China 33401 17917 13722 41% 38

Top 8 Registries supporting websites with a low Trust Score

According to the study, some companies are supporting scammers more than others. In the case of registrars, most registered scam websites come from China. The analysis shows that the Chengdu West Dimension contains up to 84% unreliable website with an average trust score rating of 9%. The biggest number of registered websites is Bizcn.com with 41% (13.722 URLs) of a total of 33.401 having a low trust score.

Hosting Providers

Hosting providers offer the server space and access to the Internet to set-up a website. There are roughly 2 billion websites worldwide. Again, in most cases, no identification is needed as long as a credit card or PayPal account can be provided to pay.

The Hosting Providers with the worst reputation are in this case mostly hosted in Russia, Sweden and the Netherlands. Compared to the giants they are relatively small, but 77% of the websites hosted by Dancom, for example, have a low trust score, with an average of 16%.

Hosting Provider Country Total # of IP’s Unique IP's Bad IP's % Bad IP's Avg. Trust Rating
Dancom Russia 1679 356 12911 77% 16
Mir Telematiki Russia 8979 1767 6832 76% 15
Inter Connects Sweden 11395 1635 8543 75% 16
YISP Netherlands 1520 286 1098 72% 18
Jazz Network United States 6453 1662 4434 69% 20
Marosnet Telecommunications Russia 2164 558 1461 68% 22
Marcel Edler (Optimate-Server) Germany 1544 683 1035 67% 21
Dediserv Dedicated Servers Netherlands 1837 386 1195 65% 26

Top 8 hosting companies with a low Trust Score

What can we do?

At the moment, it is simply too easy and cheap to set-up an online scam. We must remove the infrastructure allowing scammers to set-up shop. The challenge is that the infrastructure used by online scammers is the same used by legit retailers. Therefore the only way to combat them is with a proper due diligence process, asking for company papers and personal ID’s.

“The report shows once more that due diligence on users is poorly developed at Internet Service Providers. We noticed that platforms which have introduced the concept “Know Your Customer”, show a significant decrease in sales of fake products.” Ronald Brohm, general manager of REACT

Those companies who do due diligence, show remarkable results. The registry of the Danish .dk domain, for example, started asking for a company VAT number or tax ID in 2017. As a result, the number of .dk domains used for online scams fell from 6.73% to 1.03% in one year. [i]

Of course, online identification is not foolproof. A second step is using scam blacklists like Scamadviser.com to keep the infrastructure clean of scammy URLs. There already exist blacklists for email spammers and malware and phishing sites. Scamadviser.com focusses on online scams and online stores selling fake products. The company developed an artificial intelligence algorithm, utilizing 40 independent data sources to identify scammy websites. The Scamadviser blacklist contains 65 million websites and is growing with more than 1 million sites a month. 

Only by proper vetting upfront and using blacklists to keep the criminals out, can we make the Internet safe for consumers again.

About the Ecommerce Foundation

Scamadviser has been part of the Ecommerce Foundation since 2018, The Ecommerce Foundation is an independent organization working with NGO’s, ecommerce associations worldwide and other ecommerce institutions with the mission to foster global digital trade.

Apart from Scamadviser, the Ecommerce Foundation publishes 20+ free ecommerce reports annually about how to sell online in 50+ countries. It is the host of EcommerceWiki.org, an online community for 40.000 Ecommerce Professionals and the initiator of Safe.Shop, the Global Ecommerce Trustmark.

About REACT

React is a not-for-profit organization with more than 25 years experience in fighting counterfeit trade. With nearly 300 members, covering all areas of industry; including fashion and merchandising, tobacco, electronics and mobile phones, pharmaceuticals, football and toys, React has experience in dealing with almost all areas of counterfeited goods.

React has a large international network with strategically placed offices and partners around the world to efficiently fight the global trade in counterfeit goods. Its large and growing network is a unique aspect of React, allowing us to undertake the organization of raids and to perform basic legal formalities at low rates.


[i]euipo.europa.eu/tunnel-web/secure/webdav/guest/document_library/observatory/documents/reports/Research_on_Online_Business_Models_Infringing_IP_Rights.pdf 
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