I stumbled on an interesting article this week warning businesses of the risks associated with letting domain names expire. It’s a side of buying expired domains that most domain investors will never think of – the fact that expired domains might not have traffic coming to them…but they could have emails. The article gives a good example concerning domains from law firms that expire after the firm takes part in a merger:
To test just how bad the problem is, Szathmari re-registered old domain names for several law firms that had merged, set up an email server, and without hacking anything, he says he received a steady stream of confidential information, including bank correspondence, invoices from other law firms, sensitive legal documents from clients, and updates from LinkedIn. (Szathmari is working to return the affected domain names to their original owners.) (Source – CSOOnline)
Well, not too surprisingly it turns out that some of these expired domains are used for fraud since the new owner could essentially gain access to a huge amount of sensitive data.
This got me thinking about some expired auctions where I’m scratching my head wondering why someone would want a name so badly…I wonder if there’s an entirely different market of expire domain buyers – fraudster and scammers that aren’t looking to resell the name, but are instead looking to use the domain to gain access to email.
What do you think? Are scammers increasing our costs when it comes to buying expired domains or is this an edge case that probably doesn’t come up too often? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!