As we commented previously, there are some good practices to increase your conversion rate in a form. Using multi-step forms is one of them. However, fraud and SPAM problems in forms do exist and are inevitable. In the online world, fraud issues can creep on you unexpectedly. That’s why users need to be careful with the data they share and the links they click.
Nowadays, navigating with a laptop is as risky as browsing with a mobile device. Identity theft, consumer frauds, and other types of crimes are on the rise. Sometimes they’re easy to identify, e.g., Try to avoid emails like when your bank sends an e-mail asking for your passwords using a different e-mail address. Yeah, no! Avoid these emails at all costs.
Criminals are executing creative new ways every single day. Of course, you don’t want your form to be part of this fraud. You want your consumers to trust it, don’t you? Continue reading to find all the essential information you need to know about online fraud to avoid these scathing attacks. Are you looking for the best forms? Try Arengu’s Smart Forms.
Challenges: General Fraud Prevention
Now that you are aware of the fraud problem, you’ll probably be looking for the best tools to prevent it in your forms and cover all lines of defense. But too many tools might mean a weaker experience for the users. And you don’t want this either.
Let’s imagine you use a super patchwork that has 30 tools to prevent this kind of problems. But this very same patchwork causes an unnecessary friction every time your users are trying to become customers and to do business with you. Which result do you think this patchwork would cause? Exactly! It’s probable that your user would run away instead of becoming a customer.
Another classic solution is using multiple vendors for multiple different types of fraud detection and even doing it across several channels. But, how can you recognize the actual fraud risk? This kind of consistent and integrated approach is not always easy to implement. Many alerts, flags or indicators may appear and mean no risk at all.
Fraudsters will be looking for gaps in your system while you are providing inefficient operations to your customers. What can you do then? Real-time fraud management systems are there to help your company.
They are designed to detect fraud patterns. But don’t take them as the unique solution to this problem. An integrated solution is another way to measure risk by joining the strengths of holistic viewpoints and more data points working together effectively. If you have tools and a system that is able to combine data to provide integrated scoring, this will be helpful to make better risk decisions with certainty. This way you can better understand the way to proceed when you adjust risk strategies.
On the other hand, when it’s about fighting against fraud, fewer vendors might mean better results. You should find a balance between the risk and the customer experience. A smaller number of vendors can work more efficiently when it’s about verifying the identity, the digital information and the transaction history are better for evaluating the real risk.
Fraud problems in e-commerce transactions
Considering the easibility to be who ever you want in the online world, it’s not surprising that users tend to avoid answering complex and convoluted registration forms. Unless you have a company that is the only one offering your products or services in the whole world, they know that they have other alternatives and will look for whatever they want to acquire without confronting these annoying barriers.
They want to access the services they want without all this kind of trouble. So be careful with what data you ask for in your form. If they consider that this information is going too far, they will run away.
How can I identify the real identity of users in e-commerce?
Whether you want to prevent fraud in e-commerce, you can use sources which have already identified the user at some point.
- eIDs: You can use an eID to determine your users’ identification. But, unluckily, this option does not succeed everywhere yet.
- Banks: In general, they implement a stringent registration process every time someone wants to become a customer.
- Mobile Network Operators: In general, they also know how to verify the identity of their subscribers.
Mobile Network Operators are right to spot fraud along with financial institutions. They have vetted our most interesting data: Name, phone number, address, e-mail address, and other attributes. This way, this kind of companies can act as Identity Providers or even as attribute providers.
If users consent it, this information can be used to improve their experience regarding a third party or digital services. To do it user’s consent is a must. API, federation protocols, such as WS-Federation, SAML, OAuth, OpenID, and Mobile Connect, might be useful to transfer identity info from one domain to another.
Regarding online fraud, while CPA and CPS are hard to fake, CPL are easily faked, considering CPA and CPS involves payments per purchase and CPL payment per form filled in. CPL requires the generation of leads that provide: Names, contact details and other specific attributes through the form fields.
As the cost is per lead, fraudsters complete them with fraud leads. This way, it seems like the campaign succeeded a lot, generating a pay-out. But it’s not true. On the one hand, companies do get leads, but not conversions. On the other hand, lead suppliers build up a bad reputation. So, in this case, only the fraudster has benefits. The main ways of doing it are bots and click farms.
- Bots: Your computer can get infected by these automated systems when you open an unreliable e-mail attachment or link. Sometimes you can even be trying to download a specific file and being downloading a bot instead. They don’t give you any other sign of their cohabitation in your computer, but a slight increase in your CPU. Their mission is targeting landing pages and ads where they can get the highest number of leads as possible.
- Click farms: The fraud farmer has real people working for them to fulfill forms with realistic leads. your provides a high ROI for fraudsters, but costs for the affiliate networks, in case they don’t realize.
As mentioned, there are many types of online fraud. But one of the most interesting ones for your business is the first fraud. You don’t want your form to be completed with fake data. If you really want to get conversions, your leads must be real.
Numbers don’t mean anything if there aren’t real people behind all these data. make an effort gives rise to a second thought when it’s about considering the possibility of acquiring your leads from partners that host the form to collect leads.
If you leave your lead generation to others, you run the risk of lead fraud, as it is the company that hosts the form the one with total control over your lead collection, not yours. Is it better to make the effort to generate them with your form or to become a victim of lead fraud?
How to recognize lead fraud?
Ok, let’s imagine you have hired a lead supplier. How can you recognize lead fraud? If this lead supplier misrepresents how they collect your leads… Warning! Misrepresenting data, such as the offer presentation, the collected data, the lead age, the lead authenticity or the site origin, among others, can be an easy task for them.
It’s a profitable one for them. A harmful one for you. Always remember that these kinds of leads are not beneficial to you as they are fake and they won’t convert. These are the ones you must know:
- Collected data: As you may know, all the info fulfilled on the form is part of these received data. If you are buying leads, you need this info to be authentic. Fraudsters can manipulate this info. If you have many fields to complete, it is not very common that all the fields are completed. What fraudsters do is to complete these blank gaps with random fake answers. Verifying if these data are filled out by the lead vendor or by users is not an easy task.
- Site origin: This points the website address where they have collected the lead. This site URL is very important to you. You need to know where your leads come from, what they found interesting to fill out your form, and even what image they have of your company taking into account the environment of the website where they have introduced their data. Fraudsters can also misrepresent the sites where they collect your leads by showing a super webpage where they supposedly generate the leads instead of the real one.
- Lead Age: No, we are not talking about the age of the users behind these leads. We are talking about the age of the lead itself. As you may know, to get a higher conversion of leads, you need to contact them as soon as possible. What if these leads were generated years ago? From time to time, fraudsters sell aged leads as real-time leads. And they even offer discounts. Be careful! You can be tempted to acquire them considering their low cost, but remember: If they aren’t worth it, they have no value at all. It would be better for you to buy more expensive leads that indeed convert.
- Lead Authenticity: This is one of the most critical issues. If you want your leads to convert, they must be real. They should come from a real interested customer, not from a person who gets paid for fulfilling thousands of forms per day. Or even worse! Leads that come from cheap lists of leads. Check out if they are selling ‘opt-out’ leads as ‘opt-in’ leads. Remember: Always do your best to check the origin of your leads and their authenticity.
In conclusion, the internet is full of frauds attempts. To avoid them, the best option is prevention, but also checking every single lead that you get, and you haven’t generated. Even if they come from a trustworthy partner! Take into account that this partner can also be cheated on by a fraudster lead supplier. Verifying is the keyword: When and where they have collected the lead, how the consumer interacted with your form, how it was presented to the user, and so on.