We realize that the value of our social coupon platform is not just our patent pending on increasing the value of offers the more they’re shared and amplified through consumers’ social networks. Rather, we also recognize that we must protect our clients against fraud of all kinds by instituting industry best practices, as well as with innovative fraud prevention features that are uniquely enabled by our platform.
Below are currently available measures we employ against different types of fraud. If you are aware of any best practices or new fraud prevention measures we have not yet implemented, pleased let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click Fraud Prevention
Because the value of Share It Up! coupons increase based on the number of consumers who ‘share up’ an offer (the number of people to whom they share the offer is not relevant; only the sharer’s action of sharing is counted as one Share toward unlocking the next Value Tier), we need to protect against users trying to game the system by sharing up an offer multiple times.
To prevent click fraud we first require that a consumer be signed into Facebook before she can share up an offer. Not only does this enable us to show the user his/her exact list of friends to make sharing on Facebook simple, this practice also allows our system to validate the consumer’s identity (based on their unique Facebook ID) and confirm his/her eligibility to share up an offer based on whether the user associated with the unique Facebook ID has already shared up the offer in question.
If the system determines that a user has already shared up a specific offer, she will see a notice informing her that she may share the offer with more friends, but that the value of the coupon will only increase if those friends (or their friends) share up the offer.
Could a user theoretically create multiple identities/accounts on Facebook in order to get around this obstacle? While they can create multiple accounts (so the system would recognize each subsequent account as eligible to share up an offer), our IP Address Validation helps further protect against this scenario.
IP Address Validation
Our system records the IP Address of the computer being used to share up an offer. So if a user were to create multiple Facebook accounts as noted above, the user would have to attempt sharing up the offer from a different computer or physical location for each Facebook account they want to share up the offer.
While this practice is certainly possible, the reward for the inconvenience of setting up multiple Facebook accounts, logging in and out of them, and doing so from different computers/locations is hardly worth the effort.
For example if a person were to go to all the trouble to create 5 or even 10 different Facebook accounts, and were to share up an offer from 5 or 10 different computers, the total fraudulent shares would be 4 or 9. Considering that unlocking upper Value Tiers may require many shares, all the effort required to successfully circumvent these measures is trivial in its relative potential benefit.
Redemption Fraud Prevention
Another area where fraud is a concern is around consumers’ ability to print multiple copies of a coupon on their home/office printers (or in the case of online offers reuse special promo codes multiple times), or to use digital editing tools to change the value or other attributes of a printed coupon. Such misuse can dramatically impact redemption and budget forecasts. We are taking several measures to protect against these possibilities:
Detailed watermarks are printed under printed coupon headline, sub-headline, and expiration making tampering with the value, offer details, or expiration date of each printed coupon extremely difficult.
Personal Information Printed on Coupon
The consumer’s name is printed on the coupon so s/he can be ID’d at point of sale.
The value of each coupon is repeated around the border, making tampering more difficult.
We capture the IP address and Facebook Account that created each individual coupon, so that if someone is able to falsify a coupon, it is traceable directly to them.
Per-User Print/Use Limits
You have the ability in the Share It Up! administration interface to restrict each user to a single print (or in the case of an online offer, to a single use of a redemption/promo code)
Total Print/Use Limits
You also have the ability to set the total number of coupons that may be printed (or redemption codes issued) to better manage redemption. Once the limit you set has been reached, consumers will no longer have the ability to print a coupon or be provided with a redemption code.
Unique identification numbers and retailer instructions printed on the coupon allows validation of value, expiration, or previous redemption via our automated phone system.