Easypromos Unveils Fraud Index for Voting Contests

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Advanced Fraud-Detection Engine Detects, Measures and Prevents Fraudulent Practices Ensuring Validity of Contest Winners; Based on Undercover Study into Vote Buying and Use of False or Stolen Facebook Accounts

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Tips to Protect Voting Contests Against Fraud

While voting contests are highly effective in extending reach through sharing, they can also attract fraudulent practices...

Today, Easypromos, a global leader in social media promotions, announced the launch of the Easypromos Fraud Index, a proprietary tool based on a unique algorithm that measures the likelihood that bad voting practices took place during an online voting contest, such as vote buying or votes cast by false or stolen Facebook accounts. The index is based on findings of a three-month study into fraudulent practices by Easypromos in answer to a continued stream of complaints by contest administrators, suggesting that standard industry fraud controls were not going far enough.

While participation in online contests can require that participants register using a validated email address, the vast majority of voting contests offer the option to participate through a Facebook account. And with an estimated 170 million fake Facebook accounts online, according to a Huffington Post article from May of last year, vote sellers have a great opportunity to utilize these, particularly if fraud detection measures are not implemented.

“Voting contests are a proven, effective digital marketing strategy for brands to increase page views, build reach and convert followers to participants. Ninety-eight percent of people who participate in a voting contest share their participation to get votes, and 46 percent of users who vote convert to followers of the brand,” said Carles Bonfill, Co-Founder and CEO of Easypromos. “Therefore, when we continued to hear concerns from our clients that some votes being cast seemed suspicious, such as initiating in different countries, or surging over a short amount of time, we suspected that greater controls were necessary.”

In January, 2016, Easypromos went undercover and launched a fake voting contest, hiring a freelancer to pose as a contest participant seeking a way to buy votes in order to win. Watching and learning the behavior of fraudulent voting behind the scenes, Easypromos identified numerous patterns in behavior which it used to build an alert-based algorithm offering administrators a probability that a participant´s votes were obtained in a fraudulent way. The results are expressed as a percentage between 0 to 100%, a value equal or greater than 100% considered a positive indication that fraudulent activity has taken place.

The Fraud Index has been in beta since February, evaluating all new voting contests and preventing votes from participants with percentages on the Index beyond 100. To date, Easypromos has seen the number of fraud complaints by contest administrators reduce from an average of three a week to two in four months.

“There are people around the world who are dedicating themselves to identifying new ways to commit fraud for relatively little money every day. Measures and filters must be updated continuously. What was working six months ago isn´t working today. We need to have smarter, more adaptive and agile tools,” continued Mr. Bonfill.

The Fraud Index´s antifraud control system measures 11 different security controls such as probability of false or suspicious accounts, handling IPs, frequency of votes and more. When someone votes on an Easypromos supported voting contest, the algorithm evaluates the vote against all security checkpoints. If it is unable to pass controls, the vote is not counted, the voter receives a message on screen with the specific reason why their vote has not been recorded, and an alert is recorded and available to the administrator via the private administration panel, where the list of all registered security alarms for that contest participant can be viewed.

“It is critical that digital promotions platforms protect the image of their client´s business or brand,” continued Mr. Bonfill. “While voting contests are highly effective in extending reach through sharing, they can also attract fraudulent practices as participants battle head-to-head for high-stakes prizes. Through our Fraud Index, we are offering greater visibility into voting practices, and a much needed safety net for administrators in choosing a winner.”

Easypromos recommends voting contest administrators utilize platforms which have strict fraud controls, and note in a contest´s Terms and Conditions that all contest participants´ votes will be subject to review. Those that are considered to have participated in fraudulent voting activity can be disqualified by the administrator from the contest. The company also cautions against using standard social network features such as likes, reactions, favorites or retweets as voting mechanisms as these were designed for users to express feelings for a post and are not supported by antifraud systems. Visit the infographic for more tips on fraud prevention.

About Easypromos:
Easypromos is a global leader in social media promotions offering a self-service, easy-to-use platform to create and manage digital campaigns seamlessly across any social media network or device. Launched in 2010, Easypromos has powered digital campaigns supporting contests, sweepstakes, quizzes, surveys, and more through simple, customizable solutions that are easily shareable for more than 250,000 promotions worldwide. Clients span 50 countries, with promotions running in 24 languages.

Important Links:
Twitter at @Easypromosapp

For more information, visit Easypromosapp.com. Members of the media can contact Emily Porro at media(at)easypromosapp.com.


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