4 Ways to Protect Your Brand From Mobile Fraud This Holiday Season

Matt Donahue - November 08, 2017

As mobile ecommerce evolves, so does mobile fraud. Fraudsters go where the money is. With the holidays right around the corner, there’ll be a significant uptick in mobile ordering. Does your holiday marketing strategy include mobile fraud protection?

Fraud during the holiday shopping season costs retailers an estimated $2 billion. And that’s just based on last year’s numbers. If you don’t have a mobile fraud protection plan already in place, now’s the time to add one.

Here are some ways to safeguard your brand from mobile fraud during the shopping season.

1. Conduct a Manual Review to Review Purchases

If you haven’t been doing them already, do a manual review. Assign veteran employees to review purchases made on mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets). It is more accurate than Gateway filters, which makes it more effective at preventing fraud.

Related Post: Ad Fraud: You're Not Sneaky If We Can See You

For example, verify that the customer name and shipping address are legit. If the name and address don’t match, fraud could be at play. Sure it’s cumbersome and time consuming, but it’s worth the peace of mind.

2. Incorporate Machine Learning to Review Data

Machine learning is one tactic retailers can use to combat fraud. Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has the ability to review and analyze huge chunks of data (that would be too much for a manual review).


Source: Dynamics Community

Through their analysis, they’ll detect patterns used to identify and predict fraud before it happens.

3. Make Sure Your Mobile Apps Are Secure 

Are your mobile apps secure? Vulnerable apps, which include shopping apps, are ripe for the picking with fraudsters. And even if your brand’s app is secure, there’s a good chance they may impersonate your app to trick customers into downloading them.

Shopping Apps.png

Source: Google Play Store

Fraudulent apps not only steal money away from you, but sensitive data, too. Common clues an app is fraudulent include no customer reviews and misspelled words. Keep an eye out for apps that seem sketchy and report them to the Google Play or iTunes Store.

4. Know the Common Telltale Signs of Fraud 

If you know how fraudsters operate, then you can anticipate their next move. Here are some common signs fraudsters are conducting mobile fraud:

Timing. Fraudulent transactions made on mobile devices typically occur after midnight towards the early hours of the morning.

Number of Items in Cart. Mobile users grab basic purchases consisting of five items or less. If you see an unusually high number of digital goods, particularly gift cards, that’s a red flag.

Related Post: 4 Tips to Protect Your Agency and Clients From Click Fraud

Ignore Promo Codes. Who doesn’t want to save money? Fraudsters. If you notice an expensive purchase (GoPro, iPads) that’s eligible for a mobile promo code, and the “customer” doesn’t use it, could be fraud.

Mobile fraud is evolving. But by incorporating these preventative measures now before the holiday rush, retailers will be better prepared to stave off fraudsters this holiday season and year round. 

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Matt Donahue

Matt Donahue is the former Sales Manager for the ad fraud management platform, Anura, as well as the digital advertising firm eZanga. With a decade of experience in internet technology and digital advertising, Matt has amassed record results for clients and agencies looking to expand their digital marketing efforts. He emphasizes digital media integration and has a deep understanding of the effect digital ad quality has on a client's advertising campaign. In his spare time, he enjoys rooting on the San Francisco 49ers and is the father to two young children.