In Cool Tabs, we have seen how campaign participants and voters are born, grow, and even “multiply”. This is why we have increased the mechanisms and techniques that allow our users to control and minimise fraud. In this way, we make sure that the participants who take part in the promotions created with our platform are really interested in the campaign and in the brand, thus contributing to increase engagement and potentially becoming clients for its products and services.
Mechanisms used in our new anti-fraud system
Thanks to the comprehensive analysis we perform in campaigns, we have come up with several preventive measures to help you decide whether or not a participation or a vote is fraudulent:
1. Limiting the number of countries:
You can restrict the campaign to just one country or several countries for you to further define the target public of your promotion, while simultaneously avoiding excessive buzz and vote exchange practices among countries. This means that participations submitted from other countries will not be valid. These users will not even been able to access the entry form and votes coming from countries other than the countries selected for the campaign will not be valid, giving you the choice to decide whether you want to keep them blocked or validate them. As votes goes, invalid votes will be gathered, so that it can be established whether or not the participant has been engaged in a vote exchange network. If the participant receives many votes from a country different from his/her own, chances are that s/he is cheating.
- You can now select the countries from where you want to receive participations. This can be done from your campaign settings, on the ‘Participation dates and configuration’ section:
- You will be able to choose the countries from where votes for contributions in competitions can be submitted. This can be done from your campaign settings, on the ‘Votes dates and configuration’ section:
2. Identifying users who are trying to carry out fraudulent practices in competitions.
We have created a system that makes it easier for you to identify users who engage in fraudulent actions in promotions and competitions created with our platform.
How are these users detected? A control system has been installed to detect users who have already taken part in many campaigns created through Cool Tabs, or those who have participated in competitions and have received votes from many different countries (as this can mean that the user is engaged in vote exchange networks).
Any participation suspected to come from one of these “users who have potentially been engaged in fraudulent activities” will be listed as “Published pending“. Moreover, an email will be automatically sent to the administrator, including the participation that is awaiting moderation, for him/her to decide whether or not it is a valid participation.
This control system is optional. You can enable it on the field shown in the image below, on the “Participation dates and configuration” section. However, if you disable this option, no filter will be applied to participations and the administrator will not receive any alerts.
This mechanism is a preventive measure that may look very restrictive, but it usually works well and manages to identify most of the participants who have committed a fraud. Whenever the administrator receives the email including the participation awaiting moderation, s/he will ideally access the profile of the user who has tried to participate and check whether or not s/he is cheating and, therefore, decide if his/her participation is valid. If you are looking for an effective measure, this is definitely an infallible one.
3. Blocking invalid votes.
When is a vote declared invalid?
- When more than one vote is received from a single computer.
- When a vote is submitted from an unauthorised country (as explained in section 1).
- When more than one vote is submitted from a single IP before the time frame you have specified in the campaign settings form (“Voting dates and configuration” section) has expired.
4. When users have voted in a lot of campaigns created with Cool Tabs and we understand that they may come from vote exchange networks.
In these four cases, votes will be considered not valid. However, the administrator can validate them at any time from the votes panel.
4. Validate the participants email.
To avoid users could participate with a fake email, when you edit your campaign, you have the possibility to enable (in 'Form' section) the option to ‘verify the email of the participant by sending an email to validate it’.
This way, when the participants fill out their personal details, they will visualize the following message: "your participation won't be fully registered until you validate your email address. You will receive instructions via email to confirm your email address".
You can edit and customize this screen with another message in the design section.
The user’s participation will be seen as "not published", so it won’t enter in the the draw until s/he validates his/her email address. Then, a "Thanks for participating" screen will be displayed and the participation will change to "published" status.
This anti-fraud system affects to the functioning of some campaigns:
- Instant Win promotion: the prize is assigned when users validate their email, notafter they fill in the details in the participation form (as usually). Example: if the prize is set to be awarded at 3pm and someone participates at 2.50, completes the personal details and validates the email address at 3 (or in the next minutes, if nobody validated the email in the award-winning minute), that person will be the winner.
- If it’s a moderated campaign, when users validate their email, the participation is not visualized automatically as published. It remains pending for moderation by the administrator.
The "Thanks for participating" email, that the administrator can personalize, won’t be send it when the participants fill out their personal details, but when they have been validated their email.
If it’s a validation of a discount voucher campaign, the data validation checking is performed in the participation as well as the validation. Example:
User A uses the correct voucher CUPON1, receives the email for validation, but doesn't validates it yet.
User B uses the correct coupon CUPON1. The system will allow his/her to use it because user A hasn’t validated the email yet. User B valids the email.
When user A validates the email, as user B has already used CUPON1 as well as validated the email, has already been used by user B and has validated the email, s/he will visualize a message saying that the voucher has already been used. User A will have to participate again with another voucher,
These are the 4 mechanisms used to avoid fraud in our campaigns. Based on the ongoing competitions which already include this anti-fraud system, we can say that it is practically unequivocal and we hope you find it useful for your promos and competitions.