Holidays are an especially vital time for marketplaces to evaluate their moderation strategies.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden December 07, 2017
Research shows that internet holiday scams are quickly taking the top spot out of the top five most common holiday scams. Moderation experts warn consumers and marketplace site owners to be even more cautious when evaluating desired product items to be considered a valid ad. Internet scammers commonly post ads on marketplace sites without holding possession of the real or “official” branded item on hand. Generally, these scammers ship a fake item or don’t send anything at all after transactions are finalized.
Besedo reviewed rejected content pieces to find globally trending fake products commonly sold by scammers. The top 3 items are:
- Bags (Common brands: Gucci, Hermes, Chanel, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabanna, Louis Vuitton)
- Smartphones (Common brands: Apple, Samsung)
- Watches and shoes (Common watch brands: Invicta, Oakley, Diesel, G-Shock, Rolex, TagHeuer, Omega. Common shoe brands: Nike, Melissa, Adidas, Jordans)
Further reports pulled from Besedo’s expert moderation team combined expertise on past fraud holiday trends with announcements from large selling chains on expected best seller products during the 2017 holiday sales. This has resulted in a list of items to be extra vigilant in moderating this holiday season. Items include:
- Children’s toys (Cozmo the toy Robot by Anki, Live Pets “Snuggles My Dream Puppy,” Hatchimals, LuvaBella Baby Doll, L.O.L. Surprise, Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkey, Nerf N-Strike Elite Terrascout Remote Control Drone Blaster, Millennium Falcon by Lego, Jedi Master Lightsaber, The New Pokemon Z-Ring Interactive Set, Interactive Remote Control R2 D2 from Star Wars, BB-9E App-Enabled Droid, Yvolution Y Deluxe Scooter)
- Electronic Devices (iPhone X, Apple AirPods, Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones, QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones, FitBit Alta Fitness Tracker, Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo, Xbox One X)
- Kitchen Appliances (KitchenAid -Stand Mixer)
- General scams including ads for: puppies, event tickets for concerts, holiday lodging and rental or “package trips,” loan investment scams)
“Holidays are an especially vital time for marketplaces to evaluate their moderation strategies. If you’ve been looking for your chance to increase your user experience and user trust, this is it,” said Patrik Frisk, CEO of Besedo.
Identifiers to avoiding online holiday scams for consumers:
- Photos not available
- Photos containing more than one product
- Offers 30-50% cheaper than market prices
- Inconsistent price messaging, i.e. one or several prices listed in the same ad
- Seller claims of having received “extra” of these products as a gift, but don’t need them, therefore selling the extras at a discounted or “too-good-to-be-true” price
- Accounts are commonly generated under female usernames
- User contact information commonly provides free email domains, including but not limited to: Outlook, Gmail and Hotmail
- Users generally do not provide a phone number to be contacted by
- The seller wants to complete the sale outside of the protected website.
- The seller insists on immediate payments, or payment by electronic funds transfer or a wire service
Best practices for marketplace owners to protect site visitors from holiday scams:
- Build holiday-specific lists in your filter moderation tool with filters specific to the commonly scammed items.
- Include misspellings of each popular product in your filter automation tool. Many scammers misspell item names as a way to dodge online filters.
- Bolster your holiday content moderation strategy to prepare for an increase in holiday scams.
- Recruit a third party company to help cover the ground work in human moderation services.
- Audit and benchmark your site to see where the most need for improvement is – A benchmarking service will analyze and compare your site to competitors, while the audit gives your site an overall analysis on performance levels.
“Holidays are meant to be some of the happiest, most exciting times of the year. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of quick-acting consumers to post fraudulent content. This is one of Besedo’s biggest motivators, so consumers can go to websites and get exactly what they need for loved ones instead of dealing with the hassle of fake ads and products,” Frisk said.
Besedo empowers online marketplaces to grow with trust by enabling their users to engage fearlessly with one another. Since 2002, Besedo has partnered with online marketplaces of all sizes, across the globe to help them create user trust, better quality content and better user experience in the digital world. Besedo is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and also has offices in Colombia, Malaysia, Malta, Romania, and France. With over 500 employees of more than 20 different nationalities, Besedo is a truly global and multicultural company with real localization capabilities.
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