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Security Features for Referral Programs

Fraud prevention is a consideration for every company with a referral program. Inevitably, someone will test the system. Although you can’t change the intentions of bad actors, you can design your program to minimize fraudulent behavior. Combining our standard Advocate security features with good program design minimizes the risks posed by fraudulent activity.

Use built-in security features

Turn on Fraud Protection

Your Advocate program has an optional, automated Fraud Protection feature that can be used together with manual actions like blocking email domains and specific participants and IP addresses to mitigate the effects of fraudulent behavior. When Fraud Protection is turned on, all referrals are assigned a fraud score based on various risk factors. Referrals are approved, denied, or placed into a pending state for your manual review based on their fraud score. Learn more about how Fraud Protection works.

Block email domains

We automatically compare referred friends’ email addresses against an extensive list of known disposable and temporary email domains. Our system also lets you manually block domains from within your account settings. Learn more by viewing our Blocked Email Domains article.

Block participants and IP addresses

Blocking participants can be done in a few ways:

  • You can invalidate a participant’s referral code to prevent them from making successful referrals. When the participant tries to use their code, they’ll receive a 404 Not Found message, or they won’t get attribution credit for the referral they made.

  • Individual IP addresses or a range of IP addresses can be blocked within your account settings.

  • Participants from specific countries can also be blocked if you have configured your data sharing settings to include sending us participant locale information.

Design your program with fraud prevention in mind

A common form of referral program fraud is someone trying to refer themselves multiple times to get rewarded. Programs that offer double-sided rewards for both the advocate and the referred friend are especially appealing for this type of fraud. Fortunately, with thoughtful design, you can minimize the impact of these attempts to game the system. Learn more about designing a fraud-proof referral program.

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