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Geolocation Identifies Scammers & Improves Content Moderation


    At Besedo, we’re continuously working to enhance how our technology detects scams and helps moderators maintain secure online marketplaces. Geolocation is a new feature recently introduced to our all-in-one content moderation tool, Implio.

    Let’s look at how geolocation works and how it can benefit both site moderators and end users.

    Content challenges

    Allowing user-generated content on your site has many benefits. It can increase conversion rates and encourage dwell times and interactions. However, one of the biggest challenges of UGC is that anyone can abuse it; through fake profiles, posts, and fraudulent offers. In short, while UGC draws in your users, it can also put them at risk and push them away – if not managed carefully.

    Our trust and safety team closely monitors what we call ‘fraud markers’ (patterns or info bits often seen in fraudulent content) – such as specific keywords and phrases, posting time, and price. However, location is one of the most telling indicators of online fraud.

    Knowledge is power

    It pays to know that users are based where they say they are. Scammers will often claim to be located in the country your site operates in, while actually being situated elsewhere.

    Our new geolocation feature enables you to identify the location of your end users based on their IP addresses, helping you spot abnormal patterns and discrepancies. Typically our tech can identify a country, city, or postal code, as well as the latitude and longitude of a user.

    How does it work across different moderation methods?

    In custom AI

    Our Implio tool automatically identifies a user’s IP address and then uses the geolocation information as input for our custom AI solution, making our filters more accurate. You don’t have to do anything to enable this. Our filters are already optimized to use geolocation when necessary.

    In manual moderation

    Geolocation information is included in the location section of the manual moderation interface: next to the “user-defined” property, allowing you to compare information and note any discrepancies quickly. You can also compare latitude and longitude information using our Google Maps links.

    In automation

    Automation rules can be set up to include geolocation variables

    For example:

    (You’ll find a full list of variables on our help page) In this way, you can automatically send any content that fulfills a specific condition directly to your manual moderators, or if you have a hard rule on user location, even reject content from being posted from specific IPs.

    Geolocation in action on an online marketplace

    Imagine a user uploads a classified ad selling the new iPhone X: for a little under market price!

    Low prices on popular electronics are usually a scam marker, but in this case the price is not low enough to say for certain that the ad isn’t genuine.

    The text isn’t carrying any of the other usual fraud markers either – like having bought it for a family member who doesn’t want it, or having pre-ordered too many.

    A professional-looking guy based in Paris posted the ad (he’s wearing a suit in his profile picture). Your site operates in France so this isn’t cause for concern either.

    The geolocation feature indicates that although the vendor says he’s in Paris, the ad was posted in Bratislava. While this may be perfectly innocent –  maybe he travels regularly for work – it is another high-confidence scam fraud marker.

    Depending on how you set up your rules, you can have ads like these (where there’s a discrepancy between stated location and the IP address) automatically sent for manual moderation or instantly rejected. You can also make more complex filters: that look for prices below a certain threshold for specific items, and detect when a user’s actual location and stated location don’t match.

    With Implio’s easy to use rule creator, you have a lot of flexibility in applying and utilizing functions like geolocation in your personal rules.

    Get smart with geolocation

    Scammers are smart and will use every trick in the book to achieve their dishonorable goals. Whether they’re ‘selling’ a high ticket item at a ridiculously low price or posing as a ‘mystery blonde requiring an airfare’; they will stop at nothing to dupe your users. While raising awareness among your users is crucial, adding a layer of moderation safety with Implio and geolocation will help your site continue to cement the trust you’ve worked hard to maintain.

    For more information about our newest feature, look at the geolocation content on our help page.

    A geolocation use case for moderation (non extensive)

    Geolocation allows moderators to:

    – Identify scammers by verifying their actual location matches the one they claim

    – Prevent scammers by automatically rejecting content from high risk IP addresses or sending it directly to manual moderation

    – Help customer support staff understand possible payment issues (if, say, a vendor is travelling and their address doesn’t match their given location)

    This is Besedo

    Global, full-service leader in content moderation

    We provide automated and manual moderation for online marketplaces, online dating, sharing economy, gaming, communities and social media.

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