4 ways to keep your users safe online this valentine’s day

Love is in the air, which is great news for both dating sites and online marketplaces as your users look to your site for dates or gifts in preparation for Valentine’s Day.

Seasonal specialties are the lifeblood of many consumer-focused enterprises – on and offline. Whether you’re offering a half-price dating site membership or 30% off personalized His/Hers’ novelty gifts, it’s important to be aware that scammers are watching and waiting too. But with the right people, software, and awareness in place, you can reduce your customers’ susceptibility. Here are four things to be aware of this V-Day – ways to keep your users safe.

Too many broken hearts

Lots of interest might sound like a good problem to have for a dating site. But a sudden spike in volume can leave site moderation teams overwhelmed if the right infrastructure’s not in place. Taking on extra manual moderation staff, as many shopping sites do between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is a good place to start. When the pressure’s on it’s easy to let things slip by unnoticed. The usual rules apply, but extra support can make all the difference. A good content moderation partner will also have processes in place to handle seasonal volume spikes, so you may also consider that as an option so you can focus on improving your core product instead.

Watch for catfish

Dating site users are often more vulnerable around holidays like Valentine’s Day. Site owners need to be cautious and offer users additional warnings to ensure they don’t get deceived. It is also important to be extra vigilant with content moderation to keep your users safe. Scammers change their tactics continuously and evolve their approach to make it harder for moderators and AI to catch them. At Besedo we look at a whole range of fraud markers to ensure high accuracy when hunting for fraudulent content (we share some of them here in our interview with Steve Baker, former director at FTC, and Patrik Frisk, Besedo CEO – who also discuss some of the key terms used by scammers). Making sure that your team is aware of these is a moderation priority, and crucial for a safe environment for your users.

Understand the urgency

Guilty last-minute purchases are a Valentine’s Day staple. But when there’s an urgency to find the perfect gift, often users bypass rational thought to get something quickly (check out our piece on the psychology of trust for more on this). Others may be looking for a bargain and can fall for ‘too good to be true’ scams – expensive items being offered at low prices.

Here are the items that scammers will often target around Valentine’s day:

  • Pets (reference to miniature breeds, selling cheap with keywords referring to Valentine’s)
  • Gift Cards & Vouchers (Love2Shop vouchers, Amazon gift cards, CEX Vouchers)
  • Jewellery (as you’d expect)
  • Beauty Products and Perfumes (GHD, Mac makeup, Dior Perfume)
  • Designer Handbags (Louis Vuitton, YSL, Gucci, MK are popular)
  • Phones (iPhone, Samsung – the usual suspects)
  • DIY Tools (Yup…! Guys dig ‘em)

However, these items are popular and sold by many legitimate vendors in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. So how do you ensure that you don’t reject legitimate posts? Make sure that your team knows what to look for and which combination of ad elements raise the risk of a listing being labeled as fraudulent.

Hang up the handcuffs…?

And finally, the most romantic time of the year lends itself to affairs of the loins as well as the heart. As a result, sex toys, pornography, and other kinky materials grow in popularity. In order to keep the experience family-friendly, many online marketplaces do not allow items related to sex on their site. If this applies to your site, then be extra vigilant with your moderation – particularly in categories where these could appear easily – around Valentine’s Day.

Special and seasonal events happen throughout the year, so it’s important to be aware that content moderation trends need to change and adapt too. Our aim at Besedo is to help site and marketplace owners navigate the challenges and opportunities.

Want to find out how we can help you? Get in touch!

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