The Fraud Index is a tool that calculates the probability that votes received by a contest participant originated from fraudulent practices such as:
- Votes that have been bought
- The use of multiple false Facebook accounts, or an account that has no real identity according to the Facebook Community Standards
- The use of Facebook accounts which have been stolen or used to purchase votes
- The use of computer programs and tools that automate or semi-automate the process of voting
For each participant in a voting contest, the Easypromos Fraud Index calculates a percentage likelyhood that the participant is receiving fraudulent votes. Participants receiving percentages between 0-100 are considered valid, while any precentage higher than 100 is deemed invalid.
Easypromos recommends contest administrators mention within the contest Terms and Conditions that winners will be subject to a review by Easypromos Fraud Index and potentially disqualified if there is a high suspcion of voting fraud.
Figure 1: Example of the visualization of the Easypromos Fraud Index for an entrant in the administration control panel.
How does the Easypromos Fraud Index calculate results?
The index is calculated from fraud alerts registered in the votes of each participant, and calculates a percentage based on the number of alerts, the type of alert and also the total number of votes received in full.
Easypromos has security controls that detect and record invalid votes. Click here to read the full list of security control and fraud alerts.
Figure 2: Example of the list of fraud alerts registered for a participant.
When does Easypromos consider a participant invalid?
Easypromos considers a contest participant invalid when the person’s Fraud Index value exceeds 100 percent.
Can I see the Easypromos Fraud Index of past contest participants?
The Fraud Index is available for voting contests created starting April 1, 2016 and currently are open, but is not available to contests that have been closed as of May 6, 2016.
Should I add the Fraud Index calculation to the Terms and Conditions of my contest?
Yes, we recommend that in case you use the Fraud Index in your contests, include a brief statement in your Terms&Conditions (in the disqualifications/penalizations section for example) informing participants about the tool. Here is a model of the sort of text that could be included:
“The contest Organizer will use the Easypromos Fraud Index tool to verify the validity of votes received by contest participants. This tool will enable the Organizer to as certain, upon finalization of the participation period, whether a participant has engaged in fraudulent practices to obtain more votes. If the Fraud Index of an entry is equal to or greater than 100%, then the Organizer reserves the right to disqualify the participant and declare his or her entry void.”
When should I disqualify a participant according to the Fraud Index?
We recommend that contest organizers review Fraud Index calculations and consider disqualification when the following three terms are met:
- The voting period has ended
- You have indicated in your contest’s Terms and Conditions that a participant’s votes will be subject to review by the Easypromos Fraud Index.
- The value of Fraud Index is greater than 100%.
I did not mention the Fraud Index in my Terms and Conditions. Can I still use its results to disqualify a participant?
The decision to disqualify a user is always at the discression of the organizer of the contest. The Fraud Index calculated by Easypromos is an indicator for the organizer to help determine the validity of participant’s votes. When included within the Terms and Conditions, the participant will have accepted that their participation is subject to review by the Fraud Index.
If you did not include the Fraud Index in your Terms and Conditions, it can still be a valid indicator as to whether fraud has taken place. However, in the end, finalizing participation is at the discression of the contest organizer.
A participant has a high Fraud Index (over 70%) but does not reach 100%. Should I them?
No, we recommend you do not disqualify any participant with a percentage of 100% or less.
While a participant may have generated certain alerts within the Fraud Index, the index also weights these against the total number of valid votes.
How I can explain to a participant that their participation is not valid because it exceeds 100% on the Fraud Index?
When you reach the end of the voting period, we offer the ability to issue a Validity Report for every participant. This report is offered through a link to an Easypromos website and includes the participant's name, the number of votes obtained, the value of the rate of fraud and the outcome. The result can be:
- Valid: if the fraud rate is less than 100%
- Invalid: if the rate of fraud is greater than 100%
The Validity Report is accessed through a link that is unique to each participant and known only to the administrator. The administrator can share the link to a Validity Report if a participant asks the administrator to demonstrate the validity of their participation.
Links to each participant’s Validity Report are valid for 90 days starting from the day the voting period ends.
We recommend that you send the Validity Report to the participant accompanied by a text similar to the one below:
“The contest organizer informs you that the Validity Report has been generated by EASYPROMOS using the Fraud Index tool. This tool enables EASYPROMOS to calculate the probability that votes received by a participant have been obtained as a result of fraudulent practices. In the Validity Report provided you can see the number of votes received by your entry, as well as the Fraud Index which has been calculated on the basis of alerts detected by the Fraud Control System. The Validity Report has been generated automatically, based on the alerts registered in the votes received. Therefore there is no possibility that the contest organizer has been able to manipulate the value of the Fraud Index.”