3 Ways Fake Accounts Harm Your Business

Elon Musk’s recent Twitter deal has been hitting headlines, highlighting an important but often overlooked issue: fake accounts.

Fraudsters use bots and emulators to run automated scripts, allowing them to create thousands of fake accounts in the matter of seconds. These accounts are then used to conduct a myriad of fraudulent activities. 

Fake accounts have always been a huge concern for online businesses, but the recent Twitter deal has shone a spotlight on the severe repercussions of fake accounts. And it’s not just the Twitter sphere experiencing this problem. For example, a fraudster created a fake account to pose as Keanu Reeves and demand a staggering 400,000 USD from an innocent victim in California. As fake accounts continue to plague the digital world, it’s important to understand how they can hurt your business.

How fake accounts are detrimental to businesses 

1. Fake accounts are often used as a launchpad to carry out fraudulent activities

Fake accounts present fraudsters with a treasure trove of opportunities. Fake accounts can be used to conduct promo abuse, payment fraud, and identity theft, just to name a few. They are also instrumental in carrying out content spam, ruining the experience for other users on the platform. 

Fake accounts that go undetected and lay dormant are leveraged for fraudulent activity in the future. Since these accounts are frequently created at scale, it’s a never ending game of whack-a-mole. Block one account and a fraudster uses another one. 

2. Fake accounts can hinder a company’s financial growth

Some companies don’t mind having fake accounts since they help inflate user numbers on a platform, making it more attractive to potential investors. But in the long run, fake accounts can have severe consequences. Investors will ask about the number of quality users on a platform to forecast growth, and false representations of user numbers can result in lawsuits down the road. 

3. Fake accounts skew marketing analytics

Online advertisers are contractually bound to deliver a certain number of clicks and impressions to their customers' ads. If they realize they’re not going to reach their target, they will use bots and fake accounts to click on advertisements and reach the guaranteed number of clicks. This results in invalid traffic, giving businesses inaccurate customer acquisition and advertisement performance data. 

How SHIELD can help

SHIELD’s technology helps online businesses detect and stop fake accounts before they can do any damage. One of the key features that enables this is the SHIELD ID, a unique device identifier that accurately detects every single device on a platform with extreme persistence. The power of the SHIELD ID lies in the fact that it stays the same no matter how much fraudsters try to make an existing device look new. For example, fraudsters will factory reset their phones but with the SHIELD ID, online businesses will know when one device is accessing multiple user accounts.

On top of this, the group of SHIELD Risk Indicators identifies all tools used that are usually associated with fraud. Suppose a fraudster was using an app cloner and emulator to create fake accounts at scale. SHIELD’s technology would pick up on this in real time. 

SHIELD provides companies with real-time risk intelligence, powering online businesses with the knowledge they need to identify and put an end to fake accounts. As fake accounts continue to wreak havoc on the internet, it is vital for businesses to take the necessary steps in stopping fraudsters. 

Learn how our technology can protect your platform from fake accounts today