Exacerbated by the pandemic, fraud spiked 20% in 2020 as digital behaviour shifted. According to Greenbook, new data shows on average, 15% to 30% of market research data is fraudulent. Market research fraud is not a new phenomenon, and it keeps evolving. It partially happens when nefarious individuals exploit weaknesses in survey processes. Now more than ever, we need to maintain the integrity of our studies and guard against click farms, regional proxies, bots and any Fraudulent survey respondents.
Detection and prevention strategies by Canadian Viewpoint
For the past 40+ years, we have partnered with and been trusted by many well-known companies to successfully sample and survey the most challenging target groups from our proprietary panel. We ensure the quality of our panel by extensively profiling each member and we validate panelist name and address by mailing physical incentive cheques to their Canadian address. By doing this, we remove fraudsters from our panel and provide premium data to our clients.
In addition, we use bot detection to flag responses that have a high likelihood of being answered by a bot. As a result, our team can filter out bot data and remove suspicious responses. We also use digital fingerprinting to create a unique identity for each computer to prevent users from entering any single survey more than once and to also disable non-Canadian IP addresses from entering our surveys.
Another way to identify survey fraud is by reviewing open-ended responses. We recommend spreading open-ended questions around surveys to detect satisficing (a practice where participants skim-read instructions and questions) and bots. Data quality is key to successful market research. Fraudulent survey takers often give wrong, short, or meaningless answers to open-ended questions. They sometimes input plagiarized text from other sources that are irrelevant to the question being asked. Hence, adding attention checks and cognitive tasks such as reCAPTCHA is very beneficial to detect bots. We also include interactive survey questions, such as audio, video, gamification, sliders, drag and drop, and many more, to trap bots as well as to create an engaging and fun survey experience for our users.
Pre-survey checks to block obvious frauds and duplicates, and in-survey quality control questions are essential quality measures. However, you still need to review your data post-completion and remove redundant responses. We employ a suite of tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and remove suspicious behaviour and data. As part of our quality control process, our project managers review data throughout the projects’ lifecycle, review the open-ended responses and remove data deemed fraudulent. In addition, we track study time stamps and flag and remove respondents who complete surveys unreasonably fast, as well as straightliners (those who rush through the surveys and use the same pattern or select the same answers for all the questions).
We give you access to more than 300,000 unique people across Canada, pre-profiled, highly engaged and responsive for any research method.
We deliver premium data using all methods of data collection
It’s easy, efficient and uncompromised quality
Together, we will combat fraud and ensure the integrity of our data
Fraudsters will never stop; they will work just as hard as we do to find new ways to participate in our surveys. Fraud mitigation is essential for effective market research. As early as 2005, ESOMAR recognized the importance of transparency in sampling processes, which is especially important when combatting fraud. ESOMAR/GRBN Guideline for Online Sample Quality states that “online sample providers must be transparent with researchers and clients about sample sources, the sampling process, and its outcomes.” As a corporate member of ESOMAR and an accredited member of the Canadian Research and Insights Council (CRIC), we have pledged to be transparent about our process, respect our panelists’ privacy, and provide high-quality data. Ensuring that our process and fraud prevention solutions comply with our industry standards. To combat fraud and safeguard the integrity of our research, we need to come together to create more innovative solutions. We believe, together as an industry, we need to share best practices, collaborate, and seek help when needed. Together we can control fraud.
We provide best-in-class technology for digital fingerprinting and fraud prevention. Our proprietary panel is double opt-in, bilingual, ID-validated, PIPEDA-compliant, and actively managed comprising over 300,000 unique people. We deliver premium data using all methods of data collection, and we pride ourselves on our quality assurance processes that often exceeds industry standards. Whether our clients need to better understand the opinions of affluent shoppers, surgeons, children, or the general population, we provide them with premium sample to help them make timely data-driven decisions.
Feel free to ask us any questions about our premium sample or request more information about our processes.