When Vignesh Krishan founded Research Defender in 2018 he knew that managing fraud was critical in the global market research industry. The company set out to deliver high-quality consumer insights for companies in diverse industries all over the world. They understood even before they got started that ensuring the quality and integrity of the research was going to be essential to their success and the success of their customers.
Businesses rely on Research Defender to safeguard their projects against fraud because fraud is expensive. There’s the obvious cost of paying out incentives for fraudulent respondents, of course, but even more than that there’s the potential for wasted time. If you conduct research and find that it has been tainted by fraudulent responses, you have felt this pain. To meet your customer’s needs you may have to re-do significant parts of the research process, which can complicate relationships with customers. If you don’t deliver high quality research the first time, there are dozens of competitors ready to pick up the pieces of a failed research project.
On top of that, global or unknown audiences for consumer research make fraud harder to detect. If you’re running surveys on your own customers, you may have increased confidence about the identity of your respondents—using established customer accounts with a transaction history means that you have a clearer relationship with the participants of your research. Known customers aren’t always the best ones to answer particular research questions, however. Research Defender was setting out to help customers from all over the world obtain reliable insights from consumers outside their pool of known customers.
Vignesh and his team knew that building a robust, agile fraud prevention and detection solution would be part of the foundation of Research Defender’s success.
“When you use multiple services for fraud prevention, you want the ones that make up the foundation of your system to be stable, dependable, usable. minFraud is a really stable part of our foundation.”
Research Defender uses a number of fraud detection services, along with homegrown machine learning, to prevent fraudulent responses . Research Defender monitors the digital identifiers of its respondents across its customer base for suspicious signals, like extremely fast survey completion, or the completion of too many different surveys in a short period of time.
At the core of this homegrown solution are a select few services, and there are a lot of demands placed on those services.
“minFraud was very simple to use,” Vignesh told us. “It did what we expected and needed it to do, and the performance was great. minFraud was especially useful for identifying suspicious IP addresses. That’s a big strength of the solution. We didn’t need to put in timeouts to manage problems with latency or that kind of thing. Once you get the integration set up, you really don’t have to think about minFraud, and that’s a good thing.”
With minFraud working in the core of Research Defender’s fraud detection, their team could spend more time on data analysis and honing their own models.
“Since we started using minFraud we’ve seen a 70-80% reduction in fraud. That translates to better relationships with our customers, reduced cost from fraudulent payouts of incentives, and less wasted time.”
The bottom line in fraud prevention is results. You can’t catch all fraud, of course. Sometimes people start a survey with the intention to finish it honestly, but halfway through they get frustrated or fatigued and input bad data. You can catch that kind of fraud after the fact, but you’ll never catch all of it before.
After integrating minFraud, Research Defender saw results right away. In the first round of their surveys with minFraud as part of their solution, fraud rates dropped from around 10% to 2%.
“I tell people that we use minFraud,” Vignesh said. “Some of our other solutions have less brand recognition, but hearing that we use minFraud helps with our customers’ peace of mind. And, given how little effort minFraud is to maintain and how effective it’s been, we sleep easier at Research Defender knowing that minFraud is working for us.”