As we close on the second quarter of the year, I wanted to share some updates from our Fraud Fighter Forums. To set the stage, merchants often tell us that the profession of fraud fighting can feel a bit isolating. Our Forums were created to provide a space for people on the front lines of risk, trust, and integrity to share best practices and network with others in their shoes.

For example, think about how many people in total are at your company. How many are focused on product growth, engineering, customer support, product marketing etc. vs risk, fraud and abuse? The math quickly reveals that the odds are not in your favor. Thus the Fraud Fighter Forum was born to give folks a platform to share stories, insights and experiences.

This past quarter, we held events in Seattle, Venice Beach, and San Francisco. To date we’ve hosted over 10 forums and the energy has been simply amazing.

Here are some key learnings from this quarter:

  • Account takeover (ATO) is on the rise but it’s difficult to measure impact
    • Chargebacks are known values. A $100 chargeback basically means the same thing to all merchants, however ATO impact is harder to put a dollar value on. As a result, it’s more difficult to get resources to combat such behavior.
    • Most often it comes down to metrics like lifetime value of a customer or churn to help get more clarity here.
  • Rules no longer rule
    • After years of using a rules based infrastructure, the maintenance, upkeep and effectiveness of these frameworks has become more and more limited. Why? Fraud is getting more sophisticated and moving to areas that are not based in simply IP or throw away email domains. These accounts and orders look so real that more behavior modeling is needed to decipher good vs bad.  
    • There is still room for rules to play a part when setting up some safety nets (especially when it comes to brand to products or systems) but they have become more of a last line of defense.  
  • Tools on Tools on Tools
    • Most merchants use several tools before they make a decision. Analysts spend more time consolidating data from various systems rather than pure investigation and eventually making a decision.  
    • Most companies use a medley of tools (internal and external) to make a decision, but almost none of them are optimized for their team.

As for the rest of the year, we are busy scoping out some new and familiar spots. Here are some cities that are in the running: Chicago, Boston, New York and Austin. If you’re interested in attending or speaking at a future Fraud Fighter Form please contact forum@siftscience.com. Hope to see you there!

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Kevin Lee

Kevin is the Trust and Safety Architect at Sift Science. Building high-performing teams and systems to combat malicious behavior are what drive him. Prior to Sift, Kevin worked as a manager at Facebook, Square, and Google in various risk, spam, and trust and safety roles.