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Brand fraud is a common tactic used by digital scammers to steal money, take advantage of customers and profit off the intellectual property (IP) of legitimate brands. Increasingly, empowered by technology, fraudsters are finding new and deceptive ways to carry out their brand fraud strategies.
To ensure that you can combat brand fraud, you need to be aware of the common brand abuse tactics and how you can counter them with your own brand protection strategies. If you are proactive and informed you will be able to prevent major losses of revenue and damage to your reputation. You will also be able to safeguard your connection with your customers and stakeholders.
In this blog, we explore 5 strategies to combat brand fraud by highlighting a few important topics, including:
Brand abuse is a broad term that applies to incidents when an outside party infringes on a brand’s intellectual property in order to take advantage of its reputation and customers. Fraudsters use abuse to gain wealth and sensitive information.
Fraudsters make counterfeit products that violate the intellectual property rights of legitimate brands. They will use these counterfeit products across marketplaces and social media platforms, in order to undercut the sales of real brands and undermine their online reputation.
They may also sell your products without authorization on third-party websites. In doing so they will circumvent rules and guidelines putting consumers at risk while profiting off your hard work.
Brand fraud also often involves online brand impersonation. Here scammers will simply masquerade as your brand online in an attempt to trick consumers, steal money and gain access to sensitive information. This will damage your online brand strategies and make it difficult for your business to forge authentic relationships with consumers online.
Domain squatting (also known as cybersquatting) is a practice used by cybercriminals that involves registering, buying, or using a domain name so that they can profit off the trademarks of legitimate businesses.
Phishing is a similar fraudulent practice where attackers will trick people into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware by making them click a bad link contained in an email, text or another kind of message.
Some fraudsters engage in customer review manipulation to make their products seem legitimate and appear highly ranked on marketplaces. They accomplish this by soliciting fake reviews or by simply writing fake reviews themselves.
These reviews will usually be overly positive while being negative towards legitimate brands. Anyone who comes across their products online will then be tricked into believing that their fraudulent products are actually worthwhile.
1. Developing a comprehensive brand protection plan
To combat brand fraud you should start by developing a complete brand protection plan. Within this plan make provisions for various types of brand fraud. What kinds of brand fraud might your business be susceptible to? What kind of brand abuse has your business already suffered?
By asking these kinds of questions you will be able to contextualize your online presence and your interactions with fraudsters. This will help you think about the different ways you can approach brand protection across social media, marketplaces, domains, and your own website.
2. Communicate with staff and customers
To make sure your brand is well-protected, create a clear policy that explains what brand abuse is and what employees and customers should do if they encounter it.
Train your employees to recognize and report brand abuse incidents quickly. Encourage them to pay attention to negative reviews that might be linked to such issues.
Also, provide simple educational materials for customers, helping them understand what brand abuse is and how to avoid falling victim to it.
3. Implementing robust monitoring and detection systems
To tackle brand fraud you have to find out where it is happening as soon as you can. By implementing strong monitoring and detection systems you will be able to uncover fraudsters before they are able to do major damage to your brand.
Today, there are a variety of tech-based solutions that utilize automation and machine learning to monitor the web and detect brand abuse. Make sure that you choose a solution that specializes in uncovering business fraud and taking down scammers.
4. Engaging in proactive takedown actions
After you have detected incidents of brand fraud you should also work hard to gather evidence and get these scammers removed from all online spaces. Most marketplaces and social media platforms have their own internal reporting systems that you can use to report brand fraud and take down scammers.
By being proactive with your takedown action you will be able to counter the efforts of brand abusers before they have done significant damage to your brand or your customers.
5. Collaborating with legal and law enforcement authorities
Beyond reporting to marketplaces and social media platforms, you can also collaborate with relevant legal and law enforcement bodies to ensure that fraudsters are taken down. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) receives reports of any scams that occur online.
You can also seek legal guidance to help you determine whether you can pursue any of these potential infringers with legal action. If you are successful with your legal proceedings you may be able to recover funds lost to fraudsters and stop them from targeting your brand.
Brand fraudsters are increasingly turning to technology to make their scams faster, more precise, and more damaging to brands. To ensure that you can combat brand fraud your business must also embrace the best brand protection technology on the market.
Red Points’ Brand Protection Software is the ideal solution to help combat brand fraud. Over 1,200 companies trust us to protect their brands and customers because they know that we have the expertise and experience necessary to counter the most deceptive and resilient fraudsters. Our robust system of detection, tracking, and removal ensures that all counterfeit listings and sellers are taken down.
We will protect your brand across the web, including:
Brand fraud is a real problem that your business needs to start preparing for as soon as possible. The more informed and proactive you are, the easier it will be for you to react to brand fraud and prevent fraudsters from taking advantage of your business.
You should begin by developing a comprehensive brand protection plan that encompasses your current business operations as well as your growth ambitions. Following this, you should implement robust, automated technology to help you tackle the problem.
As your business becomes more familiar with the issue of brand fraud, everyone within your organization will become more adept at spotting and tackling any incidents of brand abuse. To learn more about how Red Points can help your business combat brand fraud, request a demo here.