Fake signups are one of the biggest challenges for ecommerce marketers and can cause damage to your email deliverability. Not only do they skew your subscriber list, but they also damage your reputation and deter real customers from engaging with your content.
Signup fraud is usually caused by spam bots, automated computer programs that are designed to find and fill in online forms on websites and blogs. When they come across a signup form, they will automatically populate the field with fake information (such as an invalid email address). Spambots can also use this fake data to create a new account on your site or to try and get into accounts that require a password.
The first step to stopping fake signups is to implement a robust form verification system that will stop the submission of any suspicious signups. The most basic method is to use a CAPTCHA or ReCAPTCHA, which force the user to complete specific clicks that cannot be replicated by a machine (such as checking a box). This can help reduce the number of fraudulent signups on your website.
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Other red flags to watch out for include: a sudden surge in the amount of signups, an increase in non-corporate emails (if your business is B2B) or a high volume of gibberish (this can indicate that the email address has been created with spam software). You can also monitor and analyze user behavior on your site and check IP addresses to see if they are appearing on any block lists, which are curated by collaborators on the internet to filter malicious and fraudulent activity.