How Online Businesses are Analyzing Email Risk Scores to Fight Fraud

Online fraud is costing businesses $57.8 billion in a year. Yet, in order to stay competitive in today’s business environment, you can’t afford not to process transactions online.

Since customers can make a purchase with just an email address, fraudsters are taking advantage of many businesses that don’t have the right process in place to verify a buyer’s identity before approving a transaction.

To protect your company from online fraud, you need a comprehensive fraud prevention strategy. Since email is often used as a unique identifier in many online activities, email risk assessment — made possible by reverse email lookup — should be a key component.

In the past companies would need to manually enter email into reverse email lookup applications and review those results to make fraud prevention decisions. Not to mention, manually reviewing all the results can lead to inconsistency and errors that can be costly for your business. Today, businesses can automate this entire process through integrating fraud management applications with their backend systems.

To improve the speed and accuracy of your email risk assessment process, you can use an intelligent fraud detection tool, like SEON, that provides you with an email risk score for each email that you verify.

What’s an Email Risk Score?

Email risk scoring is a process that supports any online account opening such as creating a bank account, buying a plane ticket, ordering food or renting a car. Algorithms assess the risk level associated with an email address and generate a risk score in real-time to help a business decide whether to accept an application or process a transaction for a customer.



By leveraging email risk scores, you can automate workflows, reduce manual tasks, expedite approval processes, prevent chargebacks, and optimize the manual review procedures.

As a result, you’ll be able to improve customer experience by assessing risks and confirming identity without adding friction to the purchasing process. You can reduce losses due to online fraud and scale your business without taking on more risks.

How Businesses Analyze Email Risk Scores To Prevent Fraud

Email risk scores are calculated based on a variety of information collected through the reverse email lookup process, including:

• Email address validity: verify if the email address is real using an SMTP check.

• Email domain type and quality: evaluate the trustworthiness of the domain, check the age of the email address, and verify the user’s real name. Custom domains and services that require users to go through a verification process are more trustworthy while email addresses that are easy to create through services that don’t require SMS or other verification could be more suspicious.

• Social media profiling: check social media accounts associated with the email address. A social media presence indicates a lower chance that the email is used by a fraudster. Also, you can get information about the email owner’s name, location, workplace, and bio to inform risk assessment without any lengthy research.

• Data breaches: see if the email address has been involved in data breaches. If an email address has been in a breach, it is seen as lower risk because it can be verified as being used a while ago.

• Email blacklist: check the email address against known public blacklists compiled by fraud prevention, cybersecurity, and private companies.

• Email address quality: evaluate how likely the email account was created by a real customer (instead of a bot or fraudster.) String analysis is used to determine if the email address looks genuine. For instance, if the name that appears on the handle and account are different, the email address is more suspicious.

An intelligent fraud detection tool leverages methods such as name matching, geolocation, and proxy reputation to paint a composite picture of the buyer. Businesses can then get instant results — along with an email risk score — to help assess the full risk profile of a transaction in real-time.

An adaptable email analysis tool also allows you to customize risk thresholds based on the nature of your business. You can set specific risk score ranges to help inform decisions on whether to approve, review, or decline a transaction.

Final Thoughts

While reverse email lookup helps you gather valuable insights about a buyer, email risk scoring uses the data gathered from email lookup to accurately evaluate the risk associated with a transaction in real-time. This allows you to make informed decisions that can minimize the risk of falling victim to online fraud.

Email risk scoring helps you streamline the review process and provide a better customer experience. You can prevent good customers from getting caught in lengthy manual reviews while increasing revenue by minimizing the chances that you’d block a legitimate customer and even risk losing its lifetime value.

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