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Preventing referral fraud
Preventing referral fraud

How Smile fraud analysis measures block fraudulent referrals

Tess avatar
Written by Tess
Updated over a week ago


Smile’s fraud analysis helps you detect fraudulent referrals to help you minimize your program’s exposure to referral abuse.


Why a referral is blocked

Smile will automatically detect the following high risk indicators of referral fraud:

  • Advocate and Friend email addresses are similar

  • High volume of referrals from the same IP address (specifically - 10 referrals within a week of each other from the same IP address)

  • Order is not the customer’s first order

  • Order is placed by the Advocate

  • Order is placed by someone with the same name as the Advocate

If we detect that a referral has a high risk of being fraudulent we’ll flag it and automatically block it to prevent it from being completed. Any blocked referrals will be listed in the Blocked column in the all referrals grid found in your Smile Admin.

Where referrals can be blocked

There are two points throughout the referral process at which a referral can be blocked.

1. When a Friend enters their email address to claim their referral reward code.

If we detect the referral has a high risk of being fraudulent when the Friend enters their email address to claim their referral code:

  • The referral will be blocked.

  • The Friend will not be able to claim their reward code in the customer Panel. Instead, they’ll see an error message letting them know there was an issue with the referral.

2. When a Friend uses their reward code to complete an order.

If we detect the referral has a high risk of being fraudulent when the Friend uses the reward code to place an order:

  • The Advocate will not receive a reward for the referral.

📝 Pro Tip:
The best way to protect yourself from referral fraud is with smart program set up. Learn more about setting up smart Advocate and Friend referral rewards.

What you can do when a referral is blocked

If we’ve flagged a referral as high risk of being fraudulent, you can view more details about it in your Smile Admin and decide to unblock or cancel the referral.

Review the referral details

The first thing you can do when a referral is blocked is learn more about why we’ve blocked it.

Each blocked referral will have a referral fraud indicator listed on the referral detail card. This indicator will let you know why the referral has been blocked.

To view the detail card for a blocked referral, select it from your all referrals grid in your Smile Admin.

This detailed card will have information you can use to determine whether the referral is fraudulent including:

  • The Advocate and Friend details

  • The referral fraud indicator and reason we’ve flagged this referral as high risk

  • Whether or not the referral reward code has been used by the Friend

Cancel or unblock the referral

Once you’ve reviewed the referral details, you have the option to either cancel the referral or unblock the referral.

Cancelling a referral will:

  • Move the referral to “cancelled” column of your all referral grid

  • Ensure that the Advocate does not receive a reward

Unblocking a referral will:

  • Move the referral to complete if the Friend has made a purchase

  • Move the referral to pending if the Friend has not yet made a purchase

  • Issue a reward to the Advocate if the Friend has successfully generated a referral reward code and placed an order

  • Send the Friend an email notification with their referral code

To unblock or cancel a referral, open up the referral detail card and select the action you’d like to take.

📝 Smile Pro Tip: If you notice a high volume of blocked referrals from a single Advocate and suspect that they may be abusing your referral program, you can exclude them from your program.

What's next?

Cancel a referral

Learn more

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