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Promotion abuse prevention

Verify legitimate customers and block bad actors that exploit promotional campaigns, sign-up incentives and loyalty programs.

Reduce promotion abuse and increase revenue with verified identities

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What is promotion abuse?

Promotion abuse refers to the fraudulent use or receipt of sign-up incentives; referral bonuses and loyalty discounts are most common type of promotion fraud. Retailers, subscription model businesses and hospitality businesses often use these types of incentive campaigns.

Who commits promotion abuse?

There are global criminal enterprises that specialize in promotion abuse, creating realistic counterfeit coupons or opening new accounts using stolen or synthetic identities. However, most promotion abuse is committed by consumers who may sign up repeatedly using burner email addresses or use services free of charge by acquiring sequential free trials through a series of fake accounts.

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Why preventing promotion abuse is important

By enabling bad actors to abuse promotions, businesses leave themselves vulnerable to distorted acquisition metrics, wasted marketing budgets and depleted inventory. Through promotion abuse prevention, you not only reduce serious financial losses, but you will also increase ROI on your campaigns and boost overall profitability.

How promo abuse happens

Fraudster creates account

Using stolen identity information or synthetic identities, a bad actor begins the sign-up process to open an account.

How fraudsters abuse promo codes

Once onboarded, a fraudster can stack or even use multiple codes in a single transaction, exploiting vulnerabilities in the code redemption process to gain additional benefits.

How fraudsters impact revenue generation

When promotions are exploited, the impact is financial loss affecting marketing budgets, growth potential and brand reputation.

The solution

The Account Opening API exposes a set of proprietary network signals that provide insight into the legitimacy of the input credentials and the validity of the customer opening the account.

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Account Opening API

Onboard more verified customers with higher confidence and a better customer experience

How to identify potential bad actors

Identify stolen or synthetic identities during the account onboarding process to stop abuse early in the sign-up process.

Reduce friction for legitimate customers

Assess risk level in real-time and streamline your sign-up process, validating legitimate customers to fast track their onboarding workflow.

Improve campaign ROI

Use proprietary risk scores to restrict bad actors that distort acquisition metrics and undermine marketing budgets.


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Mitigating fraud: A conversation on proactive account protection

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How you can stop account abuse with Sift and Mastercard


See how Mastercard Identity can reduce promo abuse for your business.