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At iMad Research, we have proudly built an industry-leading organization that works hard to provide high quality data collection services with around-the-clock support and a proprietary panel.  With a mission to continue providing the type of quality that our clients have come to trust, we are excited to announce our partnership with Research Defender, a company that aims to “create a clean, healthy and efficient ecosystem in the research industry”.

In recent years, partially due to the pandemic and partially due to a changing landscape in the workforce, there has been an increase in the number of people looking for ways to earn an income from remote work.  One of the popular ways to supplement income from the comfort of your home (or your Sprinter van, or your RV, or your AirBnb) is to take online surveys, which generally comes with an incentive payment.  Though these incentive payments may be relatively small, some people have engineered ways to try to scam the systems, because when you (or your fancy new bots) take LOTS of surveys, those incentive payments start to add up.

Examples of survey fraud include:

  • Duplicate responses – people who attempt to take a survey multiple times to earn multiple incentives. This may also include people who try to create multiple accounts with fake email addresses.
  • Bots – software technology programmed to take surveys in place of an actual human
  • Disengaged Particpants – “Straightliners” or participants who are not actively engaged in the survey and are simply selecting any answer to get through it.  This category may also include “professional” survey takers trying to complete far too many surveys in a day.

In this study conducted in 2021 by the Coalition for Advancing Sampling Research, Insights Association, Advertising Research Foundation, and other industry thought leaders and collaborators, we learned that the current, average rate of duplicates and fraudsters in survey panels was 18%.  When the data was completely cleaned, included the removal of non-completes, between 30% and 40% of total responses (including the dupes and frauds) were removed.  This percentage is more than large enough to have caused incorrect and/or misleading conclusions to be drawn from the response data, thus affecting the outcome of business decisions made based on the research.

Through our partnership with Research Defender, we are able to utilize their suite of tools to stop fraud before it starts and keep our panel and responses clean.  Respondents are scanned with digital fingerprinting techniques to remove bots, frauds and duplicates.  Email addresses are evaluated for legitimacy and fake email addresses are identified and removed.  Customizable filters are available to identify potential “professional” survey takers by tracking their rate of activity online and the number of surveys they’ve participated in.  These metrics are combined and used to provide researchers with threat-level scores that they can use to remove potentially fraudulent respondents from a survey before they reach it.

iMad is committed to maintaining the highest quality data collection services available in the market today, and through our strategic partnerships and our focus on building our proprietary panels that connect real humans and businesses across the globe, we aim to achieve that mission every day.

Contact us today to learn more or to request a bid.


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