Combatting Online Fraud in Market Research

QQFS Innovation Offers Solutions

The online fraud surge presents a constant challenge to the market research industry, threatening data quality and integrity. That’s why QQFS is dedicated to upholding high standards in survey data through a range of initiatives designed to eliminate respondent fraud. We utilize technologies such as Imperium’s RelevantID and Google’s reCAPTCHA, combined with our proprietary innovations, to provide top-notch solutions in the fight against fraud.

Given the recent rise in concern over fraudulent respondents, understanding the behaviour of these bad actors is paramount. Bad actors are opportunistic individuals who exploit market research surveys for financial gain, thereby jeopardising data quality and integrity. The market research industry has seen a significant increase in fraud over the years, with bad actors becoming increasingly difficult to identify. Staying ahead of their evolving tactics requires constant vigilance.

The methods used to compromise the integrity of our surveys have evolved over the years. We are no longer just combatting automated bots but also contending with human bad actors who cause disruptions of similar magnitude. There is a thriving cottage industry dedicated to professional fraud, with criminals paying “professionals” to engage in fraud and educate others on how to bypass quality control checks to qualify for surveys. They document these steps in videos shared on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and other social media sites.

Consequently, traditional approaches to validate panelists’ identities are no longer sufficient. Methods like matching a name and address against a third-party source or employing two-step phone authentication have become obsolete. To enhance data quality and combat bad actors, we have made significant investments in our member registration process, making us the first and only healthcare panel to verify physician registrations using photo ID and facial recognition technologies. This innovative process strengthens panel data quality efforts and employs technology solutions to validate new respondents’ professions and identities.

Our industry-leading initiatives can be categorized into four phases, ensuring the delivery of top-notch solutions to combat fraud:

Panel Member Verification

  • Identity validation via photo ID and facial recognition technologies
  • Re-verification of panel members before every survey to ensure ongoing good standing
  • Automatic flagging of irregular member behaviour


  • Relevant ID flags based on device digital watermarking and fingerprinting
  • Name/address matching

Fraud Control

  • Bot detection (reCAPTCHA + Relevant ID)
  • Geo-IP validation
  • Relevant ID Fraud Score (customised for healthcare by M3)
  • AI-based IP reputation flagging
  • Auto-capture of survey start/end times
  • Automated confirmation process upon survey completion

Survey Data Quality

  • Automated checks for speeding, flatlining, poor open-end responses, inconsistent answers, and 'red herring' responses
  • Centralised data with blocked incentive payments
  • Reinforced with scripted data checks customized for each project

Curious to learn more about how we prioritise participant quality and ensure top-notch data? Get in touch with one of our industry experts to find out more.