Fake listings and the need for proactive prevention
As Carousell began to scale, they started to see fraudsters posting fake and spammy product listings for products that either arrived to the buyer not as described or never got delivered to the buyer at all. Carousell didn’t have a way of proactively preventing these listings and relied on user flags to spot and remove them. This meant that these listings not only posed a threat to trusted users until they were eventually removed but threatened to sully the reputation of the platform, as well.
Repeat fraudsters were also finding ways to get back onto the platform even after Carousell deleted their accounts, and continued to post abusive, fake listings with their new accounts. Carousell limits the number of accounts a user may have to a maximum of two, but fraudsters were creating multiple accounts and Carousell was finding it difficult to keep track of them all. Carousell was using a rules-based fraud solution, but it was time-consuming to have to jump in and change rules every time fraudsters changed their tactics.
As the number of users grew and Carousell expanded into new markets (each of which had their own unique fraud trends), it was becoming difficult to scale. They needed a way to stop fraud before it made it onto the platform, and keep fraudulent users away for good.