Risk API: detect bad actors & prevent spam signups

Risk API: detect bad actors & prevent spam signups

July 20, 2017


A major pain point of running an online business is the number of bad actors trying to defraud you, whether that's via stolen credit cards, or by exploiting your free trials and creating thousands of fake accounts.

What are spam signups?

A spam signup is when a person or a bot fills out a form or goes through a checkout with false information in an attempt to deceive or defraud you. This is done by providing a fake or inaccurate email, phone number, or other important information. They could also include links to sites with malware or phishing sites in an attempt to scam you.

Spam signups are not only dangerous, but they create noise making it hard to filter out real signups from the spam.

Over the past few years at Clearbit, we've had our fair share of fraudsters try to take advantage of us. The nature of our business has allowed us to build up a proprietary dataset of people, companies and IP addresses, which puts us in a great position to tackle the problem.

Introducing the Risk API

Our new Risk API lets you detect bad actors, identify disposable email addresses and stop spam signups. Simply embed it in a signup form or a payment checkout, and we'll give you a risk score for every transaction.

We've been battle testing this API with some of our customers over the last three months, and the results are impressive. We've seen upwards of 95% of spam signups being detected.

Powering things behind the scenes are a combination of our proprietary data, device fingerprinting, and machine learning models. We look at whether an email address is disposable, whether the client is using a proxy, signup velocity, and more to determine an accurate risk level.

How does Clearbit’s Risk API work?

Clearbit’s Risk API takes an email and IP and calculates an associated risk score. This score will help to determine whether a signup is legitimate or not.

The Risk API is able to determine whether an email is:

  • Disposable
  • Undeliverable
  • Looks fake

The Risk API is able to determine whether an IP address is:

  • Blacklisted
  • Using a proxy

We’ll assign a score to each signup that allows you to take immediate action. For example, you can make suspicious signups complete additional steps like filling in a captcha or confirming their phone number.

Learn more about our free Risk API here.

Since this API gets more useful as more people use it, we're giving everyone 50k free requests every month which should cover most people's needs.

Fraudsters keep getting better at solving CAPTCHAs and circumventing protections, leaving you in an arms race when you should be focusing on your business. The Risk API effectively detects bad actors today, and will continue to evolve and improve over time.

Sign up for a free account and use our API to integrate fraud prevention into your platform of choice.

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