If you're event is receiving a high number of SPAM or Bot registrations, you've come to the right place. This article will step you through some simple options that can help you filter these types of fake registrations out.
ClearEvent already provides a number of fraud detection and SPAM blocking mechanism built right into our registration process, but there are still some considerations you may wish to consider when setting up your registration forms.
What is a SPAM registration?
A SPAM registration is really just a fake registration for an event. The registrant never intends to come to your event. Spammers and/or Bots often try to promote shady products, services or content by attempting to post information to any open website (or in your case, by registering for your event). You've probably seen strange or out of place messages like "Buy these pills" when browsing message forums or social websites. These are examples of Spammers or Bots posting messages where they shouldn't.
How often to SPAM registrations happen?
These types of registrations don't happen that often and they are practically non-existent if your event charges a registration fee to attend.
For events that offer free registration, it's possible that a SPAM registration may happen. Events that are being specifically targeted by a malicious entity or bot could experience a higher than normal number of SPAM registrations.
Events with free registration options are most vulnerable to SPAM registrations. This is because there are no barriers to entry that act to impede Spammers or Bots (e.g. payment details being collected).
How can I prevent SPAM registrations?
There are a number of best practices you can follow to avoid SPAM registrations:
Enable reCAPTCHA on your registration forms
Turn on the reCAPTCHA security mechanism to prompt the user to answer a challenge to prove they are not a computer. While enabling reCATPCHA is an effective way to reduce SPAM and bot registrations, it can add an additional step to your registration process (potentially lowering conversions). It's a bit of a trade-off, but if you're having a SPAM problem, you'll want to consider enabling it.
To enable reCAPTCHA:
In the Event Manager App > Registration section > Forms tab, edit a registration form.
In the Form Designer > Publish tab, check Enable reCAPTCHA checkbox setting. This will turn on the reCAPTCHA mechanism and prompt the user to answer a challenge to prove they are not a bot.
Learn more about reCAPTCHA here.
Avoid free registrations
Charge a nominal fee (e.g. a $5 non-refundable fee) to participate in your event to avoid SPAM registrations. To register, a participant will then have to provide valid credit card details. This eliminates most fake registrations. As a result, you may experience fewer signups but a higher event turnout since registrants who pay will be more committed to attending.
Make your registration form private
Private registration forms are not publicly discoverable and are harder for SPAM bots to find and target.
To create a private registration form:
In the Event Manager App > Register section > Forms tab, edit the form you wish to make private.
In the Form Designer > Publish tab, uncheck Show on Event Portal checkbox setting.
Send the Share Link directly to your registrants since the form will not be shown on your Event Portal, making it much less likely that a Spammer or Bot will find it.
Enable manual approvals
If your event accepts free registrations, you may wish to set the Approval Mode for your registration form to "Manual Approval". This will allow you to review and approve each registration before the registration is approved to attend your event. To enable manual approvals
Go to the Event Manager App > Registration section > Forms tab.
In the Form Designer > Publish tab, locate the Approval Mode setting and "Manual Approval".
I received a registration I believe is SPAM, how do I handle it?
No worries, it happens! If you believe a registration is fake:
Go to the Event Manager App > Registration section > Registrants tab.
Select the SPAM registrant and click the Decline button. A confirmation dialog will be displayed.
If you know the registrant is fake, it's best to un-check the "Send a declined email notice to this registrant" checkbox when you decline the registrant.
Click the Decline button to decline the SPAM registrant.