Big data · Brainstorming

What do you think about a database collecting fraud/scam reports?

Geminus Ngo Fat Chief at Vision Venture

February 27th, 2018

As an entrepreneur and occasional seller, I knew many risks associated with online buying/selling. Although there are different measures to protect buyers if there were any wrongdoing or fraud, small and medium sellers are at disadvantage and often, they must write off the loss or pass it on to the next customers.I believe the best way to balance out the table is collecting enough data so the risk can be evaluated in the future. My concern is whether people will appreciate the existence of such database and if there are other entrepreneurs out there currently doing the same thing or interested in such project?

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

February 27th, 2018

Such things already exist to a limited extent in the form of buyer/seller ratings. Think about Alibaba as a huge example. Angie's List is a smaller example. eBay has its own systems too. And you're likely talking about something that would require customization to each industry. You would also have to worry about fraudulent ratings, such as with Yelp.

One of the other gatekeepers is the bank that you ask to wire funds to another company. They will give you an opinion on how safe the transaction is and recommend ways to reduce fraud. But it's unclear who you think will be reporting on transaction trustworthiness. If you rely on buyers/sellers, you already have ratings systems in place. If you're relying on an independent rating/certification, then you have to be able to sell the service and show it has value.

I don't think anyone has particularly figured this out in a clever way, especially how to make money doing it. Buyer beware is the mantra, and you choose whether to insure your purchases or not, whether to vet your transaction partner or not. So, I don't know how to evaluate whether there's a new business for this or that there are too many mediocre procedures available that it'd be too heavy a lift to revolutionize a system of trust.

I don't disagree there's some need in this area, but it's a vague need with so many factors I find it hard to quantify and control as a business concept that would make money.

Then you also have the issue of what happens when something goes wrong. Where's the enforcement or what are the consequences? And if there aren't real teeth, do enough people care what their company reputation is? I don't know.