Fake bids: how do we prevent fraud in the bidding process?

Detecting fraud and fake housing market offers

With the rise of online house bidding, a new potential problem is gradually emerging: fake offers. At Eerlijk Bieden we have set up our own detection system to detect this fraud at an early stage. How this system works you can read in this blog!

Driving up prices

You know the situation: you are bidding on an auction site or an online marketplace and you are outbid with every bid. It may be that you have ended up in a bidding war with another fanatical bidder, but these days it is also increasingly common for the prices of online sales to be deliberately driven up by outsiders. With most online purchases, it is still relatively harmless; a seller allows friends to bid along in order to eventually reach a desired result. However, it is a different story if it is no longer about a second-hand TV, but your intended dream home.

The danger of fake offers for the housing market.

In the current housing market, it is still common that you have to outbid a house when there are several interested parties. In a bidding process, an estate agent may announce that several bids have been submitted (without naming exact amounts). It is then up to you whether you make a higher offer or cease negotiations. To be able to make this choice properly, it is very important to be sure that other bids have actually been received.

For the estate agent, it is also very important that the bids sent in are legitimate. When a malicious seller or acquaintance wants to drive up the price, online bidding has suddenly become much more accessible. If an unsuspecting estate agent receives several bids, this can then lead to an unintentional price increase, as the estate agent is under the impression that there are several interested parties.

Of course, all offers (or the lack of them), are fully automatically recorded in the bid log. However, in some cases anonymisation makes it difficult to find out whether the bid was made deliberately or was merely intended to cover up price pushing.

Fraud detection system

In order to detect this kind of fraud early on during a bidding process, we have developed a unique system to distinguish the 'real' offers from fake ones. In this way, each offer is given a score. If a score is low, fraud is suspected. Of course, we cannot share how exactly we calculate the score, because that would reveal how fraud can be committed. What we can share is that we automatically check a number of key points in an offer.

In addition to the automated system, we manually check certain doubtful cases. In this way, we ensure that offers are not wrongly removed. Together with our technical team, we continue to refine this method of working in order to improve its accuracy.

What do we do in case of fraud?

Eerlijk Bieden is a quality mark for estate agents, which must guarantee an honest sales process. Any form of fraud is therefore strongly condemned. Depending on the offence and the person who committed it, there are various steps that Eerlijk Bieden can take. If, for example, it becomes clear that a broker has committed fraud in our system, a report is immediately made to the sector association concerned. If it turns out that the code of conduct has been violated, the umbrella disciplinary tribunalwill deal with the matter further. In the meantime, brokers are suspended from Eerlijk Bieden until further notice.

In this way, we guarantee the quality of the label and ensure a carefree online sale of homes. If you would like to know what other software solutions Eerlijk Bieden offers, please take a look at our bidding software.

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