Contact Moderation – Useful Information For Brokers
The Boatshop24 team is constantly working hard developing ways to make it safer for buyers and sellers on our classified sites, ensuring we catch anything potentially harmful such as scams, spam, and fake accounts. In our latest product release we have put further measures in place to reduce the risk of these happening and have implemented a new moderation system to tackle this problem.
Changes Made in the Latest Product Release
Our role at Boatshop24.com is to connect you, the broker, with potential new customers as easily and safely as possible. Therefore, the latest product release introduced a completely new version of our Contact Moderation System.
Messages, such as enquiries and ongoing communications, now pass through intelligent automatic moderation – this is a learning system that gets smarter over time and can identify, and alert for, suspicious words and phrases, suspect domains, or repeat spammers. Any message triggering an alert will then be reviewed manually by one of our team.
Safety as Standard
The moderation systems are in place to add another level of safety if required. Many standard email clients already check email content for viruses (the most common being attachments) and this latest development simply means messages pass more industry specific moderation (e.g. known phrases, scams or people associated with/targeting the boating industry).
Anonymised Email Address
The main visual difference you may notice is that the email address of the buyer is anonymised and offers an increased level of protection for both buyers and sellers alike. As a person responds to an advert, you will receive their enquiry in the normal manner, the only difference being their email address will be anonymised.
Each anonymised email address is matched to a specific customer conversation – it is a fully functioning email address, and is permanent. This allows you reply in a number of ways to any enquiry:
- Simply replying to the enquiry email
- Using the link provided to reply on your dashboard
- By copying the address into your usual email client (should you wish to use branded email templates or signatures)
It can be added to a database against a customer contact and used in any email client as you would a normal address (e.g. email address firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com and the sender will receive emails sent using this masked version). Users can still send and receive attachments.
Whenever an identity or email address is revealed at a first point of contact, it significantly increases the possibility of misuse. In some cases this has resulted in businesses receiving large amounts of highly explicit spam or damaging viruses from automated bots, and in rare instances sellers and buyers have been duped financially.
From experience we know that creating a safer environment for buyers results in more people using the platform and therefore brokers benefit from increased enquiries over time.
To keep communication as free flowing as possible, we simply mask the user I.D. in the initial stages. Full contact details can naturally be gained at any stage through direct contact i.e. in responding to the enquiry, include a contact form to confirm full name, address, phone numbers and personal email address etc. The masked ID is to your own safety. If you decide to exchange your contact details, please bear in mind that the prospect could still be a scammer and be careful with sending your bank details at an early stage.
This update is an active step of data protection compliance. As buyers increasingly enquire from across Europe, the industry must take into account the variances in data laws, meaning the enquirer must explicitly give permission for a third party to use their email address. Any business not following these regulations is at risk of incurring a heavy penalty.
Boatshop24’s Access to the Data
We don’t routinely use any further interaction data for any marketing purposes – we only get involved when the automatic moderation alerts us to certain words or phrases. The only customer contact details we use are for people who have registered on the site and given consent for us to contact them by email.
More information on how to stay safe online can be found here. Should you have any further questions, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org