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Why you NEED to care about manipulated data

Nov. 19 2018

As more data comes in during the final weeks of the year, we want to alert you to a potential pitfall that could seriously impact your business. We’ve heard that some of our lender partners may be seeing manipulated data from some of their other channels.

What is “manipulated data,” and why should I care?

If you’re getting an unusual amount of volume that appears to match your filters, but subsequent interaction with consumers shows a mismatch, it could indicate that data may have been manipulated. There are many reasons this could occur. Of course, we understand that everybody wants volume, but at LeadsMarket, we believe it should not be at the expense of compliance.

When data is manipulated, it misleads both customers and lenders. A potential customer may ask for a specific type of loan, but after the data has been manipulated, the lender thinks they’ve asked for something else. When the customer finds out that you aren’t offering what they were promised, they may feel the need to issue a complaint. And complaints are a primary driver of legal and regulatory action. Manipulated data can also increase the cost of acquiring customers, worsen the customer experience, and result in lost revenue.

How can I spot manipulated data?

There are some signs of manipulated data you should watch out for:

  1. Higher than expected default rates

  2. Increased consumer complaints

What steps can I take if I think data has been manipulated?

There are a few ways you can verify the authenticity of your leads and keep your data clean:

  • Cross-reference data with credit bureaus
    Oftentimes, a credit report will be able to verify a consumer’s real information. If you notice the information doesn’t match your data, your data may be manipulated.

  • Check with leads
    Some manipulated data (like amount-requested) won’t appear on a credit report. This type of data manipulation might show up in the form of consumer complaints or questions. As a lender, you can take steps to verify the data for yourself.

  • Ask the lead provider directly
    If you’re in any doubt, you can always ask your lead provider up-front if they are changing the data they send to you. It’s always advisable to ask in an email or other written communication, so you have a record of their answer!

  • Make data hygiene a priority
    Most importantly, you need to make sure you’re dedicating the appropriate time and resources to data hygiene. That means not just inspecting your data every once in a while, but keeping a vigilant eye out for possible data manipulation on a regular basis.

At LeadsMarket, you can rest easy when you work with us. We pride ourselves on our focus on compliance. Enjoy the busy season, but stay vigilant out there!

If you have any questions about protecting yourself against manipulated data or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re more than happy to help.

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