Preventing abuse and pricing farming by malicious visitors to a locator is essential when managing large dealer networks representing large financial opportunities in a global market.

MetaLocator includes built-in protections to prevent activity by scripts and "bots", however, this article discusses the prevention of abuse by actual human users attempting to manually submit large numbers of leads under false pretenses.

Lead abuse prevention works by first introducing verification emails after a certain number of leads are sent.  Then it works by increasing delays in the delivery of those lead notifications.  First setting up lead notifications is required for these options to function properly.

Overall, the strategy is to make the verification process so time consuming and arduous that an abusive user will not be able to effectively contact partners in large numbers, while allowing legitimate users to submit leads without obstruction.

The process works as shown in this diagram:

The settings below control the various delays introduced during lead delivery.  The settings can be found under Interfaces > {Interface} > Contact Form Settings.

  • Verification Send Threshold: The number of contact forms allowed per sender email address before verification is required.  When set to 0, this option disables the delay behavior.  When this threshold is reached, the system stops sending the Lead Notifications and puts them in a queue.  Instead the Verification Email is sent, which leverages the Verification Email Body Template and Verification Email Subject.  The Verification Email contains a link which the recipient must click in order to release the Lead Notification to the partner.  When the sender clicks the link, they are redirected to the Lead FRAME URL, a page which must contain the MetaLocator installation code as described in the lead notifications documentation.  The page then displays a message as defined in the Verification Email Redirect Text as shown below.  The message title is defined in the
LOCATOR_CONTACT_SENT

language constant.  The Verification Email Redirect Text may also contain a LOCATOR_ language constant for Internationalization support.

  • Verification Email Redirect Link: After clicking "OK" above, the user will be redirected to the URL provided in this option.
  • Verification Delay Threshold: The number of contact forms allowed before the verification email will be delayed before sending.  When set to 0, verification emails are never delayed.
  • Delay Minutes: The number of minutes the delay of the verification email will be increased each time the Verification Delay Threshold is passed.  
  • Delay Scaling Factor: The value used to multiple the Delay Minutes after the Verification Delay Threshold is reached again. For example, 2 will double the Delay Minutes causing the verification email to be held back twice as long each time the abusing user passes the Verification Delay Threshold.
  • Verification Threshold Period:  The timeframe in hours to use when calculating the Verification Send Threshold and Verification Delay Threshold.  

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