Thursday, March 8, 2018

In wake of Bulgarian scam, Spotify unleashes its own anti-fraud squad | Music Business Worldwide

As Music Business Worldwide revealed last month, if you’re clever enough, Spotify can be gamed.

It is believed that scammer based in Bulgaria managed to use the service’s payout structure to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars – potentially over $1m.

The swindle saw the scammer run over 1,000 paid-for premium accounts, using them to play only his or her music for around four months, and collecting a large cheque as a result.

As we wrote in that story: ‘Spotify tells us it’s now “improving methods of detection and removal”. But the big question remains: are the scammers out there improving their methods too?’

Spotify certainly doesn’t seem to be taking any chances.

Today we learn that the company has been busy bulking up its anti-fraud squad, which will be led by a newly-hired Head of Fraud Prevention based in London.

According to a job ad originally posted on February 20 – the same day our Bulgarian scammer story broke – the streaming company is looking for someone with 12+ years of senior experience in global online fraud & payments to lead the team.

“We are looking for a passionate leader for our growing fraud prevention team, to join our wider international Payments team, focused on minimizing the losses to the business and our customers brought about by fraudulent activity.”

The ad reveals that the Head of Fraud Prevention will ‘focus on minimizing the losses to the business and our customers brought about by fraudulent activity’.

The successful candidate will be expected to ‘build out a team of fraud professionals’ to ‘transparently report on the impact of fraud on Spotify’s business and evangelize on the need to invest and focus on fraud prevention strategies’.

They will ‘integrate new ways to prevent fraud by using advanced data techniques together with third parties and look at ways to best optimize fraud operations and tooling’.

Industry sources have told MBW that Spotify did indeed internally identify the Bulgarian scam as ‘fraudulent activity’ before it took action and removed the scammer’s music in October last year.

The news of Spotify’s anti-fraud recruitment drive comes in the same month that the company sent out emails to customers who it suspects are illegally using hacked app software in tandem with its platform.Music Business Worldwide


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