With over 20 million users per month on the website and in the app, ImmoScout24 is the market leader for finding and marketing real estate digitally. ImmoScout24 constantly develops new products and is building an ecosystem for buying, renting and commercial properties to enable entirely digital property transactions in future. In the digital era, data security and fraud prevention are top priorities on our platforms. As we develop our range of products further, we are focusing on sustainable product solutions. At the same time, we are concentrating on making our websites barrier-free and highlighting environmental criteria in listings.
Web-based products form the basis of our business model. We place great importance ononline security and combating fraud to protect our customers and users against cyber-crime – in the form of data phishing or fraudulent listings, for example. Fake property listings or “advance pay- ment fraud” can cause financial losses for our users and damage Scout24’s reputation.
Each and every day, we work to prevent fraud and data theft on our online marketplace and do our utmost to stop the misuse of information, because the security of our platforms is one of the most strategically important and high-priority objectives of Scout24. It is fundamental to the trust and satisfaction of our customers and users – and is therefore also essential for our busi- ness success as an operator of online marketplaces.
We want to optimise the way in which our digital marketplaces are tailored to the needs of our customers and users and make them both easy and efficient to use. We are in contact with our customers, users and lobby groups and the interested public to identify potential for improvement and find specific solutions.
We use our annual Hack Week – our internal think tank – to develop marketable, demand-orient- ed innovations. During Hack Week 2021, our employees submitted 38 different project ideas in three categories of competition.
Scout24 has a range of methods to identify fake listings depending on the case at hand. These are either based on a self-learning filter system or they check listings for certain characteristics. In 2021, further optimisation of the self-learning system meant that we were able to double the proportion of automatically deactivated listings with fraudulent intent. We also actively encourage our users to notify us of dubious listings with the “Report the listing” button – and thus to help improve security. The Customer Care team reviews the listings and deletes them if necessary. To provide a faster response to potentially fraudulent listings, listings are automatically deactivated by the system if they receive a high number of fraud reports.
We have also been reducing the number of contact requests sent to fraudulent listings as of 2021 by increasing the degree of automation for fraud detection and adapting fraud prevention out- side of the Customer Care team’s office hours. When evaluating listings manually, we can adapt how the information is presented. In the case of evaluation by algorithm, the detection of reused images helps to identify fraudulent listings. For 2022, we are also planning to use an ID check score to prevent fraudulent activities and fraudulent accounts, as well as to expand automatic fraud detection by introducing new listing and account features.
On top of this, to protect our users from data phishing, we offer a two-step login and recommend that users activate it. We are planning to add an ID check for the ImmoScout24 platform in 2022. This will enable data entered by users to be checked for plausibility and will allow us to optimise the quality of data and improve how we prevent fake and fraudulent accounts.
Aside from the security processes in place, we provide our users with targeted and proactive information. For instance, we completely revised the website sicherheit.immobilienscout24.de and updated large parts of it again in October 2021. On the website, we answer questions from users, provide information on scams and give details of contacts. In addition, we send out general information material by email and draw the general public’s attention to these issues by sharing advisory information with the media.
HOME STREET HOME – finding a home is the first step to escape homelessness
Homelessness is a particularly stressful form of social exclusion. As the market leader in real estate, we want to help everyone put a roof over their heads. With the HOME STREET HOME collaboration, we are using our reach to provide information about homelessness and housing concepts.Go to story