Sift’s Brittany Allen: How to combat fraud in a way that supports business growth

Sift's Brittany Allen at SBC Summit North America

The high growth levels in the US sports betting and igaming industries are likely to see them become an ever more attractive target for fraudsters, but as Sift’s Trust & Safety Architect Brittany Allen explains, there are effective solutions available to counter this criminal activity.

Ahead of her participation in this week’s SBC Summit North America, Allen told SBC Americas why data management, new technology, and the right mindset are all key to protecting gaming operators and their players from the threat of fraud. 

SBC: Can you give us a brief introduction to Sift?

BA: Sift is the leader in digital trust & safety, empowering companies to unlock new revenue without risk. Sift dynamically prevents fraud and abuse through industry-leading technology and expertise, an unrivaled global data network of 70 billion events per month, and a commitment to long-term customer partnerships. 

SBC: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that betting and gaming companies face when it comes to tackling fraud?   

BA: The online gambling, or igaming, industry is seeing massive growth in the United States and around the world. In fact, the global online gambling market size is expected to reach USD 127.3 billion by 2027

Unfortunately, when there’s market growth in an industry, today’s increasingly sophisticated fraudsters see a lucrative target. With online gambling becoming more widely available, companies find themselves facing a variety of fraud challenges, from deposit fraud and promo abuse to account takeover. 

Tackling this increase in fraud can be time-consuming and inefficient. Onboarding new users and manually reviewing potential fraud activity is often time-intensive and costly. Many companies lack the internal engineering resources needed to maintain in-house solutions (creating rules, maintaining models, etc.) and accurately identify fraud KPIs, like fraud chargeback rates, ATO rates, and manual review rates. 

Risk teams face a tough balancing act – preventing fraud and financial loss while allowing for seamless user experiences that draw users to their platforms and enable business growth.

SBC: What should companies be doing to ensure that they have the basic house-keeping processes in place to minimize fraud?

BA: Before investing in new technologies or changing current processes, it’s important that companies examine their current strategy. Questions to consider include: 

  • What tools are currently used to identify and prevent fraud?
  • What performance indicators are being measured, and how?
  • How do other departments interact with the internal risk team?

It is also important to ensure your company has appropriate, actionable data (geographic, demographic, behavioral, etc.) that is easily accessible by your fraud prevention solution.

Establishing levels of risk tolerance is important before implementing a machine learning solution, which can continue the process in real time, and with little-to-no engineering support.

Ultimately, the goal should be to shift from a narrow and inefficient fraud prevention approach to a digital trust & safety strategy – one that uses automation, context, and actionable data and is tailored to your company’s specific needs. A digital trust & safety mindset aligns risk and revenue decisions that are supported by management processes and technology, allowing your company to proactively fight fraud while supporting financial growth.

SBC: How is Sift’s end-to-end fraud solution helping companies to overcome these challenges?    

BA: Sift offers solutions to a variety of fraud challenges, all in a single platform that enables risk analysts to make accurate decisions with the data available. This unified solution also allows  the system to take bulk action with multiple cases, which can further enhance existing automation, and provide visibility into new fraud trends and anomalies. Sift’s real-time machine learning also surfaces details on user platform activities, even if data is limited.

Gaming companies can take advantage of Sift’s tailored API support for various payment types, mapping money movement, and highlighting merchant trends.

SBC: Can you tell us more about the challenges involved with balancing PSD2 compliance and maximizing business revenue? 

BA: The Second Payments Services Directive (PSD2) is a welcome step toward more open and secure online payments, but it also presents companies with new challenges. Specifically, the requirement of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) adds an additional level of security for transactions, but also potential friction for legitimate users, which can lead to cart abandonment and lost revenue.

Ultimately, new regulations won’t prevent all fraud, and it remains critical for companies to invest in robust fraud solutions. Businesses can adjust to these new regulations without compromising user experience – by employing Dynamic Friction (using a tool to apply SCA when it’s needed and removing it when it’s not), machine learning, and maximizing exceptions. 

SBC: As fraud and account takeovers continue to evolve, why is a layered approach the most efficient to tackling fraud? 

BA: To effectively get ahead of fraud, businesses need a multi-pronged approach, one that addresses every step of the user journey, authenticates users, secures accounts, and prevents attacks before they happen.

Companies need to develop an account security framework and strategy that uses the right balance of passive detection and dynamic friction – the optimal application of friction to prevent fraud while allowing for a seamless experience for legitimate users. 

User authentication is a key element of both account security as well as customer experience and is a crucial step to the layered approach. Passwords and usernames are no longer effective as the primary way of protecting against fraud, which is why Sift has added Keyless to its platform – a robust tool that provides passwordless MFA that allows users to authenticate using biometrics across any device or platform. 


SBC Summit North America 2022, the leading conference and tradeshow for the sports betting and igaming industries in the region, takes place at Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey on July 12-14.

Sift is exhibiting its Digital Trust & Safety Suite at booth 400 on the show floor, while Brittany Allen is presenting ‘The dark web, account takeovers and you’ session as part of the conference’s Payments track. Summit delegates will have on-demand access to the session via the SBC Connect app after the event. 

Tickets for the event, which include access to eight conference tracks, an exhibition showcasing the next generation of industry products, and entrance to a selection of evening networking parties, can be booked at the SBC Summit North America website