What’s New in Lead Validation – International Oct 2022

Our DOTS Lead Validation – International is an ever-evolving service that takes Name, Email, Address, Phone Number, IP Address and optionally Business Names to validate, test, and distinguish between the high and low quality. It has undergone some recent improvements we wanted to share, along with some new things coming soon.

Recent Improvements to Lead Validation:

Identify organization types by email

Lead Validation – International is inheriting an update recently made to our Lead Validation – US service that adds new informational notes and tests for educational, government, military and organization (.org) email addresses. We had built out this update to help a client primarily identify educational leads, and have added some additional checks as well.

The service can now return new Notes:

  • IsEducationEmail
  • IsOrganizationEmail
  • IsGovernmentEmail
  • IsMilitaryEmail


These notes allow clients to identify these types of leads, make better decisions around them and even build business logic to manage them, where appropriate. This initial update was primarily built for American data, however other geographic areas also benefit from the updates and we continue to evaluate and add alternative and authoritative data from other countries to further extend the updates to them.

Lead validation scoring

New scoring tests were also added so that clients can customize their scores for these leads in addition to looking for the new notes. Currently, the new tests are grouped by identifying educational leads and sponsored leads (gov, mil, org, etc).

Identify high-risk countries

The main portion of the newest build was to improve Lead Validation – International’s ability to identify and customize scoring for high-risk countries. Previously, we only associated penalties with IP Addresses that were from higher-risk countries, and on top of that, we would assume if the data all matched up –  that is, a lead is from a high-risk country and the address, phone and IP all come from that same country –  there should be no penalty. This build includes test-type level control for how to deal with these scenarios.

Most scoring by default will be minimally impacted, but regardless of scoring, Informational Notes are included for High and Medium risk leads, Phone numbers, Addresses and IP Addresses. The following new Notes are assigned to risky countries:

  • IsHighRiskCountryLead
  • IsHighRiskCountryPhone
  • IsHighRiskCountryAddress
  • IsMediumRiskCountryLead
  • IsMediumRiskCountryPhone
  • IsMediumRiskCountryAddress

These can be used informationally or for help in decision-making by clients. High and medium risk indicators will appear for mixed leads as well: for example, if the Phone and Address come from low-risk countries, but the IP comes from a high-risk country, it will trigger the lead warning.

Small token penalties will likely be added to most or all test types, but bigger penalties can be assigned as needed by the test type. Clients using custom test types will be able to customize more. There are two sets of penalties here – one set for mismatched data and one set for matching data – allowing clients to control the scoring differently for mismatching data vs data that all matches up but just comes from a higher-risk country. Medium-risk countries are more numerous and should be considered much less risky – we consider these more informational. However, clients will likely want to consider upping penalties for high-risk areas or at least making sure they are marked as such.

Customize your country ‘risk’ list

In addition, this build also allows clients to submit custom lists of countries to either reject (massive penalties) or accept (ignores normal penalties). This will allow clients to add countries they do not want to work with, consider ones to be risky that we do not, or not penalize for countries that we do consider risky. For example, Nigeria is considered a high-risk country, but a company that does a lot of business in Nigeria and does not want to penalize Nigerian leads could exclude them with a custom acceptance. Lead Validation – International will also be on the lookout for leads that claim to come from lower-risk areas but identify IP Addresses coming from high-risk areas. New notes appearing in the General Notes area will help clients identify both cases:

  • IsDisqualifiedCountry
  • IsDisqualifiedCountryBasedOnIP

Risk is tough to assess changes year to year, and may not be fair in all cases. It’s really about helping determine the likelihood of a problem. Unless desired, a high-risk country wouldn’t necessarily fail a lead, but rather simply provide penalties that, when combined with other penalties, could cause rejected leads. Many things contribute to risk as well, with the main thing being the probability of ecommerce fraud. However, wealth, crime, and other sources including clients help shape this as well.

Coming Soon

In the next few months, we will be working on adding translation and transliteration software to our services, including Lead Validation – International. This will help us detect bad data and better make matches with data points in other languages and even alternative foreign character sets (like Cyrillic or Kanji). In the current build, we do not fail leads that include foreign character sets, but it’s hard to work with them to match something like a Business or a Person’s name to an email. But soon, this will be possible.

We will also be wrapping up a previously intended update that allows companies to track and penalize IP addresses and emails that are hitting their systems too fast (i.e. bots). That is, for example, helping clients identify something like 10 differently seeming leads that come in with the same IP Address. These checks may help identify additional fraud in leads that might outwardly look good.

Lead Validation International is a continually adapting service. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about how this service might help you and your business

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