I still don't understand what they mean by "Irregular activity"

I recently sent an email inquiring about why I am no longer receiving BAT. I have been exclusively using the Brave browser for both browsing and teaching English in my online classes. I’m currently on a temporary vacation in the Philippines to support my wife, who is expecting a baby. I’m originally from San Francisco.

This was the email I sent to them.

"Dear Brave Support Team,

I hope this message finds you well. My name is Cenon Manansala, and I have been an avid user of the Brave browser for quite some time. I recently encountered an issue with receiving Brave Rewards (BAT) and would appreciate your assistance in resolving it.

I am currently on a temporary vacation in the Philippines, although my permanent residence is in the United States. Since my arrival here, I noticed that I have stopped receiving Brave Rewards. I understand that the change in location might be the cause, and I am more than willing to provide any necessary identification and passport information to rectify this matter.

Please let me know the steps I can take or the information I need to provide to continue receiving Brave Rewards during my stay in the Philippines. I value the privacy and security of my data, so rest assured that I will only share the required details for the resolution of this issue.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. I look forward to your guidance on how to proceed.

Best regards,
Cenon Manansala"

And their response was.

"Hello,

Thank you for reaching out to Brave Support.

Sometimes your Brave Rewards profiles can be “flagged”. That usually means our systems noticed some irregular activity associated with Brave Ads. “Irregular activity” is activity that would be considered unusual compared to an ordinary person using Brave Ads as part of their overall, everyday browsing experience.

We have reviewed the flag, and your Rewards profiles will not be reinstated. They will remain flagged.

While payouts for Brave Rewards are no longer be possible, you will still have access to the other great features and benefits that Brave has to offer.

We genuinely appreciate your support and understanding throughout this process. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Thank you for being a part of the Brave community.

Brave Support"

Please make it, make sense.

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@cenon415 it means what it’s scripted as, which is that your usage of Rewards is irregular. I guess another way you can see it is that you essentially violated the Terms of Service that you marked you read and agreed to before you started using Rewards.

People, myself included, have explained this in great detail many times and people tend to want to argue. If you’re looking to know the specific actions you did wrong, you won’t be told. That’s not just a Brave policy, but is an antifraud policy at many places. The reason is that people would then use that information to learn how to evade antifraud measures or would continually argue, such as" I didn’t do that. Prove it!" So with that combined, they are pretty much just are extremely vague in answers.

That said, you did share one thing that is a violation of Terms.

Private ads are only available in certain regions, which we may change from time to time. If you’re not in one of these regions, ads will not be available in Brave Rewards for you. You may not make any attempt to view ads not intended for your region. You’ll only see ads if there are ads in the catalog which match your Brave Rewards profile. For this reason, we don’t guarantee that there will be ads available for you, even if private ads are available in your region.

Notice the part that says you can’t attempt to view ads not intended for your region? You’re saying you went from San Francisco to Philippines. If left Rewards turned on and took the device with you, then you were viewing ads from Philippines. This would have been outside of your region. Ads are delivered based on IP address and all. This means you were USA viewing Philippines ads.

NOTE: (Advertisers are paying to have ads delivered based on region and device. We’re kind of expected to keep those things in place, as the average person doesn’t travel the world for extended periods of time)

Add in how Philippines is a high fraud area and was actually removed from Rewards, as you can see at Changes to Brave Ads Regional Availability, and it adds an extra layer of complexity where they may have assumed that there had been attempts to circumvent regional restrictions and abuse.

That said, usually they look for more types of activity and all. But that in itself would be enough based on what people have reported in the past from what had gotten their accounts flagged.

Yeah, so way it works is we choose region. Brave also looks at our device settings, such as the Locale. Then it finally uses IP address to serve ads. If we view ads from outside our region, it shouldn’t add BAT to our balances or anything. If this continues for an “extended period of time,” we get flagged. As to anyone wanting timeframe or any other details, it kind of is like what I said earlier…Brave won’t share details.

None of that would be done. Brave doesn’t even have access to your information and doesn’t keep copies. All they know is what country your passport is from, whether you’ve completed KYC/AML, and then things like your name and email. There wouldn’t be any information they would collect. They essentially would just be looking at your Rewards activity and make a decision.

The response you received that says they have reviewed the flag and that your profiles will not be reinstated means that the antifraud team is confident in their decision. They are saying, regardless of intent, you violated Terms and they view you as enough of a risk for fraud or abuse. Therefore they don’t want to allow you to continue earning Rewards, at least not with that profile and custodial account.

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Thank you for the thorough response; I genuinely value your input! I’m curious if my Brave rewards will return to their usual functionality once I return to my home country?

If things work “as intended,” the answer is no. The current system is supposed to flag not only based on your browser profile but based on your Uphold account. And as they said, it won’t be reinstated. Basically, you’re permanently suspended from Rewards based on that browser profile and your Uphold. You may be able to connect a different browser profile to that Uphold, but then payments wouldn’t arrive as it goes through checks and the system realizes it’s flagged.

The reason I specified at least not with that profile and custodial account in my last response is because of upcoming changes this year which will allow for on chain payments. You can kind of see more on that at PSA: Current and upcoming changes to Rewards and Creators

There may be options for you to begin earning again through that when they have the on chain payments arrive (not expecting too soon, but will arrive this year at least). But in terms of anything via Uphold account, you should essentially be out of luck.

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I sincerely appreciate your assistance, Saoiray! Your responses have been incredibly valuable.

HI @Saoiray

Just a very quick question for you, would you advise that as and when someone is on business/leisure trip overseas that they disable the rewards temporarily until returning back to the home country?.

Seems the easiest way to avoid any confusion or potential for a flagged account.

TIA,

Cheers

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Yeah, especially if you’re going to be there for a while.

I think what gets very tricky here is that when you speak to everyone at Brave, they say things like VPN alone isn’t enough to get people flagged. But then on the other side of the spectrum, we’ve had people reporting that they only got flagged as they used VPN or went on vacations. It’s been a pretty frequent issue. So it’s one area where I don’t “trust” what everyone at Brave says on that.

Definitely recommend people make sure their IP address stays the same as their selected region. If traveling or using VPN to appear as if in another country, probably should do that with Rewards off and/or in a different browser profile to reduce the chances of any issues

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