Entrepreneur Justin Lie On His Passion For Fighting Online Fraud
As founder and CEO of global online fraud protection company Shield, Justin Lie knows the risk of cybercrime all too well. But he didn’t start off in crime-fighting racket.
For his first venture, at age 16, he resold gaming products from US-based suppliers, targeting local gamers on eBay and, later, his own e-commerce websites. But a series of fraudulent orders from scammers using stolen credit cards pushed him to look for ways to protect his online business.
This developed into a passion for fighting online fraud and in 2008, Lie started Shield (originally named CashRun, and later CashShield) to provide end‑to‑end preventive solutions for big-name technology companies. Today, his clients include Southeast Asian super app Grab and digital services conglomerate Sea.
Here, Lie discusses his work in his own words.
How it all began
"When my e-commerce business received fraudulent orders, it was very frustrating. I would receive chargeback notices that could amount to US$500 each. So I started to research ways to combat such attacks and taught myself to write risk algorithms. Eventually, I devised a system of rules that could assess every incoming order while rejecting those that appeared abnormal. The solution worked very well, and that was when fighting online fraud became a passion for me."
Online fraud is constantly evolving
"The methods that fraudsters use are becoming more sophisticated every day, so no two workdays are the same. Shield predicts and prevents fraud before it happens, helping our customers to scale their business without risk."
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What does Shield offer?
"Shield delivers an autonomous and instant risk decision in under 0.1 seconds. We also go beyond protecting accounts and transactions. Our artificial intelligence-driven platform protects an enterprise’s entire digital ecosystem, including against bots and corporate frauds."
What it means to be a leader
"There was a particularly difficult moment in my career that taught me what it meant to be a leader. After closing our series A funding round, I came to realise that it isn't possible to make everyone happy. When there is a misalignment in vision and confusion about the direction of a company, some people may choose to leave. We experienced this as we scaled our business after receiving the funding, which was unfortunate but a valuable lesson."
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Childhood inspiration and ambition
"Growing up, my businessman father was a big inspiration. He ignited my passion for entrepreneurship and taught me how to manage my finances. When my brother and I started earning money, for example, he made us share the burden of our household expenses so we could develop a pragmatic attitude towards spending."
"I hope to pass this on to my own kids when they are older. If I hadn’t founded Shield, I would likely still be working for myself—and in technology. Instead of protecting e-commerce sites and digital wallets, I would probably be running one of them."