According to Internet World Statistics, there were over 2.4 billion internet users across the globe, as at June 2012. This number has no doubt multiplied since then, with spiraling telecommunication technologies increasingly making internet access available to people even in developing societies. This bourgeoning online community of internet users is potential customers for business concerns. Today, an online presence for any business or organization is not just only a “professional” thing to do but most importantly, serves as a crucial trap-door for attracting customers to their products and services.
Along with this development also comes a myriad of dangers and risks that businesses and individuals are exposed to online. During the last few years, there has been increase in online fraud of global scope and is geometrically increasing in proportion. More so, there are several fraudulent individuals and organizations (yes, organizations), who troll the internet for credit card and financial information of unsuspecting users to use for fraudulent purposes. Identity thieves are reaping high rewards at the expense of both the customer and the merchant.
it is great that the credit card banks, Visa, and Master Card protect the card holders from the fraud and limit the responsibility of the card holder to virtually nothing, they force merchants to pay for the cost of fraudulent transactions. Not only does the merchant lose the merchandise and shipping involved in sending out an order, but they are also charged a fee by the banks when the charge is disputed by the card holder. Therefore, preventing fraud and knowing what to look for is imperative for merchants. Unfortunately, contacting your merchant bank does not always yield a helpful result, so get educated about detecting fraudulent orders on your own, using the few tips:
- Use an Address Verification System (AVS) to verify a cardholder’s identity. While, an AVS match does not guarantee a purchase is legitimate, a non-match is a signal that a transaction needs further investigation.
- Search the Name and Address Online. Use the internet as a tool to help you determine whether the person placing the order is actually the card holder. Do they have social media channels or other profiles online? If you can track them down online, chances are this is not fraud. Of course we are not suggesting that you do this for all your customers. This should be done particularly for the suspicious ones.
- Ship only to the cardholder’s billing address. By shipping only to a cardholder’s billing address, merchants garner increased protection from fraud. Requesting a signature provides proof the merchandise was delivered and prevents the same individual from placing multiple fraudulent orders.
- Professional fraudsters tend to place volume of order within a time. Be wary of such unusually large orders from a customer.
- Be wary of several orders shipped to a single billing address but purchased with several credit cards.
- Take note of buyers requesting service be rendered to, or correspondences carried out through an email that is different from the one indicated on the order email address.
- Always review order details for any invalid or mismatched information. inconsistencies such as the followings may exist-invalid or wrong number, phone number not matching state or country indicated on the billing address and registration details not matching the billing details. For example, if the shipping address and billing address on the order are different, merchants need to call the customers to confirm the order. Merchants may even decide to make it a standing policy to ship only to billing address on the credit card.
- Merchants should be wary of overseas order with any of the suspicious characteristics mentioned above. By so doing, you will drastically cut down the risk of losses resulting from credit card frauds.