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Fraudulent Order Warning Signs

Question

How do I tell if an order is fraudulent?

Answer

Fraudulent orders are the concern of every online retailer, particularly if you're accepting international orders.  Below are some guidelines and suggestions to help lower your risk of fraudulent orders.  Of course, there are no guarantees, but the more aggressive you are when reviewing orders, the less likely you are to be "had".

Fraud Warning Signs

  • Different bill-to and ship-to addresses

  • Foreign credit card shipping locally

  • Shipping to a Post Office Box

  • Shipping to a Hotel

  • Large orders (either in number of products or price)

  • Products that don't match (such as a size XL shirt with a Med jacket)

  • 2nd Day or Next Day Air shipments

  • No phone number or email address provided

  • Free email address used (Hotmail, AOL, Gmail)

 Maps

Many clients will use Google Maps or Windows Live Search to verify the address and the type of address.  For example, does your search return an empty lot for a give address?  Or is it a home or apartment?

 Phone Numbers

Always verify the phone number.  You can use a reverse look-up site as well as verify that the area code matches the billing and ship to address.  If any of these items don't match up - be careful!

Call the Shopper!

In addition to the steps above, don't hesitate to call the shopper to verify the order.  If the number is not bogus, listen to the shopper - do they seem defensive, rushed or uneasy when speaking with you?  Even if they are verifying the information?  If so, proceed with caution!

Blocked Countries

While Modern Retail does not block any country from placing an order, you can choose not to ship to certain countries - particularly if you have had experience with fraudulent orders in the past.

Chargeback Registry

If you're suspicious about an order, check the shopper out on the Chargeback File. This is a global registry with over 5,000,000 records of customers how have filed chargebacks with merchants.  Depending on how many orders you review here, there can be a nominal charge to "join" this site.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of some of the warning signs around fraudulent orders.

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