Online shopping is convenient, since it allows you to comfortably place an order from any part of the world, as long as you have a PC (or a smart device) and a working internet connection. As great as it is, it also has a dark side – online anonymity lends itself to fraud.
Since it’s easy to hide behind the computer screen, a person with malicious intents could easily try to misrepresent his or her identity, ultimately making a negative impact on your bottom line.
In order to help you avoid becoming a victim, here are a couple of common scenarios of fraudulent orders that are relatively easy to spot once you’re on the lookout for them:
1.) Stolen Credit Cards:
When criminals get their hands on sensitive personal information like credit card numbers, often they will try to empty them by shopping online. They are likely to test the waters by making a small order first (just to check if the card contains any funds), then they proceed to make a larger one.
This pattern is sometimes difficult to spot, since a legitimate buyer could also perform a similar move, but if you suspect something’s not right (especially if the delivery address doesn’t match the one registered to the original card owner), it’s best to find out the real identity of your buyer.
2.) Competitors With Malicious Intents:
Competitors ordering from your store and never picking up the package (or returning it later on) has been known to happen in the eCommerce sphere. This results in lost time and unneeded postage costs. The best solution is to use an internal blacklist of names and addresses, then simply refuse to ship to them (but make sure your terms of service reflect this).
3.) Minors Trying To Circumvent The Law:
With the help of identity check solutions such as the one you can find at jumio.com/trusted-identity/netverify, getting to know whether you’re dealing with a minor who’s trying to order 18+ products is rather straightforward. Not doing this is a huge risk to your business and it could potentially bring you into a heap of trouble with the law.
4.) Suspicious Email Addresses:
If your buyer is using a suspicious-looking email address, this is another reason for concern. Spammy addresses are a huge red flag. Sometimes, the same applies to email addresses originating from a foreign country; unless you’re selling unique products, there’s probably little reason for a person to order from abroad and have to pay some relatively high postage costs.
5.) Excessive Amount Of Orders:
It’s all about patterns. If huge orders are not commonplace in your industry, be very wary. As discussed above, this could be the case of your competition trying to damage your business. In case you notice this, it’s better to get in touch with the buyer and ask some questions (or run an ID check in the background).
Thankfully, the majority of online buyers are legitimate, but no matter what you do, you’re probably going to encounter a bad apple from time to time. By applying a little bit of smart thinking and some preventative measures, you can successfully stop fraud in its tracks. Do you already have a fraud detection system in place?