Credit card chargebacks can result in tremendous losses for your online store. Not only that, but the financial institutions that back those charges could put you in a sticky situation while investigations are carried out. New technology is regularly put in place to help ecommerce companies weed out the fraudulent charges, but they become obsolete the moment criminals discover new ways of stealing. While you simply can’t catch everything, there are some things you can keep your eyes peeled for. These 10 tips will help you cut down on credit card fraud, which will then boost your bottom line.
Keep Shopping Cart Software Up to Date
No matter how tech-savvy your team is, fraudsters are more so. Your shopping cart software is one way to beat out even the best of the scammers, but you have to keep it up to date. With the strongest security features, ample required information, and the best technology available, good shopping cart software can stop a lot of problems before they begin.
Use Any Fraud Detection Features Offered
There are fraud detection features available outside those offered with shopping cart software. Research these and make the investment. A good starting place might be Guardian from fraud.net, Actimize, and ESurksha from Bennett Technologies. You may have to pay extra each month for the additional security, but the money you’ll save on chargebacks will be worth it in the end.
Match IP Address and Credit Card Address
Beyond software, there are other things you can keep an eye on. If you double check the IP address and the credit card address to make sure they’re originating in the same place, you can cut down on fraudulent charges immediately. Yes, sometimes customers make purchases while away from home. In these cases, you can simply ask for more identification before completing the purchase.
Monitor Expedited Shipping
Expedited shipping to an address other than the billing address is one sign of fraud. Scammers use the fast shipping times to receive the goods before their bad deeds are discovered. A simple check could be all you need to prevent fraud and save you a lot of money in chargebacks.
Target Suspicious Email Addresses
We know a lot of people still use free email addresses, so you can’t target only those. You can, however, give the side eye to very anonymous addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org. If you see plenty of these coming through, you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with a credit card theif.
Compare Credit Card Entries to Users
You can also check these email addresses or registrations against the number of credit cards those buyers use. For instance, if one anonymous email is associated with three or more credit card numbers, you might just have a criminal on your hands.
Require the Security Code
In an effort to remove friction from the buying process, many ecommerce companies have reduced the amount of information buyers must enter. In reality, you should be increasing these requests. By requiring the security code, you can shut down scammers who’ve stolen credit card numbers without actually seeing the card.
Request Signatures Upon Delivery
If your products do get as far as the mailbox of the scammer, a signature could help you later. Comparisons between the recipient and the fraud victim can expedite the chargeback process and gain reimbursement for you. In the very best situations, no one will sign for the products, and you’ll be able to cancel the orders.
Investigate Non-Physical Shipping Addresses
In an effort to remain invisible, many fraudsters will assign PO boxes and drop shipping locations. By refusing to deliver to anything but a physical address, you might just save yourself a lot of heartache in the long run. This, combined with a required signature could be all you need.
Ask for More Identification
When in doubt, simply require more information, Your software and your employees can help you weed out a large number of potential fraud cases. The rest of the time, a request for more information from the buyer could stop the theft in its tracks. This might be requiring a physical address, a verified email address, or even just the security code. Never be afraid to ask.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be set to fight fraud. Your customers will love that you’re protecting them, even if it means they have a few more steps to complete before they can pay for your products. And you? You’ll experience far fewer chargebacks and protect that bottom line.
Originally published Oct 6, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 16 2022