How to Reduce Online Fraud for Sellers

Unfortunately, but understandably and probably quite rightly, the merchant
banks have stacked things in favour of the consumer.

i.e. that sale you were pleased with a month ago has turned out to be
fraudulent and have just had a chargeback. Doh!
This is not only an inconvenience but is potentially able to bankrupt you.

Furthermore, as a business that can't afford to have your credit card
facility taken away from you, you have to be especially vigilant.
I had one customer complaining that 50% of their online orders
were fraudulent !!!

So, here's a few things to look out for.

1. Check ALL Orders Visually.
Look out for things that don't match and ensure that all the information
has been filled in correctly. Very often fraudulent orders 'feel wrong'.
Trust your instincts and if it feels wrong - treat it accordingly.

2. Check the Delivery Address.
If the delivery address isn't the same as the cardholder's address
- be especially careful and find exactly what is happening BEFORE
you deliver the goods.

You can use Address Verification Service
(AVS Provided by most merchant processors) to ensure that any
info you've been given matches up properly. If it doesn't be wary.

3 - Save It!
Keep all relevent documantation and record all calls, save all emails
and keep all letters for at least 12 months - possibly longer - it may
be required as evidence.

4 - Check the Email Address
'Free' email addresses like Hotmail account for a huge percentage
of the fraudsters. You might even want to implement a policy of not
taking order from 'free' email accounts. One company I read about
had ZERO fraudulent after implementing such a policy, with little
or no affect on their conversion rate.

Most genuine shoppers will not mind supplying a 'proper' email address when
they know your reasons for asking them and indeed the ISP they use to access
the internet will have almost certainly supplied such an address anyway.

5 - Check their domain name
IF they have one(most business customers will), check the domain and see
who the domain is owned by
Tip, for .COM .NET. ORG .BIZ etc visit :
http://www.networksolutions.com/
and click the "WHOIS" link at the bottom.

For .CO.UK .ORG.UK etc go to :
http://www.nominet.org.uk/ and use the "whois" lookup search box.

Obviously, if the domain is registered to Captain Blackbeard rather than
Johnson's Meat Supplies or whatever was on the contact information
- you know to treat it as suspicious/fraudulent.

6 Check the IP Address.
If you shopping cart software has the ability to display the IP Address,
you can often see where the client is and match up the server they used
to place the order with the address they supplied on the shopping cart order.

Using the Geo-IP address like this this isn't foolproof but naturally, if you see
blatant orders where the IP address is Nigeria instead of Leeds for example,
you'll know what to do!

Checkout :
http://www.2privacy.com/www/privacy-protection/check-geo-ip-address-location.html

7 Check the Phone Number
Insist on having a contact telephone number and call it up for
"Customer Feedback" and ask questions about the order and see if it 'feels right'.
If necessary, email them 2 or 3 times to ask them for their phone number to check
up on a point of delivery for example. Additionally, you can buy a database
of phone numbers on a CD.

You can try : http://www.thephonebook.bt.com/ to try and see if they're
at least registered.
(Hey, I tried it on myself and it worked and I thought I was Ex-Directory!)

8. Lookout for Unusual or higher than usual Order Amounts
Fraudsters are basically stealing your stuff so they won't care about paying
high overnight/next day delivery charges. The order value may be very high
and may occur especially at holiday seasons for some reason.

9. Put Signs Up.
Just like having a dummy box burglar alarm to deter thieves, having FRAUD
notices, saying that you'll prosecute all fraudsters and that
you subscribe to "INTERPOL FRAUD GROUP" or some such will more often than
not scare them away - to simply go somewhere else but hey - at least they've
left you alone!

(I'd welcome any more advice or feedback on this issue that I can pass on as this really is the scourge of the web, along with spam, phishing, viruses etc...!)

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ to get More Tips & Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips