Image by Kelly Sikkema

Large orders and suspicious transactions

Fraudsters prey on human emotion. When receiving large orders, many merchants get excited and skip important fraud mitigation steps. Always be alert and trust your gut.

Large orders (particularly, in an online environment) and orders that look "abnormal" for any reason can pose additional risks to the merchant. We highly recommend being extra-cautious when fulfilling orders that meet the following criteria. While none of them guarantee fraud, they're all "red flags" to watch out for. We recommend that merchants get aggressive with fraud protection, and actively avoid fulfilling orders that fall into any of the below scenarios:

  • Split payments. This is a very common tactic to utilize multiple stolen cards. If a fraudster feels they have an "easy" target, they'll use as many stolen cards as they can.
     

  • Shipping and Billing addresses don't match. When using a stolen card, fraudsters need to ship their goods somewhere. They'll commonly use  different addresses to bypass AVS filters. These can regularly be "real" sales too, though (gifts) - so be careful.
     

  • Orders with strange quantities or mismatched goods. This is something that's harder to define - but many merchants wouldn't ever sell component B along with connector A, for example. Or they'd never have an order for 150 widgets, it's just too many. Things like this can show that a fraudster is randomly purchasing items to "test" the card - when this happens, we recommend reaching out to the cardholder to verbally discuss the order and "sniff them out". 
     

  • Refunds to a different card. There are common scams where fraudsters will pay for something with a stolen card, then ask for a refund on a different card. So you get the goods back, but you just paid the fraudster plus the real cardholder will dispute the original sale later, and you'll lose the funds again.
     

  • International orders. In general, selling/fulfilling internationally is inherently more dangerous. You're much more likely to be victimized by fraud, and the AVS system doesn't reliably work on international addresses. Combined with communication issues, we recommend avoiding international orders except with highly trusted customers.

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