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Top 5 Red Flags for Online Fraud

Online Security Technology

Who loves being a victim of online fraud? That’s right: no one. Online retailers are facing record high risks and losing billions of dollars each year from internet-savvy thieves and their credit card fraud. But these fraudsters aren’t invincible, and any shrewd business can stop credit card fraud in its tracks. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re not about to become their next victim.

1. The billing and shipping addresses don’t match.

While this one by itself isn’t an automatic reason for alarm, it’s something to take note of—especially if the billing, shipping, and IP addresses are all states or even countries apart. It could be an honest customer ordering a gift, or it could be a not-so-honest customer with a stolen card and its stolen billing address.

2. The order values are abnormally high, with expedited shipping.

Most fraudsters have limited time before their stolen card is cancelled. So if they’re going to get away with something, they’ll try to maximize their takings. Again, this by itself isn’t a reason to instantly deny the purchase, but be smart about it. Is the “customer” ordering an abnormally large amount of product? Are they paying more for shipping than the product itself? Like, $50 of shipping for a $25 purchase?

3. The billing address seems a bit… off.

Does the zip code match the area code? Does that address even exist? Check the provided billing address in Google Maps or another mapping service in order to verify the place exists. RevolutionParts actually provides a link to Google Maps street view next to the shipping address on the order page so dealers can quickly check to see if the location is an abandoned house. To further ease your mind, confirm that the credit card’s issuing country and billing address country are the same. Sometimes, honest customers made an honest typo and there’s no cause for alarm—simply call them to confirm their billing address.

4. The order was placed with a Proxy server.

With a Proxy server, Internet users can hide their real IP address and effectively remain anonymous and undetected. Not everyone uses a Proxy server for evil, but fraudsters definitely like them. It’s an easy way to trick merchants into thinking the “customer” is in New York, rather than in a high risk country like Nigeria or Romania. Dealers selling parts through the RevolutionParts platform automatically get fraud screening service, which detects proxy servers for them.

5. They’ve got a shady email address.

Would a real customer have an email like jkgh10294935@yahoo.com? Maybe. Probably not. Yeah, it’s pretty unlikely. It only takes a second to check the customer’s email, and usually the “address” they give you will be a dead giveaway for fraud.

If you’re still having doubts, contact the customer. Calling will not only verify they’ve provided you with the correct phone number, but also give you a chance to speak with them, ask questions, and request further confirmation of their identity. The customer will appreciate your dedication to security.

As another preventative measure, use tracking numbers and require signatures. Tracking numbers will prove the package was delivered, in case a customer claims it never arrived. For expensive items, always require a signature and never leave the package at the door. Sometimes fraudsters will have the product shipped to an abandoned house where they can pick it up without giving away their true location.

If you’re vigilant, aware, and informed, you can reduce fraud significantly!

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