Better Ways for Sellers

Research suggests that even though fraud with credit cards is a significant issue however, it only affects small percentages of online transactions. It is a mistake to try and apply an approach that is universal and could result in unintended negative effects. It is crucial to strike a balance between practicality and prudence.

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In a different article, I rant about sellers insisting on paying a few cents into a buyer’s bank to prevent use of stolen credit cards. This can be extremely frustrating for the customer as it could be a sign of fraud, but it also delays the shipping, one or other of which potentially prompting the customer to cancel the order and never return. For certain sellers who use a different automated method may be rejected as “it is too time-consuming” and they don’t have the personnel to handle it”, “not the way we do things here” and so on.

The ideas in this article will require more effort, attention to specifics and possibly a change of mindset. The methods can be used to protect against fraud without causing offence or losing customers.

The orders that should alarm

  • Begin by looking over your own records of “suspect orders.” (see below) If the buyer’s name is listed in those records with specific details about the actions performed, you’re on the way to eliminating the possibility of a problem and handle it in a timely manner.
  • Be careful Be cautious if the delivery and billing addresses are different. There could be valid reasons for the invoice to differ, particularly if it is to a PO box number, and the items are delivered are delivered to a physical address. According to this author, and in spite of the advice given by banks that automatic rejections of orders made with PO Box numbers addresses are just another way for customers to feel frustrated unless there’s an extremely convincing explanation.
  • All orders from customers should contain a contact number and email address. If something is suspicious it will be easy to reach the buyer. If the phone does not connect, or a voice message that is not consistent with what’s receiving will be an indication of danger. Another method is to useSoftware for “reverse numbers”Check to see if there’s an match. If not, by all means query the order. This option is available online.
  • Email addresses that are not legitimate and used by buyers must be regarded as fraudulent. Most honest people will have something easily identifiable in their email address. It could be a personal or business name. Of course, the seller may and should promptly send a short message to confirm that the order was placed by that person. Be sure to check whether the message bounces back or if they don’t respond. It is easy to find the address for the business that pointed to an address on the web, if the address was associated with an organization. If not found then there’s a reason to be concerned.

How to make the query

A person who is pleasant should call the buyer. While contact couldbe done via email, a phone call will produce positive outcomes. It also allows for the buyer to better evaluate the situation without causing offence to a legitimate buyer.

  • A sensible reason for the question must be provided. Anyone who is reasonable will be able to understand when the question is (a) timely, (b) polite, (c) devoid of any negative inference and NOT implying that a problem applies to the particular customer.
  • It’s fine to use a tiny “white lie”. Rather that say anything that could be taken as an accusation, it might be more appropriate to state “we are having a problem with our systems , and despite no fault of yours we cannot process your payment.” You can either use a different card, or pay via bank transfer.
  • Any hostile answer will raise the “red flag” and allow the seller to revoke the order for “technical reasons” and “with regret.”
  • Always inquire about the name of the bank of the client. It is very unlikely that anyone with stolen credit cards will know the answer.
  • For transactions with a high value, you should request an “verification check” This is a service provided by VISA and Mastercard which requires the user to have a password authorised by their bank. It requires the customer to sign-up, but it is not unusual for legitimate customers to refuse.

Keep records

It is not much more than an E XCEL file (or any other spreadsheet or database) is required to keep the records of any suspicious orders. It only takes about a minute or so to fill in the details. These are the fields you need to fill in:

The order’s date

Buyer’s name

The number of the buyer’s phone

Buyer’s email address

Delivery address required

Item ordered

Credit card number, expiry and CCV numbers

Reason given for query

Result (order accepted OR rejected)

Excel lets searches be made on any of these fields to make it easy to determine if a particular attempt has been repeated

Tell us about your concerns.

In clear cases of possible fraud:

  • Inform your bank. They’ll assign a specialist personnel to conduct further investigations as well as to safeguard you in the event of money being taken from your account.
  • The card issuing company should be informed.
  • If the situation is critical, you should notify the police.

Continue reading

This article attempts to offer practical suggestions from the point of view of retaining honest customers. More on investigation and prevention techniques may be found on many Internet sites.