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Preventing online credit card fraud
Preventing credit card fraud - merchant issues - more info!
The theft and fraudulent use of credit card information is an ongoing problem for all businesses these days. While fraudulent online transactions can cost you time and money, you can easily minimise the risk by studying the following information.
General credit card fraud minimisation techniques:
Selling 'bricks n mortar' type products - more info!
If you are selling physical products (books, CDs, etc.) you run a much greater risk of suffering commercial loss compared to people selling downloadable products online. Be particularly suspicious of people placing a couple of small orders to build up a level of trust before placing an extremely large order.
Selling downloadable intellectual property
When you are selling files from your website (mp3, PDF, Ebooks, etc.) at least you cannot suffer material loss in the way that the 'Bricks n Mortar' merchants described above are susceptible to. However you can still suffer lost administration time processing credit card refunds and charge-backs, therefore some degree of caution still needs to be exercised. Much better to let someone escape with a free copy of your 'cutting-edge' marketing report than process a fraudulent credit card transaction ;-)
Should you accept online credit card payments?
Yes, yes, YES.... if you have products that
can easily be purchased and delivered without requiring your
customers physically visiting your place of business. More and
more customers are not only looking to make buying decisions,
but also wanting to complete the entire transaction online.
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The advice given here is aimed at helping online merchants detect and combat credit card fraud rather than assisting online shoppers. As well as loosing valuable merchandise to credit card fraud, there is the added cost of the merchant's administration time wasted in attending to refunds and chargebacks. We are not trying to deter potential online merchants, rather a case of providing you with the 'protective-information' to allow you to proceed safely.
Always check each order's product quantities and prices prior to manually processing credit card payments and/or shipping any products. Rather a rare occurrence, but hackers do have the ability to make changes to product prices during the ordering process.
Demand a legitimate ISP-based email address (everybody has one). Do not be satisfied with a 'firstname.lastname@example.org' email address. Many companies make telephoned confirmation a mandatory part of their online sales process, prior to mailing/shipping products. Be aware that police in another country are not going to be too concerned because some foreign business lost a few hundred dollars!
It should be mandatory company policy to send a request for confirmation via email and refuse to process any orders without receiving confirmation from an ISP-based email address. You should consider including telephone confirmation for all overseas orders.