One of the largest risks online merchants face is credit card fraud. Every year, Internet fraud costs merchants more than two billion dollars and as fraud continues to skyrocket, that number steadily increases as well. Here are ten preventative measures that online merchants who accept global payments can take to help minimize credit card fraud on their website.
1. Check the IP Address – An IP address can show the exact geographic location of the computer from which a purchase is made. Check the IP address against the billing address provided by an order. An odd or suspicious distance between the two may indicate fraud.
2. Be Wary of High Risk Countries – In the world of e-commerce, certain countries are known as "high risk" countries because a high rate of online fraud originates from them. Such countries include Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia, and Turkey, just to name a few. Check international orders to see if they originate from a high-risk country.
3. Mail Only to Physical Addresses – While online fraudsters want to stay untraceable, they still need to collect the merchandise they order. Subsequently, they may use public PO boxes or ship-forwarding services, which allows the receiver to remain anonymous.
4. Require Phone Numbers – Require phone numbers with every order and call to confirm that they are valid. Make sure the area code of the phone number is located within the zip code given.
5. Watch Out for Free Email Addresses – Most online fraudsters use free, web-based email addresses, such as Hotmail. If a customer provides such an email address, check other factors such as the customer's phone number and shipping and billing addresses to determine whether or not the order may be fraudulent.
6. Call the Credit Card Company – If you have any doubts about the order or need to confirm some details on the order, call the issuing credit card company to confirm the card is not stolen or being used fraudulently.
7. When in Doubt, Request More Information – If you come across an order that seems suspicious or the information provided just is not adding up, request more information from the customer. Call them on the phone to have them confirm their contact information or request to have them fax or email a copy of photo ID