If you’re concerned about not seeing a customer’s card during a transaction, there are a few indicators you can check for.

It’s a sad fact that criminals are always looking to defraud you of your hard-earned cash. Check out our below list of indicators that you should keep in mind.

1. First-time shopper

Criminals are always looking for new merchants to steal from.

2. Larger-than-normal orders

Because stolen cards or account numbers have a limited life span, criminals need to maximise the size of their purchase.

3. Several varieties of the same item

Having multiples of the same item increases criminals’ profits.

4. 'Rush' or 'overnight' shipping

Criminals want their fraudulently obtained items as soon as possible for the quickest possible resale and aren’t concerned about extra delivery charges.

5. Shipping outside of the merchant’s country

There are times when fraudulent transactions are shipped to fraudulent criminals outside of the home country.

6. Multiple transactions

If you notice multiple transactions:

  • on one card over a very short period of time, this could be an attempt to ‘run a card’ until the account is closed
  • on one card or a similar card with a single billing address, but multiple shipping addresses, this could represent organised activity, rather than one individual at work

7. Inconsistencies

These could include a mismatch in the billing and shipping address, telephone area codes that aren’t aligned with postal area codes, email addresses that don’t look legitimate, or orders placed at irregular times of the day.

8. Single address / multiple cards

If you’re shipping to a single address but transactions have been placed on multiple cards, this could involve account numbers generated using special software, or even a batch of stolen cards.

9. Multiple cards / single IP address

Multiple cards could indicate a fraud scheme. Be mindful of orders made from free email services; as these involve no billing relationships, there is often neither an audit trail nor any means to verify that a legitimate cardholder has opened the account. It should be remembered that none of these factors should be used exclusively to determine the validity of the customer or to accept or reject an order. They should be used as indicators of risk, and in combination with other fraud detection methods.

This article was originally published in Talking Shop Winter 2012

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