Best Practices in Recognizing Potential Signs of Online Payment Fraud

Below are a list of fraud indicators to keep an eye out for. When more than one is true during an online transaction, you may have a fraudulent transaction.

  1. First-time shopper: Criminals are always looking for new fraud opportunities
  2. Larger-than-normal orders: Since stolen cards or account numbers have a limited life span, crooks need to maximize the size of their purchase
  3. Orders that include several of the same item: Having multiples of the same item increases a criminal’s profit
  4. Orders made up of “big-ticket” items: These items have maximum resale value and therefore maximum profit potential
  5. “Rush” or “Overnight” shipping: Crooks want these fraudulently obtained items as soon as possible for the quickest possible resale, and aren’t concerned about extra delivery charges
  6. Shipping to an international address: A significant number of fraudulent transactions are shipped to fraudulent card holders outside of the United States. Visa AVS (Account Verification System) can’t validate non-U.S., expect in Canada and the United Kingdom
  7. Transactions with similar account numbers: Particularly useful if the account number used to have been generated using software available on the internet (e.g CreditMaster)
  8. Shipping to a single address, but transactions placed on multiple cards: Could involve an account manager generated using special software, or even a batch of stolen cards
  9. Multiple transactions on one card over a very short period of time: Could be an attempt to “run a card” until the account is closed
  10. Multiple transactions on one card or a similar card with single billing address, but multiple shipping addresses: Could represent organized activity, rather that one individual at work
  11. In online transactions, multiple cards are used from a single IP (Internet Protocol) address: More than one or two cards could definitely indicate a fraud scheme
  12. Orders from internet address that make use of free email services: These email services involve no billing relationships, and often neither an audit trail nor verification that a legitimate cardholder has opened the account