Credit Card and Order Fraud
“Wow, I just got an order for $275!"
It is going to Taiwan, and the credit card
The shipping and mailing
addresses don’t match, but it is too large an order to ignore, I need the
money.” Or, they want the order to be picked up by a shipping agent! Or they want to send me a money order!
“I just received an order for 50 yards of material going to
A large majority of the stores hosted by Key to the Web,
LLC, are quilt shops.
generally pretty trustworthy, but beware, just because someone is ordering from
your shop does not mean they are a quilter!
There are a lot of crooks out there trying to find suckers to provide
them with products (by stealing)
they can resell and make money, so you need to take precautions to protect
yourself from loss.
The staff at Key to the Web is providing the following
information and guidelines to help protect you from losing money to fraud.
This spring when Bob and Turtle went to Quilt market they
visited a lot of quilt shops, and one thing that became very apparent is that
more and more quilt shops are having a big problem with shoplifters and quite a
few even have those monitors at doorways and put special tags on their
merchandise to keep it from disappearing out the door.
As Bob talked to some of the shop owners, he
found that it was not quilters that were the problem, but people coming in off
the street looking for something easy to steal.
An on line store is no different, there are going to be attempts
to steal from your store, usually by using a stolen credit card.
The first myth to dispel is that getting an authorization
number protects you from fraud.
virtually all cases it does not protect you at all.
If you get a card declined, then it has saved you, but an authorization
number still leaves you vunerable.
you read the fine print on your agreements with the card companies, you will
generally find that they have themselves well protected from any losses.
Stolen credit card numbers may get authorized up until the
time the owner discovers that someone is using the card, which can often be on
their next bill, so there could be a month delay between the time someone
starts using a stolen credit card number and the time authorizations start
The credit card
company is not going to eat those charges -- they are going to be charge backs
to your credit card account, and end up costing you not only the cost of the
entire order, but also a charge back fee of $20 or more!
Banks have a dollar amount, often $300, that causes a flag
to be raised on a credit card charge.
The users of stolen credit cards know these flag levels for different
cards, and will make their orders somewhere close to the limit without going
Here are some things to watch for on your orders..
Keep in mind that these flags may not
necessarily mean a bad order – you need to determine if the order is good or
bad using other means.
orders, especially to Southeast Asia (like Taiwan, Indonesia, etc.).,
where shipping and billing addresses are different
going to a post office box, especially foreign
greater than $200 but less than $300, especially if 1 and 2 above are true
for larger quantities of a number of
items, such as a 10 yards of a material, especially if any of 1, 2,
or 3 apply. It is much easier for
them to sell larger quantities than small cuts.
on the credit card does not match the person ordering. The exceptions here would be using the
spouse’s credit card, which is usually pretty obvious.
- Orders sent to
or picked up by a shipping agent.
- Any order where they want
to send you a money order.
On the other hand, orders that are usually pretty safe are
(assuming that the order does not meet any of the above criteria)
orders where billing and shipping
are the same.
where the quantity of each item is relatively small (several yards or
less than $100.
Please keep in mind that none of these guidelines completely
protect you. When an order is shipped,
it is possible that the customer can claim that it was never received and
charge it back. If there is ever any
doubt, insure the package and make sure that a signature is required for
delivery, or that you get a notification of delivery for your own
protection. Theft of packages is really
bad going to some countries, so any high value orders going to a foreign
country should be insured. If you
cannot get insurance on packages going to a particular country, it could be a
very risky shipment for you.
Money orders and cashiers checks, especially for foreign
orders, may also be risky, as they could be stolen or forged, and may not be
detected until after you ship.
So what are you to do?
We recommend that you ask for an international money order and then WAIT
for the money order to clear BEFORE shipping.
In 99 cases out of 100, you will never hear from the party again when
asking for the international money order.
In virtually all cases of fraud, you are the one that loses,
not the banks or credit card companies, so you need to take every precaution.