Fraud Prevention: Different Addresses

Customers usually use different addresses for shipping and billing.  A Fraudster will also do the same, and more. An order of a valuable item to some mailbox, must catch your attention. (+1 to your fraud scoring system)

So you must validate and correlate shipping and billing addresses and information (Address Line, City, State, Country, Zip Code, Phone):

An address can be checked in itself as:

  1. Address can be validated from some web services. For USA orders USPS apis can provide you more information if this address is valid or not. Google Maps or Yahoo Maps provide similar information.
  2. There are databases for Zip Code to Area Code and visa verso.  In a given zip code area code of the phone numbers are known before (except mobile numbers)
  3. Ip Address to Country and even City Check. When order is done, it’s done over a well known IP (If it’s done over a proxy address you can totally discard the order, no need to go further). There are several solutions that map an IP to Country and City level in address. So a check for IP Address mapping will help

Shipping and Billing Address can be checked for:

  1. Country check. It’s very low probable to order to another country from another country. +1

Fraud Prevention: Bulk Orders

An order of 75 pair of shoes must alert you. Fraudsters will try to order in bulk, so that they can turn these products into cash in bulk. Remember to investigate multiple orders given in a short time; total of 75 pairs of shoes in 24 hours by 30 seperate orders (to same shipping address or from same ip) is another alert and another point to your own fraud monitoring system. The main difficulty is the ability to distinguish last minute orders in high season, here your experience will work

Fraud Prevention: Overseas Orders

Doing overseas business may seem advantageous;  some good or services can be unavailable locally, so you may hit a sudden demand. But the main drawback in overseas sales is that, you are not protected by your own judicial system for an order done from another company. It will be hard to force someone to pay some $1,000, via laws.

Some countries have much higher risks than others. Here’s a list of countries you must add a point to your own fraud system. They all have abnormally higher instances of credit card fraud:

  • Indonesia
  • Ghana
  • Malaysia
  • Nigeria
  • Benin
  • Pakistan
  • Israel
  • Egypt
  • Romania
  • Russia

There are other Eastern European countries that suffer from the same problem.

Fraud Prevention: From Bottom to Top

My personal advice will be to build up a scoring system for your online business. It’s not done overnight but can be done by time;  either manual or automatic, depending on the size of your business.

Each of the items I placed on the list here, give you a negative point about the order. But again it’s all about experience, very much depends on your online business and industry you work. For each item I will be telling more, and how to do it.

Credit Card Fraud Prevention for merhants

As online business, you are open to Credit Card Fraud. To be honest, there is no 100% mechanism to stop fraud. But there are some tips to minimize the fraud:

  1. Some countries have much higher risks than others when doing business overseas. Watch the orders originating from overseas countries
  2. Watch bulk orders. Criminals will commonly order in bulk
  3. Watch orders with different shipping and billing address
  4. Track and watch the customer’s ip.
  5. Check customer’s geolocation of the ip to billing and shipping address
  6. Watch orders done with free e-mails
  7. Compare BIN code of the credit card to billing address
  8. AVS (Address Verification Systems) does help you correlate credit card with billing/shipping address
  9. Call the customer (This is where stands, does the automatic calling)
  10. Compare phone number with address. Although mobile numbers are non-geographical numbers, fixed line numbers convert to geographic information
  11. Keep a history of good or bad orders.
  12. Build a fraud score system with all above information and previous orders (good or bad)



Pronunciation: \ˈfrȯd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English fraude, from Anglo-French, from Latin fraud-, fraus
Date: 14th century

1 a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick
2 a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat b : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be

synonyms see deception, imposture

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also an adjunct to identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission, while identity theft had been holding steady for the last few years, it saw a 21 percent increase in 2008. However, credit card fraud, that crime which most people associate with ID theft, decreased as a percentage of all ID theft complaints for the sixth year in a row.[1]

The cost of card fraud in 2006 were 7 cents per 100 dollars worth of transactions (7 basis points)[2]. Due to the high volume of transactions this translates to billions of dollars. In 2006, fraud in the United Kingdom alone was estimated at £535 million,[3] or US$750–830 million at prevailing 2006 exchange rates.[4]

Original Document