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Methods To Control Fraud Orders From Yahoo/Hotmail Emails?

 5:01 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)


Pretty much all the fraud orders I receive are yahoo/hotmail based email addresses. I receive a declined credit card response, and then try to contact them with obviously no response.

I even thought about blocking any yahoo/hotmail email accounts from creating an account on my website.

Or maybe implementing a "verify email address" link similar to how forums work; at least this will weed out the lazy people that don't even try to create a fake real email with yahoo/hotmail. Because there are times where these emails are not even valid yahoo/hotmail accounts.

Do you guys have issues with yahoo/hotmail emaill accounts? What methods do you use to control these type of fraud customers?

Thank you,




 5:44 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you guys have issues with yahoo/hotmail emaill accounts?
Sometimes. I've noticed that most of the attempted fraud orders have come from there. But we've also had lots of orders from Yahoo/Hotmail without fraud.

What methods do you use to control these type of fraud customers?
The same as others, although we tend to scrutinize them a little harder than others.

 6:36 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just checked to see how many Hotmail and Yahoo emails we get... answer is tons!

Less than 1% are fraudulent and those are easy to spot by conventional detection methods like "Can you ship the $3,000 worth of barbells and bowling balls to Largos by next day air?"


 7:11 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the quick replies!

I might modify my site so only yahoo/hotmail emails will need to verify their account by clicking on a "verify email link"; this should help with this issue I'm hoping!



 8:00 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

maybe implementing a "verify email address" link similar to how forums work

I say, no, don't do it, this is going to create barriers for your users. It would be on the same level as requiring registration to order the item.

And hey, what if your verification email goes into their spam box and they never see it? <poof> they're outta there.

Unfortunately I don't have other helpful advice, my clients rarely get fraud orders, just the odd few requesting shipment to Nigeria. :-) But I'm wondering about this . . .

I receive a declined credit card response, and then try to contact them with obviously no response.

I've read this four times and it sounds like, to me, the order is being placed and you're manually trying to run the card after the fact. (?) If you're integrated with a credit card processor, you'd never know or hear about the decline unless you have an email trigger for it, in which case . . . there's no reason to fret over it, if it's declined, they're already in trouble.


 8:16 am on Mar 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Best solution is to pick up your phone and verify. No verification, no order. Done. And don't tell your customers they have to verify an order or your defeating the purpose. Throw a Yahoo/gmail/hotmail script in your code and your going to lose a lot of business.


 4:22 pm on Mar 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

And don't tell your customers they have to verify an order

What DO you tell the person you phone?


 4:36 pm on Mar 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

MLHmptn means don't tell the customer to call you. YOU have to call THEM.


 5:31 pm on Mar 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ok, I understand. And we always do a *67 so they can't see who's calling. Want to catch them off guard. If the customer is supposed to be an 18 year old girl in rural Iowa, I'd be worried if a thickly-accented middle-aged man accepts the call.

Scammers will put you on hold to look up the order while that 18 year old girl will certainly remember every detail.


 5:59 pm on Mar 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use hotmail as my primary email account-have for over 10 years. Don't create any special hoops for hotmail/gmail/yahoo/AOL users as it WILL cost you sales.

If an order is declined, why follow up? If the order is legitimate the customer will call you or use a different card/payment method.

I don't call the number supplied by a customer unless I've verified with an independent source that the number belongs to the actual card holder.


 1:06 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm with akmac. I don't call on declines. Most of the time they are declined because the perosn made an error in keeping track of their money, and the last thing they want is some stranger asking them about it. Also, I would not block any hotmail address or ask them to verify email. I would not like that as a shopper and would think they were just wanting to be sure it was a spammable address. If you get a delivery failure on an order, that's already a headsup, but in my experience, even delivery failures are almost always because the person put a period after .com or some simple typo.

It's important to be cautious about fraud, but excessive caution can lead to diminishing returns.


 8:29 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

And don't tell your customers they have to verify an order

What DO you tell the person you phone?

We just pick up the phone and call them and state that our purpose is simply a courtesy call to ensure they have ordered correctly (ie: items ordered, quantity, colors, shipping address, etc.) which saves us from chargeback disputes and ensures customer satisfaction. If we can't reach the customer via phone within 1-3 days it's usually a good indication that somethings up so we immediately credit the card back and/or void the charge. Also, we do not make the customer aware BEFORE the sale that we require confirmation of the order. If we did that the scammers/fraudsters would know beforehand that we would be calling and they would be prepared for our calls.

At first we thought it would be an inconvenience to the customer but it's truly amazing how many customers are appreciative of us calling them BEFORE we ship their order and to verify they are exactly who they say they are. With the digital age amongst us customer service is a rarity and customers are extremely appreciative of REAL customer service that 95% of ecom stores (even brick and mortar stores) do not provide.

Also, immediately after the customers order is delivered we place a follow-up call to ensure the customers satisfaction while at the same time (if we feel appropriate) letting them know about other niches that we can fill (helps increase sales obviously).

With this policy in place we haven't had a single chargeback and I attribute this to the procedures that were implemented in February '09.


 10:02 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Almost all my customers use free email accounts. Very few use their company email accounts. Really don't understand the title of the thread.. Is it a U.S. centric thing? Aren't all (mass) email services now FREE ?


 10:04 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

What DO you tell the person you phone?

I've caught several fraudulent callers by asking a surprise question during the phone/order confirmation. Immediately after asking for their street address by phone I ask them to tell me which highway is closest to that location. If they really live there they'll know immediately, if they fumble you'll sense a problem before they can recover and of course you'll have a google map in front of you already so you know the answer.

Be polite but whenever you suspect a problem decline the order or request that payment clears before delivery, it's just good business.


 11:33 pm on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I never worried about the free email account issue because we screen the orders for fraud.

Some of the simpler things you can do to kick the fraud is:

1. require the CVV2 code which means card in hand or a cloned card, but that's less likely

2. use Verified by Visa which requires a pin #

3. offer people using those email accounts PayPal, which validates their members

The problem with phone verification now is everyone uses cell phones.

When it's a landline phone # calling directory assistance can confirm the phone # matches the address given, then calling the phone # can confirm that they actually placed the order.


 3:36 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

3. offer people using those email accounts PayPal, which validates their members

PayPal's "validation" of members means absolutely nothing. We were scammed by a verified PayPal member who paid with a credit card that was later reported as stolen. Out the money and because of PayPal's hiding behind "privacy concerns" (I never did understand why in the U.S. criminals have more rights than victims, but that's a different rant), we have insufficient information for tracking down the criminal.

By the way, that scammer used a Yahoo e-mail address.


 5:53 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use a service called Maxmind Minfraud, it runs all types of filters AFTER the credit card approval, searches their databases for known email addresses and mailing addresses associated with fraud as well as the IP address that the order came from. It has been very VERY useful in fraud prevention for our site. The service is very cheap and is well worth the cost.

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