The stuff I sell isn't much of a target for fraud so I don't have much experience weeding out fraudulent orders, but I just received an order that seems fishy.
The billing and shipping addresses match but AVS says there is only a zip code match to the billing address. They entered their email address but not their phone number. Should I call my payment processor to find out the issuing bank and call the issuing bank to get the customer's phone number to verify the transaction? Is there a specific term I should use when asking the bank for the customer's phone number?
there is no way the bank will give you a customer phone number!
i search online on the address, sometimes if it's been used before for fraud someone has posted it. i search online on the billing address to see if it matches the name of the customer - sometimes you get some clues.
email them and ask for their phone number as you need to talk to them, they might not reply if fraud, actually phone them if you get it.
can you track customers through the site? if so does the browsing behaviour seem normal.
On any suspicious orders, I always contact the customer. We sell boating equipment which requires a certain degree of technical knowledge, so I either call or email the customer with someone along the following...
"I noticed you bought a Lewmar Windlass. What size boat are you using this on and what type of anchor? We've had customers accidentally select the wrong windlass in the past so I just want to make sure you get the correct part :)".
Their response tells a lot. The legit ones always tend to respond enthusiastically (often eager to brag about their boats!).
I can get a customers phone number any time I want one from my payment processor and am certainly not bashful about calling them if something doesn't sound right.
Like votrechien, I can usually smell trouble. A legit buyer, now that he's got me on the phone, is probably going to have a few more questions to ask me. I've seen this pattern for 10 years and believe it's safe to characterize it as I do.
If it's fraud, several scenarios present themselves.
Assumed customer on the phone...
"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. My credit card? You're talking about my credit card?"
"Umm.. I don't even remember doing that. Sorry." Click.
"That was my friend using my card. What'd he buy anyway?"
Or no one answers the phone to begin with.
Or it's a disconnected number.
Demand contact before you ship any tangible items if you're worried about it. Legit customers will understand this and I've even had a few of them say, "Hey, I appreciate that. Thanks for taking the time."
It's proof you're taking care of business and that goes over big with some people.
We have found that about 90% of the orders we get, you can Google either - or both - the address and customer name.
On suspicious orders that will often tell you a lot. If the ship to address is listed as 123 Main St., apt 12 and the Googled address shows that the only thing at 123 Main St. is a UPS Shipping Store, be suspicious.