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This 78 message thread spans 3 pages: 78 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Credit Card Fraud
I think I am on the way to being swindled.

 5:26 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a website selling electronic and camera equipment. Listed some items on eBay. Got an email from a woman "Opening a new store in Indonesia" and looking for inventory, wanting me to be her wholesale provider.
I started emailing her back and forth and several times she has changed cards to pay for a LARGE $ order. But never once did the card come up stolen or anything. Just that there were not funds to cover the transaction. I asked if she would use Paypal, said she had a bad run in with them and wouldn't. Asked for cashiers check/money order/wire transfer, she never responds with anything other than ANOTHER credit card...of which she claims to be a family members card.
This last card was a Discover card...
My merchant account does not accept Discover...
I contacted Discover, to open an account...
While waiting for reply, I did a search on the name and address (and phone) for the card holder (supposedly her sister, Lynn)
Found Lynn on the internet, turns out she is a doctor...
I called Lynn's number, got a generic answering machine, but left message anyhow...
Got a call last night after 10 PM, from a prepaid calling card number...
Lynn is not a woman, but rather a man.
Is this part of the lie too?
Wouldn't a doctor have long distance on his phone?
If he is worried about me getting his number on caller ID it is late for that I CALLED HIM FIRST...
Wouldn't he have a cell phone?
What should I think now?
Discover said that the card has not been reported stolen and shows no sign of misuse. Although the good doctor said that the card was reported stolen last week.
What gives? How do I report this character? Discover says that there is nothing to report.



 5:40 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do Not Mail the merchandise! If it's already been sent, contact Fed Ex(or whomever) and cancel delivery. You will be out shipping, but can hopefully get your products back. Keep a record of all card numbers used, as well as names. Call Visa-they will contact the issuing banks-and can help verify what most people on this forum will tell you: FRAUD


 5:42 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

In general, fraud is rampant in Indonesia. Sounds like you shouldn't have anything to do with it.


 5:48 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

This order is fraudulent.

Count your blessings if you haven't already shipped and stop contact with the thief.


 5:48 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Fraussters will prey on newcomers to eccommerce-not that they purposefully target them-just that no one is more eager to close "that first sale". I've been there myself-luckily, the card was declined for insufficient funds and I checked into it. Let me guess:

Your products have good resale value
They requested immediate shipment (doesn't matter how much it costs)
Multiple card numbers
anonymous email addresses (yahoo.hotmail, etc)
Repeat orders-too close together.
Shipping address in Indonesia-billing elsewhere.
And that sinking feeling that-maybe, you will never see this money-or your products again.

I could be wrong-but all the signs point to the fact that (at least) you need to do more checking before you ship ANY goods to this customer


 5:49 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

today only i blocked 10 countries from visiting my website,i am newbie and dont want to indulge in this kind of affiars

keep your fingers corssed and hope for the best
With regards


 5:53 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have not shipped anything, but am heartbroke.
Thanks for all the words of advice. Duly noted and welcomed.
I am not out money or product, thankfully cards never cleared.



 5:59 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

but question arises
how can we detect such kind of guys...law will find us guilty if the original card holder file claim and we hae to refund...
how to judge the good customer...till now i hae been allowing only Paypal and its been pretty good till now...


 6:00 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Types of Suspicious Behavior
·Customer doesn't know the Cardmember ID (CID) found on the back of the Card, indicating that they don't have the actual Card
·Customer asks that you try lower dollar amounts when a decline message is received
·Customer instructs you to try different expiration dates when initial attempts fail
·Customer hesitates, or has a long pause, when asked for personal information
·Customer repeatedly sends e-mail messages requesting confirmation of shipment
·New customer attempts to make a very large credit card transaction
·Customer attempts to place a large order using several credit cards to obtain the total authorization amount
·Customer requests that sales be split up to avoid paying "import taxes" and/or "duty fees"
·Customer attempts to purchase large quantities of a single item
·Customer seems overly concerned about delivery time frames to overseas destinations
·Customer offers the phone number to an authorization center to speed up the credit card approval process
·Customer has little regard for price
·Customer purchases several large-ticket items, which do not go together, e.g., appear random
·Customer calls a few minutes before closing and wants several large-ticket items
·Customer shows little or no concern for return policies, manufacturer warranties and/or rebates when purchasing in large quantities


 6:02 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many people here have gone through the same thing-you're welcome.

Please contact the card providers visa/amex/discover and ask to speak with the fraud departments. If you don't report the cards, the cardholders and future merchants could be swindled.

PS-Don't give up! My first "customer" was a fraudster from Indonesia too.


 6:05 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks breedersk8r

this will help a lot to newbies like me to judge good and bad customers...

more characteristics awaited..


 6:41 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

How do I report this suspicious activity?
How do I contact Visa, MasterCard and Discover?


 5:48 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> Discover says that there is nothing to report.

If that's the case and you've done due diligence by contacting them - what else can you do?

Re: reporting suspicious activity and contacting VISA or MasterCard

I visited VISA USA and their guidelines were to contact the issuer of the card. Same for MasterCard International. MC also mentioned contacting the Federal Trade Commission. Bare in mind these guidelines were written for the consumer and not the merchant.

The Consumer Tips document I found at MasterCard (PDF) mentioned contacting the 3 national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) to report fraud on your own card. They may have advice as to what merchants can do so it might be worth a call to them as well.


 6:46 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

From the visa.usa Site:
When You Suspect Fraud

If you’re suspicious of a card or cardholder at any time during a transaction authorization process, you will need to make a Code 10 authorization request.

What is Code 10?

The Code 10 authorization request alerts the card issuer to the suspicious activity—without alerting the customer. During a Code 10 call, you will speak to the card issuer’s special operator, who will provide instructions on any necessary action. This type of authorization request is the most likely to result in a call to law enforcement.

Code 10 steps
If you receive an electronic authorization, but still suspect fraud, do the following:

Keep the card in hand to quickly respond to questions.

Call your voice authorization center, or dial 1-800-FRAUD-FREE (1-800-372-8337) and say “I have a Code 10 Authorization Request.”

The call will first be received by your merchant bank who may need to ask you for some merchant and/or transaction details. You will then be transferred to the card Issuer and immediately connected to a special operator. A series of yes/no questions will be asked to determine whether you are suspicious of the card or cardholder.

When connected to the special operator, answer all questions calmly and in a normal tone of voice.

Follow all operator instructions.

If the operator asks you to retain the card, comply with this request only if it is safe to do so.

Hope this helps


 7:11 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>How do I report this suspicious activity?
>>>How do I contact Visa, MasterCard and Discover?

Why bother, they never seem to do anything. All you are doing is wasting your time. For some stupid reason the banks and card companies do not seem to care.

That list of suspected fraud clues was excellent. I have made a similar list and passed it around the office. We have yet to get burned because we look for the clues that were mentioned. As soon as we get a suspect order, we either rip it up or send an email requesting further info and tell them there will be a delay. Then surprise, surprise we hear nothing.


 7:45 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

ok, here is the most suspicious thing about this order ...

why the heck would someone in indonesia want to buy wholesale from you or someone like you?
do you really think they can't get 'higher up' the chain than you?
most (certainly a lot) of camera and electronics equipment is manufactured in the far east, why would someone already in the east want to import the stuff back from the west?

(no offence meant, and the questions are general and not directed at this specific case, they are a guide to the kind of questions you need to ask yourself)

i'm very glad you didn't get burned, but remember even if a card payment goes through it can still be reversed due to fraud (at your loss) for some considerable time after the event.

my advice to anyone is: don't get caught out by greed, if it doesn't feel right then most likely it isn't, everyone gets caught out once in a while, but use your head.


 9:24 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

The thought had run through my mind that this would be a cheaper deal for this customer to buy direct from over seas.
But the thought of a potential sale got my logic all screwed up.
I didn't send anything though because there was no payment. And no, I was not aware (until now) that the payment could be reversed on me later on down the road, long after the merchandise is shipped.
I am so glad that I stumbbled across webmasterworld and all you experienced folks.



 10:32 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

We just received an email from the same country in question asking for prices, quick delivery and if we take credit cards.
Of course all this information is on our website, so why the heck did they email.
Straight into the trash bin.


 11:00 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Awful isn't it?
There is nothing they can do to stop this is there?
The cheaters keep cheating and the good guys pay the price...if they are aware.

I am glad to know all I know now...and am keeping my eyes open to the stuff that I may still need to learn.


 12:53 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd like to take the ideas on detecting credit card fraud that have been posted here and turn them into a concise thread for the FAQ. If there are more ideas, please post them.


 4:05 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here is some more tips.

Fraud orders can be shipped anywhere, not just out of country. Sometimes they set up an apartment for a month to collect the goods, then leave.

If you suspect fraud, delay the shipment and tell them there is a delay. A legit customer will wait.

Very poor spelling and grammer can be a clue. Wealthy people (those who can afford large orders) tend to know how to spell or use a spell checker.

The biggest clue is a free email address.


 4:13 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Couldnt they pick something less suspicious sounding than a "Code 10" why not "The Pink Bunny is Eating Grass on the Foothill on my bed"


 4:31 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

The biggest clue is a free email address

Not true at all. Biggest clue, by a wide margin, was one word: "Indonesia"

We'd lose 20% of our [good]business if we rejected free email addresses.


 4:36 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, Indonesia and large order do not mix very well.

Think about the cost of living differences between the U.S., say, and wherever you sell to. A $300 order from the Philippines or Indonesia or Nigeria is more than a month's pay for most people. So it's highly unlikely they will order something that large.


 4:44 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>We'd lose 20% of our [good]business if we rejected free email addresses.

I agree, but if you have a free email address combined with the other clues, then the red flag should go up.
We also do a lot of business with customers using hotmail and such. We realize people use those addresses at work to conduct personal business.


 8:46 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Okay free email addresses, poor spelling and grammer, large order going to an impoverished country, lack of local phone number, multiple credit cards presented, non-verifiable physical address and one business looking for a big sale equals: DISASTER

I get it now and let me tell you, I am looking over each order a little closer now.


 9:01 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

> the thought of a potential sale got my
> logic all screwed up

Yeppers, you did get lucky, this time.
How lucky you are next time, and there WILL
be a next time, depends largely on how well you remember:
Scammers thrive on people who allow dreams/hopes/ greed/desire to exceed their rational thought processes.


 9:23 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Understanding that is my new goal.
I have printed out the WHAT TO WATCH FOR list, I have it hanging next to my desk in plain sight. I am reading and reading all that I can so as to maintain my LUCK.
I will be prepared, I will be aware that this is not an isolated incident and I will be ready to accept the fact that "dreams/hopes/ greed/desire can exceed my rational thought processes"...I AM IN CONTROL and I can refuse service to anyone that seems suspicious.

I am making my new goal not just about the almighty dollar, but the dollar that doesn't result in a chargeback!

I am making myself aware, informed, and ready to just say NO.

Manish Singh

 1:28 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here is my checklist

1. Customer provides a free email account. Ask for a paid email id. If the order is fraudulent, chances are you will never hear back from him.

2. Spelling and grammatical mistakes. (My English is also not very good ;))

3. Buyers IP address is different from the billing address.

4. Buyer uses a proxy server to connect to your site.

5. Buyer provides a cell phone number

6. Do a reverse phone number lookup to check the address and validity of the phone number.

7. Generic sounding address [1515, Main Street]

8. PO Box address.

You may need to do more checks and ignore certian types of warnings depending on your business model. For example, "billing address different from shipping address" is a sign of a fraudulent order. However if you have an online gift store you will simply need to ignore this warning.

Products which are used by teenagers, men etc have greater risk of chargeback/fraud than those used by women, old age people.



 3:31 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Buyer provides a cell phone number

I can see why more people in the U.S. are using cell phones as their only phone. Its been raining here for three days and both my home phone landlines barely work for all the static.

Yes, cell phone numbers bother the heck out of me on orderss. (I personally rarely use my cell phone except for car emergencies). But for many younger groups, they are virtually the only kind of phones used.

This 78 message thread spans 3 pages: 78 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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