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Fraud Order?

Smells of fraud but is it?

     
5:47 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

We are trying to figure out if an order is fraud. We are 99% sure it is but figured it would be good to post the info for others to learn.

Order Facts:

The customer ordered expensive 6 widgets. This is a little unusual but not completely a red flag.

The bill to is one state (VA) while the ship to is a different state (FL). Both addresses are findable via google maps. The delivery address is a freight forwarder. (This was a red Flag)

Customer name is a matching name to the bill to address. (Many times they do not match)

IP Address is an AnchorFree IP address (allows for people to surf anonymously - Red Flag)

Based on the above, would you ship? We wont. We were debating having the customer reorder from us on Amazon since they have better fraud protection.

5:59 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Have done this in the pasty without issue.
The initial order was made with a domestic CC, billed to VA, shipped to FL for export, recipient lived out of country. Subsequent purchase was made by a CC from another country which required longer processing time. Both have the same name on the account and processed without a problem.
In both cases the transactions had been approved and funds received prior to shipment.
The customer does a lot of business in the US and has a domestic card for just in time orders.

For what is worth,

6:00 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"bill to is one state (VA) while the ship to is a different state (FL)" would be a concern to me
6:13 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ship to was a freight forwarder. product left the country, post payment.
8:18 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Fraud. But, if you want to be more certain, search for some accurate contact information for the person who resides at the billing address and give them a call/email. My bet is that they'll have no knowledge of the order.
8:35 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The delivery address is a freight forwarder.

Don the biohazard suit, get out the tongs and handle this like the radioactive material it is. We often get people sending gifts to someone in another state, but this, no.

11:57 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don the biohazard suit, get out the tongs and handle this like the radioactive material it is. We often get people sending gifts to someone in another state, but this, no.

Agreed. But one of my best customers did his first order like this; non-matching card, freight forwarder, expensive order of easily re-saleable items. Turned out to be an academic doing something in Kenya which required some very high-end data storage.. sold well over 5000 worth of goods to him in the last year.
3:06 am on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Billing VA and shipping FL wouldn't bother me at all, We have tons of customers in FL and in AZ that are part-timers. Everything bills through 'home', even if they are never there.

We do this regularly for Canada orders. They ship products to friend/family near border, and it is later carried across as personal property. Cheaper shipping, and no tax/duty cheating of citizenry by governments. (We have a strict and published policy on all websites that WE will NOT ship any order as gift or undervalue. It costs us business, because we know for a fact that we have competitors who will, but there is plenty of business that we don't want, that is not worth having.)

We have a customer that runs a business in FL, but is from Ecuador. We bill an Ecuadorian Visa, and ship to Florida. We were concerned enough to call the delivery address number and nobody spoke enough English to be helpful. "Owner - he in Ecuador." No other flags and odd combinations come up all the time, so we took the order. Once a month customer now and ordering a little more every couple of months. His need for our product is growing modestly.

The freight forwarder would really bother me, especially if it is more than you can afford to gamble losing; an order of unusual size. Sounds like it is for enough money that you can afford some due diligence, and also for enough money that you can't afford not to follow-up either. If it is legit, that business (and future business) is going somewhere else. Doesn't cost us much more time or money to pack, bill, and ship a $500 order than a $50 order. I wouldn't want to get burned, but I wouldn't want to blow off easy money either. You just have to decide where to draw the lines.

2:02 am on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Make up an excuse to have them pay by check, then wait for it to clear. Should not be a problem for a B2B transaction, or multiple expensive items.
2:22 am on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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.....then wait for it to clear.

If company check, maybe fine, but then one would probably already have enough information to determine order legitimacy through a variety of sources, such as D&B. Otherwise, certified check from legitimate institution only, IMO. Check fraud is is as bad as CC fraud; worse. Non-issue for me because we don't take checks from customers that haven't earned the right to write them.

One also has to define "wait for it to clear". The fact that the money hits your account does NOT mean that the funds cannot be recalled and withdrawn for a variety of reasons. There is a lag time between seeing the money and having the money with both business and personal checks. Checks are not instant money. Their is clearing, and then there is really clearing.

3:55 am on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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They call that a bounced check.
4:12 am on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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They call that a bounced check.

If they are professionals it is considerably more than that.

And one is still burned.

9:46 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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We do a ton of business to freight forwarders in Florida for materials going to South America and the Carribian. I would not say it is fraud, but I would do some further checks. There are many US citizens that have businesses world wide and have problems finding certain things overseas.
7:53 pm on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Shipping/Billing mismatches used to be a concern for my clients but not so anymore. Just because the shpping and billing adresses don't match often means the purchase is being made as a gift.
9:25 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Be careful with the freight forwarders. I had someone use a stolen CC, shipped the items to FL. Than about 4 months later, the elderly lady who was the cardholder realized her card was stolen.

Visa took EVERYTHING away from me and screwed me. Didn't matter I was not at fault and that their card holder was not responsible enough to check their bill.

Be careful with freight forwarders plain and simple.