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[edited by: lorax at 9:47 pm (utc) on April 27, 2005]
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Credit Card fraudsters are just like auto mechanics ..
Stop kidding yourself and trying to make out that you didn't do something stupid. Nigeria! What part of that did you miss in the address? It's not like auto mechanics... every order from Nigeria needs to be treated with suspicion, even ones from customers who've ordered before.
Everyone's done stupid things at some time or the other so don't feel too bad. Get over it. It's because you are trying to make out that any smart person would have been taken in just like you were, that Visa and MC issue cards in Nigeria that are genuine, that your naivity (greed?) is common etc etc.... that you are getting all that flak. Most players here would not have fallen for that Nigeria con. That's why they are reacting the way they are.
From that standpoint alone, this should have raised every red flag in the book.
>>every order from Nigeria needs to be treated with suspicion
no - every order from nigeria needs to be binned. full stop.
Well - someone from Nigeria actually contacted us, asking if we would be willing to sell (wholesale) a product with FOB shipment AFTER we receive funds from a wire transfer. This guy fully acknowledges that it's difficult to find suppliers that are willing to consider Nigeria due to the extremely high level of fraud there. He even offered to have the money to come from the UK where he has a branch office, and the shipment to be routed from the UK (unfortunately, we have an exclusive distributor there, so can't open another wholesale acct in the UK).
OK now, this got me thinking - he'll wire the money, then we'll ship him the goods. What could go wrong?
The answer? Nigeria is involved.
We passed - didn't want the headaches, even though the order *might* have been legitimate.
Bottom line? I feel sorry for the honest people from that country (whatever percentages they may be).
RailMan, I really feel for you, if i was in your posistion, I'd be gutted, not just because of the money, but I'd feel i was taken for a ride by someone i trusted.
Unfortuantely if you aren't aware of fraud in Nigeria etc. then you stand no chance, why would you think it would be fraudulent? You either know it or you don't. I was lucky and found this forum within a week of opening my store, and there was a thread about it right at the top, it was very interesting reading. I've only had one offer from Nigeria, but if i hadn't have read that thread on this forum, I am sure I would have taken the Order, I'm only young and the extra £2000 or whatever would have been very welcome.
btw, They often order a small quantity first just to get your trust, and then may get a big order up to gether and thats when they hit you. You got to feel sorry for the genuine Nigerian traders, If the fraud carries on, then the whole Nigerian Economy is under threat.
Just my 2 cents though.
Hubcap, we just find it hard to believe that someone in this day and age could still be taken by a Nigerian fraudster. But, I guess if everyone is wise, then I would stop getting hourly emails from Prince So-and-So.
You can be sure, as somebody suggested, that the first purchase was to gain your confidence.
There was an excellent thread on this board about 4 months ago where we all assembled a list of reasons to suspect when an order is fraud. If you do a site search for "fraud" or "credit card fraud" I am sure you will find it. You would be wise to read up on the topic and take the valuable advice that we came up with. Good Luck!
OK now, this got me thinking - he'll wire the money, then we'll ship him the goods. What could go wrong?
A wire transfer can be recalled. It is more difficult than a credit card, but not impossible. Also if it is coming from a bank in a different country, there is a good chance that it is an account that has been compromised in which case you would be accepting stolen money which has it's own dangers. Basically if it is not from the US, Canada, Western Europe, New Zealand, or Australia I trash it without a response. And anything outside of the US gets a phone call to the cardholders bank to verify the address and some of those still get rejected if they feel funky. Even odd US orders sometimes get the full call the bank and maybe the customer treatment just in case.
Large international orders are like virus emails, if you don't open them you won't get burned.
Nigeria and Indonesia are well known for this type of activity. However, when an order is above a certain amount for ANY foreign country you have to just ask for a wire transfer to protect yourself.
Some web sites automatically skip the credit card page on large (or any) foreign ecommerce transactions and just save the order and display directions "How to wire transfer funds for your payment" as this also avoids the percentage of fee you get charged for the fraud credit card transaction (you'll never see that money again) and avoids additional refund and/or chargeback fees.
If your web site doesn't do this already, get it custom modified ASAP to save yourself a lot of grief and wasted fees on international fraud sales.
"This warning is, therefore, specifically intended for the benefit of those misguided people who, in the quest to make easy money at the expense of Nigeria, are defrauded by international fraudsters." Note that this makes out the defrauded as predators who want to take advantage of Nigeria. Also, towards the bottom of the document they put the word "victims" in quotation marks. I think this shows a lot about the attitudes of people in Nigeria towards fraudsters there, i.e., that people who get defrauded by "international" scammers deserve it because they intended to rip off Nigeria.
Still, I believe it gives one a false sense of security to focus on countries like Nigeria as the source of most credit card fraud. There is much more sophisticated credit-card fraud out there that originates here in the US and only seems to be coming from other countries, such as Russia. Check out this article about it:
I was shocked to read this article and realize that I had no idea how complicated and deliberate these schemes were. The Nigerian fraud schemes are blunt instruments in comparison.
Our fraud rate is very very low (<.1%), at least when we weed out the ridiculously obvious Nigerian and Indonesian and other orders. But we have shipped successfully to dozens of countries, including eastern Europe (uncommonly), subSaharan Africa (very rarely) and Southeast Asia and South American (much more frequently).
But we have items for serious professional only and I would imagine that if you are selling, say, stereo equipment, your fraud rate will be many times our rate. So don't dismiss it out of hand but be aware of the risks and do some basic sanity checks and never ever sell to a small handful of countries, no matter what.
If you were to go to Nigeria to complain, as some have done (and one or two have been killed doing that!), you could be charged with a crime.
To me, MaxMind is handy for getting a sense about the fishyness of foreign transactions. You get a score of fraud probability. It uses info like distance from ip address and billing address, whether the bin number matches the bank name (if you have the bin number), assigns risk factors to each country, etc. It has helped me make decisions about whether I want to process a transaction or not. But it often has problems recognizing foreign city names, and so will give a higher fraud probability than is really the case.
Neither MaxMind nor Authorize.net's Fraud Suite is totally satisfactory, as far as I am concerned. I am interested in what people have found especially useful for screening foreign transactions. I want to do more of them.
*** Hmmm ... now wouldn't that just be funny if it was my own credit card that the scammer charged?! Hold on a moment while I check my statement .......
Now here's an interesting point: I STILL have complete communication with this "Nigerian" person via email. I've led him/her/it along to believe everything's still aok. Just having email contact probably don't mean squat as far as nailing the person. But I wonder what I can do to him? I have a friend here that's a computer whiz that could probably send an email virus to him & put him offline until someone sends him some more computers. heheehheh! No don't get me wrong ... I'm not the type that's always looking for revenge, but in this case, I think there's a little fun that can be had. Any thoughts?
I have a friend here that's a computer whiz that could probably send an email virus to him & put him offline until someone sends him some more computers
Yes, cut your losses. Move on.
Those millions of scam letters that flowed into our country for decades constituted an attack on our citizens. Why did we do nothing to stop it?
And why did our government deliver the letters that arrived here? The PO has the power to suspend mail service.
Forget I ever said that. I cannot believe what I am about to tell you. We got an order from Nigeria, followed up by e-mail stating that a money order would be dispatched. The normal discussion ensues on our end, and a wait-and-see attitude is taken. That was a week ago. This week another e-mail... opps, it said, <paraphrased> "my associate sent you the wrong money order. Can you please cash it and remit the balance, less the cost of the original order, to my associate in Nigeria?"
Why of course... NOT! The matter came to and when I added the e-mail address to a delete filter.
Some people, for some reason, still cannot resist the lure of the scam, even when they know its a scam.
That $15 is the fee for processing a chargeback. You cannot keep the amount originally put through your account. You will lose:
1) The items you sent (and postage paid for it)
2) The credit card processing fee charge
3) The amount orignally sent to you
4) Your chargeback fee
If I sent a $100 order and it cost me $50 and processing charges are 5%, then I would lose
1) $50 (products) + postage
2) $100x5% processing fee ($5)
3) $100 (order amount)
4) $15 chargeback fee
So for $100 you gained $100 then lost $170+postage, leaving you $70+postage out of pocket.
If it is a gamble, it's bad, bad odds.
Knowingly taking somebody else's money on the off chance that they won't notice?
I wouldn't call it a gamble, I'd call it fraud.
And if you guys aren't checking you credit card statements every month, then there's always the possibility that the merchant may not lose
Or is this not fraud/theft (albeit of a slightly different flavour)?
1 - Fraud / theft is still fraud / theft no matter who the perceived loser is.
2 - Credit card companies (like all successful businesses) pass on their costs to their customers. The cardholders will still lose out.
3 - If we get caught keeping money we know we're not entitled to, card companies may penalise us by cancelling our merchant accounts (it may even be in their terms). The potential damage from termination / blacklisting is likely to be more than the potential income from the odd fraud or two.