Limiting Fraud

Learn to recognize and stop potential fraud on your site by familiarizing yourself with some easy checks and balances.

There is nothing that we, nor anyone else can do to guarantee that any given sale is valid and not fraudulent. As is true for in-store interactions, the merchant is ultimately liable for choosing to fulfill an order.

Why do fraudulent payments pass verification?

  • The vast majority of orders are legitimate, but it's important to be cautious.
  • Despite the automated fraud filters and verification methods that payment processors utilize, some fraudulent transactions happen on any platform.
  • One reason is that payment verification can only be so stringent.
    • To enable legitimate transactions to go through, a small amount of leeway is built into these systems and some fraudulent orders slip through.
  • Automated fraud detection systems are good and getting better, but they cannot catch every contextual clue that a human might.
  • We recommend reviewing each order with a critical eye which can help to catch fraudulent orders before they are fulfilled, preventing the loss of products and funds.

Signs of Possible Fraud

  • We recommend thoroughly reviewing every order you receive.
  • Here's a list of things to watch out for that could be an indication of fraud:
    • Expedited shipping, or a request for expedited shipping after the order is placed.
    • Large dollar amount orders or multiples of high dollar items on an order.
      • Forks, electronics (especially Garmin), car racks, and group sets are common targets.
    • Email addresses that don't resemble the customer's name in the slightest.
    • Unusable or incorrect billing phone number.
    • Unrecognizable or illogical city or street names in billing or shipping addresses.
    • Multiple sales completed with different credit cards.
    • Multiple orders of the same item within a short period.
    • Orders with multiples of a single product that are not commonly ordered in multiples (Ex: Cranks, Derailleurs, Shoes).
    • Billing and shipping addresses are different. 
  • If an order seems suspicious here are some steps you can take:
    • Google the shipping and billing addresses.
      • If the result is a freight forwarder, UPS Store, or strange business, this is a potential fraud flag.
    • Google the phone number.
      • If the result is a business listing or doesn't seem to match up with the cardholder's name, this is a potential fraud flag.
    • Contact the customer regarding different billing and shipping addresses for more information.
      • This is not a guarantee of fraud but does warrant careful review.
    • Call the number and ask for the cardholder by name.
      • Potential flags can be if the phone number is disconnected, the number cannot be reached, does not follow up on messages, or if the person called is not aware of the order.

Additional Tips

  • Just because an order is cleared, or passes a fraud check by a payment processor, does not mean the order is not fraudulent.
  • Once fraudsters are successful at receiving merchandise, they may come back repeatedly until you figure it out.
    • This can be for both shipped items and items picked up in-store.

When in the order details, you can click "Fraud Alert" at the top left of the screen to view items we commonly see ordered with fraudulent transactions.

This also gives you the chance to report a potentially fraudulent sale to us. Reporting fraudulent transactions helps us develop our fraud prevention tools.

In-Store Sales & Pickup Practices

  • Remember that in-store pickup orders are not guaranteed to be legitimate.
  • We recommend following these processes for all in-store pickup orders:
  • Ensure that the Order Confirmation email sent to your customers includes messaging that an ID and the credit card used for the order are required for pickup.
    • Your Shipping and Returns Policy page should include this information as well.
  • Consider holding orders for high-value items or first-time customers before fulfilling the order.
    • This allows time for payments to be processed, reviewed, and for your in-store order review.
  • Carefully verify the credit card and the ID of the person completing the sale or picking up the order.
    • Do not allow the product to leave the store if the card presented does not match what was used for the order.
    • Do not allow a product to leave the store with someone who is not the listed cardholder and does not have a photo ID.
      • That includes third-party services/apps that pick up and drop off products.
    • Ask for additional identifying information if there is any doubt about the person's identity.
    • Use additional caution on in-store pickup sales when the credit card billing address is out of state.
  • The more documentation you collect at pick up, the more information you will have for record keeping and future reference in case of a chargeback.

Shipped Orders Best Practices

  • Consider instituting a shipping delay for high-value orders or shipments to non-verified addresses or first-time customers.
    • This can be for your own review, a payment processor's review, or any reason you choose.
    • Make sure your policies page matches the number of days you will hold an order.
    • Holding an order for review by a payment processor and the payment processor approving the charge is not a guarantee that the order will be legitimate.

Supplier Fulfillment

  • We highly recommend keeping supplier fulfillment a manual process and not turning on automatic fulfillment.
    • This will require you to first verify the sale and then manually request supplier fulfillment.
    • Use all steps noted above to verify the transaction before requesting fulfillment.
  • If a shipped order needs to be canceled, contact the supplier that shipped the order.

It is impossible for this system to prevent all fraud. Retailers (with any payment system) need to exercise caution in fulfilling orders. This is ultimately the merchant's responsibility.

Managing Payment Methods

  • Each payment method follows a different process for chargebacks, fraudulent transactions, and order reviews.
  • Review our resources on Stripe, PayPal, Klarna, and to learn more about each process.
  • Manual Payment Capture
    • Manual payment capture can be a helpful tool for reviewing payments before fulfilling orders.
      • This feature allows you to review each sale before capturing payment.
    • Review our help center articles on each payment method for more details on manual payment capture, when available.

Canceling an Online Sale

  • For an online order you suspect to be fraudulent and wish to cancel, follow these steps:
    • Process a return for the order.
    • If manual payment capture is turned on, void the authorization within the sale if it has not been captured.
    • If you do not have manual payment capture turned on or the payment was captured, issue a refund within the sale.
    • Report the order for Potential Fraud using our Potential Fraud Form.
  • If a suspicious order displays an error when processing a refund, this may mean the card used has been canceled and cannot be refunded.
  • Please contact us if you have questions about orders that cannot be refunded. 

    Additional Resources

    Learn more about the Types of Fraud

    Workstand Help Center Articles

    Payment Processor Articles (External Links)