Black Friday is one of the busiest days of sales for web shops and e-commerce merchants. It is also one of the days when swindlers are most likely to use the high level of purchasing activity to disguise fraudulent orders. To try to reduce the risk of fraud, there are a number of things web shop owners can keep an eye on to spot suspicious activity.
As online orders flood in during Black Friday, the chances are they may not all be coming from regular consumers. The Danish Chambers of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) has produced a helpful list of things to look out for and double check in order to reduce the chances of online fraud being successful.
Troels Asmussen, Senior Business Developer in Nordea Connect, says: “For web shops selling expensive items in particular, these orders usually stick out during a normal day. On days like Black Friday, these items tend not to stick out in the same way because the item might be selling at a special price and the volume of sales might be much higher than usual. This is when fraudsters try to use stolen cards and hope they slip through without anybody noticing.”
Tips to follow
According to The Danish Chambers of Commerce, good advice for secure online shopping includes:
Keep an eye out for suspicious orders, such as:
- Orders comprised only of the most expensive product or products
- Orders that are significantly larger than the average value
- Customers who request an urgent delivery regardless of the cost
- Multiple orders from the same customer over a relatively short period of time
- A disproportionate number of orders to a specific area, with the same type of goods
- Orders where the combination of selected products differs from the norm
- Orders to be sent abroad and/or ordered from abroad
- Orders where attempts to purchase have been previously rejected
- Orders placed at unusual times of the day such as very late at night
- Orders where the customer requests a delivery to a particular location such as to a garage, basement, parks, etc.
If there is the slightest suspicion the order deviates from usual, The Danish Chambers of Commerce advise a close inspection to check the customer and order information:
- Is the telephone number related to the customer or the address? (If possible, check the number provided via Google or other online registries of telephone numbers).
- Is the customer registered at the stated address? (If possible, check the address provided via Google or other online registries of addresses).
- Check the address via Google street view – sometimes you encounter an empty building site with a mailbox.
- If necessary, call the telephone number provided to verify the order.
- If there is a difference between delivery address and billing address, check both addresses.
A direct line to the warehouse
Troels says: “Web shop owners need to establish some kind of surveillance system so that they can check up as soon as any orders are flagged for various reasons. Large volume purchases are obviously something to look into, as well as first time buyers and strange addresses such as delivery to a PO box. Repeat orders within a short period of time to the same address are an obvious red flag because why wouldn’t you buy everything at once? Usually this is a tactic fraudsters use to mask high value orders by splitting them up to make them seem cheaper.”
Web shop owners need to establish some kind of surveillance system so that they can check up as soon as any orders are flagged for various reasons. Large volume purchases are obviously something to look into, as well as first time buyers and strange addresses such as delivery to a PO box.
Troels Asmussen, Senior Business Developer – Nordea Connect
The majority of online fraud involves purchases made with stolen or fake credit cards. This means that even though the order goes through the web shop, there is still time to stop it before it is packed and sent out.
Troels adds: “The time between when the order comes in, to its execution, is critical. It’s here that shop owners have the opportunity to go in and say, ‘this seems odd’ for whatever reason it may be and then have the possibility to stop it being sent. Once an order lands in a very busy warehouse, there could be many different people running around packing stuff so it might not be easy to keep an eye on everything. Therefore, there has to be a step in the process in place for checking the orders. Somebody needs to sit and meticulously handle the order and assess whether it is genuine or not. That means that you need to be able to have a direct line to packing and handling.”
For many e-commerce businesses, Black Friday provides a much needed boost of income. However, fraudsters are opportunists so web shop owners will need to stay vigilant even though the increased activity makes it extra challenging.
Troels concludes: “Black Friday is a peak time for fraud but it’s of course important to have a robust system in place for checking orders all year round. It’s an added challenge during Black Friday as there is so much more business on that day that some of the orders might fall between the chairs. It’s important to make sure as best as possible that there is still room to hold a close eye on the orders as they come through the system.”
It’s an added challenge during Black Friday as there is so much more business on that day that some of the orders might fall between the chairs. It’s important to make sure as best as possible that there is still room to hold a close eye on the orders as they come through the system.
Troels Asmussen, Senior Business Developer – Nordea Connect
For more information write to Troels at email@example.com.
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