The holiday season brings with it festivities and happiness. The list of things that a person has planned for the holiday includes everything but fraud. The merriment can be spoiled in a second if someone gets to know they have fallen prey to a fraud.
The holiday season is all about shopping and new trends have shifted the shoppers from shopping in brick and mortar stores to shopping online. The most awaited Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping festivals take the world by storm and the shopping week has become more of an event. Statistics show that a total of $6.59 billion was spent by customers on online shopping.
When online sales increase, so does the chances of fraud. Transactions made online are usually done through credit cards. When a customer buys online and pays with their credit card, the chances of fraud increase due to the vulnerability on cyber space. Credit card information can be traced by fraudsters and scammers. Financial criminals are experts in hacking and then stealing sensitive information of the customers.
Numerous cases have been reported whereby 1 in every 97 transactions was found to be fraudulent. Scammers and fraudsters can hide their scam orders in the pile of good ones. Although banks and businesses have been making their transactions safer, frauds are still on the rise. There has been a decrease in fraudulent transaction this year due to the steep increase in authentic online traffic. This has ultimately reduced the number of frauds but the dollar amount of frauds has increased.
There are different techniques that a business owner can use to minimize fraudulent transactions. The owner can also distinguish the scam orders from genuine ones using the following techniques and stay safe in the holiday season.
The first thing to do as a business owner of an ecommerce store is to be prepared. The business owner must make sure that before the holiday rush starts pouring in, the store is ready to handle the pressure. The online store must be optimized to handle the increase in orders placed. Therefore, a higher number of orders and transactions need to be reviewed and confirmed, which often gets quite tedious for the online store.
During the holiday rush, the orders placed will have a mix of authentic and fraud orders. Due to the increase in numbers, the owner will face difficulty identifying the right ones from the wrong. This will require an increased number of staff members. The owner will need time to train the new staff who can distinguish the “naughty” from “nice”.
This process can be time consuming and being prepared ahead of the holiday season will help the business grow and make higher profits. Since there are more online orders, the staff members must be able to make the decision about which orders should be processed and which should be declined. Holiday season means a shortfall of staff as well since everyone goes on holidays. There should be mutual understanding about who will be available to look after the orders.
Having a game plan prepared will ensure the right amount of coverage during the busy season. Being aware of the kind of volume your store would be getting is another step to stay ahead from fraudsters. Business owners can coordinate with the marketing departments who have their research in place. This will help the business owners to understand what they should be expecting from the holiday rush.
If there are any fraudulent orders, they would be able to identify them and treat them as they should be treated. The holiday season also means that there will be promotions and coupons to deal with. Staying ahead with the marketing team will enable the owners to identify patterns to fraud. The higher online traffic can open doors for scammers to enter.
Business owners must keep a look out for higher number of orders from one same place or a transaction of a higher amount in dollars. A sudden spike in the sales of one particular product should also raise red flags. Such activities are usually the tactics used by scammers during the busy shopping season.
Catching such activities should be done in real time. Real time metrics can give the business owner an idea about the locations of the scammers and the schemes they use. Having fraud detectors in the business system can help the staff in catching frauds there and then. These detectors can automatically detect wrong addresses and billing information and send notifications to the concerned departments.
Reviewing the past year’s shopping data can help the business to prevent holiday frauds. The buying behavior of the shoppers can distinguish real orders from scams. Usually, odd buying patterns can indicate authentic shopping. For example, if a customer buys an expensive watch and then ships it across the country one year will not do so the next year. The differences in the shopping behavior indicate “normal”. If the patterns are however similar, this should raise a red flag.
Not all odd orders are scam orders. Some orders may require a business to ask for additional information from the customer which is normal. Fraudsters however, use this platform to place scam orders. Staff members must be trained to understand what is normal and what is fishy.
There are possibilities where a real customer could get red flagged by mistake. This can turn out to be more costly than having a fraud prevention software in place. Keeping customers satisfied is important for business and if they get annoyed, they might never buy from you again. Businesses are more concerned about preventing fraud without losing any legitimate customers.