Personal Protection: 7 Steps to Protecting Yourself from eCommerce Fraud
What is eCommerce fraud? Well, in short, it’s theft from an online store with the intention of personal or financial gain for the perpetrator, regardless of the impact on the retailer. There are many different types of eCommerce fraud, but the crime is not insurmountable. Your online store does not have to fall victim to this type of fraud if you follow the steps outlined below.
1. Don’t Ship to Non-Physical Addresses
Cybercriminals like to use non-physical addresses in place of their actual addresses because it’s obviously difficult to track them down if the authorities don’t have a physical address. You can avoid this pitfall by refusing P.O. boxes and any other addresses that aren’t identifiable on a map. Implementing eCommerce order processing with a fulfillment company can also keep you from shipping to non-physical addresses.
2. Use an Address Verification System
Credit card fraud is a real problem for eCommerce stores. To reduce the risk, you should use an address verification system (AVS) to identify suspicious addresses and block sales to addresses that don’t match.
The verification system checks the address the credit card user inputs against the one stored by the issuing bank. If they do not match, the system either flags the transaction for further investigation or blocks the sale altogether.
3. Conduct Regular Security Audits
We can’t stress enough how important online security is for your eCommerce business. Your customers expect their data to be safe, so you need to ensure it is. Regular security audits will let you identify risks before cyber criminals do. Things to tick off include updating your shopping cart software, ensuring your SSL certificate is current and website PCI-compliant, and checking that you are backing up your store often.
4. Ensure Your Store is PCI-compliant
What is PCI compliance? PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. The PCI Security Standards Council sets these rules, and your store must follow them to ensure your customers’ credit card information is secure. If your website is professionally built and managed, it should automatically be compliant, but it never hurts to check.
5. Require the Card Verification Value with Each Credit or Debit Card Purchase
The three or four-digit numbers on the back of credit and debit cards are called Card Verification Values, or CVVs. The digits are sometimes also called a Card Security Code or CSC. By requiring this information, you ensure the customer has the physical card in their possession, which helps prevent credit card fraud and protects the customer.
6. Only Collect the Customer Data You Need to Complete a Transaction
Cybercriminals can’t steal what you don’t have, so make it a rule to only gather the information you need to collect payment and ship products. Don’t ask for social security numbers, birthdates, or any other sensitive data that hackers might be able to access if your eCommerce store experiences a security breach. As a general rule, if you don’t need a data point, and there’s no legal requirement to obtain it, don’t ask customers to provide it.
7. Set Acceptable Purchasing Limits
Depending on the nature of your business, set daily spending and quantity limits for individual accounts. Should a breach occur, these limits will reduce the losses you incur. If a customer genuinely needs to spend more than the daily limit, provide easy communication channels for them to make such requests.
eCommerce fraud is a considerable concern for online retailers. It’s a constant battle to stay ahead of cybercriminals. However, by following the steps above, you can stay one step ahead and reduce the risk of eCommerce fraud in your online business.