How to be Alert to eCommerce Fraud

by Gooten Editorial Team on Dec. 1, 2022

Right now, eCommerce is surging, with no signs of slowing down. Statistics show that global eCommerce sales are close to $800 billion annually, and successful print on demand shops seem to spring up every day.

This is good news, but there is a downside: As eCommerce grows, so do instances of eCommerce fraud. This holiday season, it’s critical for print on demand sellers to be aware of what eCommerce fraud looks like, and to take the appropriate precautions to keep themselves and their customers safe.

Here are a few insights regarding eCommerce fraud protection.

What is eCommerce Fraud?

First things first: When we talk about eCommerce fraud, exactly what are we talking about?

Fraud can be defined as any wrongful or criminal deception with the intention of personal or financial gain. To put it more bluntly, fraud occurs any time you’re cheated by another person. Naturally, eCommerce fraud refers to any kind of fraudulent activity perpetrated on an eCommerce platform. For example, scammers might propose fraudulent business transactions, or attempt to use stolen or fake credit cards.

Ultimately, eCommerce fraud can be a detriment to shoppers as well as to online merchants. Certainly, it’s something to be aware of if you’re engaged in Shopify print on demand, Etsy print on demand, etc.

What are Common Types of eCommerce Fraud?

Print on demand merchants should know that eCommerce fraud takes many forms. Some of the most common examples include:

1) Friendly/Chargeback Fraud

Sometimes, fraud happens not at the hands of a scammer, but one of your regular buyers. Friendly fraud, also known as first-party fraud, usually involves someone buying a product and then requesting a chargeback, claiming a faulty transaction.

Some buyers may try to get multiple products for free, claiming that their item was never delivered or that they returned it, then asking for a chargeback at the print on demand merchant’s expense.

2) Transaction Frauds

Transaction frauds usually involve scammers buying a bunch of merchandise with a stolen credit card, usually with the intent of selling it. The customer whose card was stolen can claim fraud and get a chargeback, but the merchant is still on the hook for the cost of the item plus the refund!

3) Account Takeover Fraud

Account takeover fraud typically involves a scammer gaining access to a consumer’s Amazon, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal account. This can be done via malware, malignant bot, or through good old-fashioned identity theft. Consumers who use low-security passwords, or who use the same password for multiple sites, are at a high level of risk.

4) Interception Fraud

A scammer may also buy print on demand products with a stolen card, then contact either the customer service department or the courier tasked with delivering the item, requesting a last-minute change to where the product is headed. This usually results in the scammer getting the product and the victim getting a chargeback. The merchant, however, just gets a lost sale, and potentially a bad reputation.

Print on Demand Tips for eCommerce Fraud Protection

Awareness is critical, but beyond that, what are some steps print on demand merchants can take toward eCommerce fraud protection and prevention? A few quick tips:

  • Use eCommerce fraud protection software, which can usually be integrated into your eCommerce platform without much hassle. Riskified, Subuno, and Kount are three of the most popular examples.
  • Make sure your front-line customer support team members are aware of the different types of fraud, and that they know some of the red flags to watch out for. Urge vigilance year-round, but especially during the holidays.
  • Use Address Verification and Credit Verification Value services, both of which should be available through the credit card companies you work with.
  • Stay abreast of the latest guidelines and standards from the Payment Card Industry (PCI).
  • Regularly audit your site for potential breaches, including malware, out of date eCommerce plugins, etc.

Get More Print on Demand Tips from Gooten

Preventing fraud is a critical step for print on demand sellers. With any questions, or any broader concerns about the safety and security of your business, reach out to our team. We’re here to help when you need us.