The E-Commerce Newsletter For Booksellers           February 7, 2019


When your store reports suspected fraud on your IndieCommerce site, we check the entire network of 447 IndieCommerce stores to see if similar fraud is taking place on other member sites. This allows us to see patterns and alert members to fraud before they process bad online orders.

Over the past week we’ve seen something new and quite sophisticated. The usual fraud warning signs that we ask members to look for may not apply. For this new type of fraud, we’d like you to keep an eye out for 3 to 4 of the following warning signs...

  1. Orders are for 1-3 titles and may total less that $100.

  2. The order is being placed by someone who is NOT within 100 miles of your store.

    To check this, we’ve created a NEW feature that tells you the general location of the customer that placed the online order. It takes the location of the customer's IP address and displays it for you. Here is an example…

    Also, if the IP location is not near either the shipping or the billing address that was included in the order, that’s a red flag.

  3. The order is being placed by someone who has a new account (and you are not familiar with that customer). To check this, click on the customer number when reviewing the order.

    Clicking on the customer number will take you to a page like this:

    A red flag on this page would be a recently opened customer account. 

  1. If the “Ship To” address and credit card “Billing Address” do not match that’s a red flag.

  2. If the the “Ship To” address and credit card “Billing Address” do match you should still check the location of the IP address mentioned in #2. If the address is nowhere near the IP address location, consider it a red flag.

It's important to note that seeing just 1 or 2 of the five “Red Flags” listed above is not really enough to cancel an order, but if you see 3-4 of them, that’s a pretty good indicator of a suspicious order and you may want to give the customer a call or email with the order information and we will be happy to assist you.

We have one report that these fraud orders are being placed by someone who is fulfilling winning bids for books on eBay. If someone contacts your store regarding an eBay order that you know nothing about, please ask them for their eBay order number and the seller’s eBay ID so that we can report them.

This warning is in regard to a particular type of fraud that we’ve seen recently. Online fraud is constantly evolving and we highly recommend that you review this doc if you are responsible for processing online orders. If you suspect fraud PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact us at

Thanks for reading. Feel free to email us with any thoughts, questions, or suggestions.
The IndieCommerce team

For past editions of IndieCommunication, visit this page.

Phillip Davies, IndieCommerce Director
American Booksellers Association | 333 Westchester Avenue | White Plains, NY 10604 |
914-406-7527 |
333 Westchester Ave
Suite S202
White Plains, NY 10604
United States