Fraudulent Orders

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This documentation was modified on 7/12/2019

Unfortunately, the Internet is not always a safe place, and fraudulent orders are becoming increasingly common.  Here are some red flags to watch out for, as well as simple steps you can take to verify suspicious orders.

Red Flags:

  • Ship-to and Bill-to addresses do not match
  • Order is from a customer you do not recognize, who is not in your area
  • Ship-to address appears to be fake (use an address verification tool to confirm)
  • Store pickup order with an out-of-state billing address (check the customer’s ID when they come to pick up the order)
  • The customer requests expedited shipping (they're worried the stolen credit card will be discovered before their order ships)
  • The email address does not match either name on the Ship-to or Bill-to addresses
  • Unusual and nonsensical email addresses, not in a creative sort of way, more like computer generated
  • The phone number has an area code which does not match the billing address
  • Customer's IP address is not in your area
  • Customer's IP address does not match Ship-to or Bill-to location
  • Order was placed by a new customer on your site (click the customer number to see how old their account is)
  • The order is for one or more very expensive items (be extra cautious when it's a textbook)
  • The order is for popular ‘boxed sets’, books in a series, popular titles etc. 
  • The order has several failed credit card authorizations before one finally approves

If one or more of these red flags appear on an order, we recommend that you take the following steps:

  • Attempt to contact the customer by phone.  You should use the phone number reported with the Bill-to address.  A legitimate customer will appreciate the phone call to verify the order.  Fraudulent orders will likely use out-of-service or continually busy phone numbers.
  • If you have not already made 'Phone Number' a required field we highly recommend you do so. Visit: Store > Configuration > Countries & Addresses > Address Fields, then select 'Required' for 'Phone Number" and 'Save Configuration'.
  • If you suspect an order is fraudulent, simply mark it as Payment Received and wait a few days to hear from the legitimate owner of the card before shipping the order.  Payment Received orders can always be canceled/refunded, and you will not yet have shipped the book if the order turns out to be fraudulent.
  • Each staff member should have their own login to your website, that way, if a fraudulent order does get processed you can make sure they are aware of what to look for. Not sure how to assign them their own login? Review 'Adding New Administrators'
  • Utilize the Booksellers Forum to connect with your peers and see how they handle fraud orders.

If you suspect an order is fraudulent please Immediately email with the order information and we will investigate further. Each fraudulent order that is reported allows us to possibly stop fraud on your website as well as throughout the entire IndieCommerce network.


About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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