Beware of Bogus Orders

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

A continuing problem for booksellers, especially those with an online presence, is the receipt of fraudulent orders. A number of booksellers have reported receiving bogus orders from overseas -- via either their retail Web sites or e-mail -- for large numbers of hardcover books, often Bibles or medical texts. These orders usually originate in Nigeria, Ghana, Singapore, or Egypt and are usually in excess of $150. The books being ordered are most often Bibles, other religious titles, medical texts, or other reference books.

Most of the orders are being purchased with stolen credit card numbers. This makes identifying a bogus order difficult because the credit card will appear to be valid when a bookstore processes the transaction. Once the books are shipped, the owner of the stolen credit card is likely to tell his/her credit card company to stop payment, and the store will be liable for the entire amount -- for the merchandise, the cash, and the shipping.

If a bookseller receives an order for over $150 from an unknown customer -- and particularly if it originates overseas -- ABA and strongly recommend securing payment in the form of a certified check or money order in U.S. funds, drawn on a U.S. bank, before the order is shipped. In most cases, when a request for this kind of payment is made, the person ordering the book will not respond to your request and the matter will be closed.