Unfortunately fraud is a big problem in the world of ecommerce, with retailers not only having to watch out for customers placing orders with stolen credit cards but also email scams. In fact ecommerce order scams are becoming increasingly popular, with many businesses falling for what seem to be genuine inquiries, only to find that they’re actually dealing with thieves.
So how can you prevent it from happening to your business? Well the key is to look out for these warning signs…
• Unfamiliar delivery services – If the buyer asks you to use a third party delivery service that you are not familiar with do not proceed with the order, as it could be a fake company.
• Rushed delivery – If the email has requested that the order is sent out straight away, scammers will be hoping it gives you less time to check for fraudulent activity.
• Order pick up – Legitimate customers will usually want their products to be delivered to them (particularly if they have placed a large order). If they have requested to pick up the items but have not specified the location, it’s probably a scam order.
• Large orders – If the order seems oddly large (particularly for a customer you haven’t dealt with before) it should raise alarm bells. Scammers will often try and place large orders in hope of re-selling your products.
• Foreign orders – If you don’t usually deal with international customers, this could be a scam. In a video on order scams, ecommerce platform Volusion explains that orders from some countries in Africa and Eastern Europe as well as some cities in the US are at a higher risk of being fraudulent.
• Poor grammar – If the email has spelling and grammar mistakes, this could be a sign that it is not a legitimate order request.
• Dodgy email address – If their email address is predominantly number based or features random letters, it’s likely they are scammer trying to place a fraudulent order.
If the customer has provided you with their phone number, give it a call. If the number is incorrect or you cannot reach the person that has supposedly sent the order request, do not proceed with the order. If they have supplied you with an address, we also recommend checking it out using Google Maps to see if there is any sign of it being a legitimate residence or business.
Keep a look out for these red flags next time you receive an order request via email and reduce the risk of you falling for the scam!
Image credit: StormKatt