Limiting Fraud

Learn to recognize and stop potential fraud on your site by familiarizing yourself with some easy checks and balances.

Verifying a Suspicious Transaction

There is nothing that SmartEtailing, nor anyone else for that matter, can do to guarantee that any given order is valid. The merchant is always at risk, the same is true for in-store interactions. However, here is one process that will help you verify a customer's identity:

  1. Google the shipping and billing addresses. If the result is a freight forwarder, UPS Store or strange business, it's almost guaranteed to be fraudulent.
  2. Do the same thing with the phone number, if the result is a business listing, or doesn't seem to match up at all with the cardholders name, it's likely not legitimate.
  3. Use additional caution on in-store pickup bike orders when the credit card billing address is out of state. Patterns show increased risk for billing addresses in NJ and FL.
  4. Call the number and ask for the cardholder by name. Any balks or questions and you've likely got a fraudulent transaction.

For In-Store Pickup orders, carefully verify the credit card and the ID of the person picking up the order. Do not allow a product to leave the store with someone who is not the listed cardholder.

Best practice is to have a member of store management personally review every bike In-Store Pickup order over $1,000 before the bike leaves. Ask for additional identifying information if there is any doubt about the person's identity.

Be Vigilant

One important way to avoid being a victim of online fraud is to learn to spot the signs of a fraudulent order. Here's a list of some things that should make your “fraud radar” kick in:

  • Expedited shipping.
  • Huge dollar amount or repeats of high dollar items.
    • Forks, electronics, car racks, and group sets are common targets.
  • Email addresses that don't resemble the customers name in the slightest.
  • Unusable or incorrect billing phone number.
  • Unrecognizable or illogical city or street names in billing or shipping address.
  • Multiple orders placed with different credit cards.
  • Billing and shipping addresses are different. 

If you edit an order, you can click Fraud Alert at the top of the screen to see items we are seeing commonly ordered with fraudulent transactions. This also gives you the chance to report a potential fraudulent order to us.

SmartEtailing Payments - Powered by Stripe

Stripe offers a fraud detection suite that is automatically included when you use this payment method. It helps minimize fraudulent transactions making it through to you.

  • If the order is flagged as "Elevated Risk" be extra vigilant before filling the order: Where possible confirm that all contact, shipping, ID, and card information match. 
  • In the event that a transaction does make it through, using the tips above can help you catch it before a loss occurs.
  • When you return the payment of an order you've determined is fraud, make sure that you select "fraud" as the reason for the refund.
  • The more transactions that get completed, the better the system gets.

It is impossible for this system to prevent all fraud, retailers with this payment system (or any payment system) still need to exercise caution. This burden sits on all merchants shoulders.


PayPal is another secure way to send or receive money online. We recommend that you activate PayPal on your website, as customers have a high level of trust in it.

  • If you select “Only accept orders from PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address” in the PayPal Merchant Interface then you greatly reduce the chance that it could be a fraudulent order.
  • It is worth noting that In-Store Pickup vs. shipped transactions offers different levels of protection for you as a seller.

Authorize.Net’s Fraud Detection Suite

Authorize.Net offers a feature they call Advanced Fraud Detection Suite.

  • This is a set of customizable, rules-based filters and tools that identify, manage and prevent suspicious and potentially costly fraudulent transactions.
    • We recommend customizing these to your comfort levels.

Are You Using Supplier Fulfillment?

  • We recommend keeping supplier fulfillment a manual process and do not turn on automatic fulfillment.
    • This will require you to first verify the order and then manually request supplier fulfillment.

    Other Resources

    Here are some resources we recommend:

    Reporting a Potential Fraudulent Transaction

    PayPal - Fraud Prevention

    Stripe - Fraud Prevent Best Practices

    Stripe - Identifying Fraud - Advanced Fraud Detection

    SmartEtailing - Managing Disputes