November 30, 2015

Anita Campbell - CEO

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of

31 Reactions

  1. I like the suggestion to only allow a certain number of attempts before locking out the user. While I might fat-finger the number once or twice on a credit card, 5+ is a huge red flag.

    • Hi Robert,

      I agree. I was so glad we were able to get an interview with Steve Chou because he has learned a lot of lessons over the years about e-commerce, and little tricks you might not otherwise see. He’s been an awesome member over the years, so it’s been terrific to tap his brain.

      – Anita

  2. Fantastic tips, Anita.

    It’s amazing how much the security code that’s located by the signature area of all credit cards can help prevent fraud.

    The online marketplace is huge; there are always people looking to exploit it.

    As you pointed out, using proper security measures really can go a long way in preventing fraud.

    The Franchise King®

    • And, Joel, I think a lot of it is about being proactive and involved.

      That’s the main thing that stuck out to me from Steve’s interview comments. He doesn’t just sit back and “let orders happen” online with his and his wife’s business. They are in there all the time examining the orders, spotting patterns that might be fraud, and so on.

      It goes to show — you really can make a difference, if you are actively engaged in managing your business, even if online sales are just a part of your business, or all of your business.

      – Anita

  3. Thanks for this. We’ve been dealing with a lot of international fraud lately, so we’ve been looking at what we can do. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of these fraud events go to remailers.

  4. After we first launched we quickly ended up adding extra security filters to prevent fraudulent transactions and annoying chargebacks.

    These are some good tips!

  5. We always do #2 in all our transactions. At best, we even call the customers to verify why they are using a different IP address. We don’t deliver products unless the payment has passed. It keeps us on the safe side while we continue with our business.

  6. My credit card had been duplicated before for fraudulent transaction and it was immediately cancelled by my bank after they called up to inform me of the cheating case. All 10 tips are necessary for the prevention of fraud.

  7. Great tips! It seems online scammers get smarter and smarter as time goes by. A combination of steps from the above post is the minimum you can do to ensure your online finances.

  8. Hi Steve,
    Incredibly detailed information here. I’ve left this comment here and on BizSugar so perhaps you could answer it both places for the benefit of both communities. In the case of point number one, I suppose it’s always possible that, even in the case of a legitimate order, you could end up having difficulty reaching someone by phone, especially overseas. I’m wondering. What do you do at that point? What’s your next step or process to try to assess the validity of the order?

    • If it’s a suspicious order with a large dollar amount, I will almost always verify with the card holder even if they are hard to reach.

      If they need their goods immediately, then usually they will be in touch by email or phone if it’s legit. But again, circumstances like this are extremely rare.

  9. Hi Steve,
    Like Shawn, I’m leaving my question in both communities. I think it’s great to have explanations from someone with real experience in this field as a resource for anyone out there who’s run into these kinds of issues with credit card payments for an online business. Here goes. I notice in many cases, there’s a whole lot of verifying going on here and I’m wondering, from a time management standpoint, whether this is something you need to allocate additional resources to as your business grows. Approximately how much time can an online merchant expect to spend on double checking on possible credit fraud vs. all the other activities that go into running a successful business? I realize spending the time to do this is better than taking it on the chin for a bad payment, especially on a really big order. But I’m just wondering, how much time does it eat up in practice and how do you compensate?

    • Almost everything can be automated and/or scripted and we focus our verification efforts on the larger orders, especially if they seem suspicious. For our store, this is a very small percentage of the overall order total.

  10. Wow, amazing list of preventive measures and things to look out for. Quite impressive. Thanks for this information a lot of which I was not aware of.

  11. Verrrrry useful tips, Steve. Thank you.

    I think some online business owners think it’ll never happen to them. That very thought is a security risk in itself. It could happen. It might. And unfortunately for some, it will and has.

  12. Added tip: shopper returning purchases and looking for the refund on a different card. Never do this.

  13. I wish the card issuers allowed gateways to do a Phone Verification so the purchaser could enter their “Billing Phone Number” and we could match it against the phone number on file with their bank.

    Its a a LOT less likely a fraudster will have the card owners phone number

    • I completely agree with you. Verifying the billing phone number would be a great addition and help reduce fraud. Right now, I get hit with a fraud transaction about every two months. I have CVC and address verification in place. The criminal is able to match the IP to the card holder’s address area too so there’s no way for me to notice any discrepancies. The fraudster’s are very conniving. I have to go in and look at each transaction and go by my gut feeling. Almost all of them do not list a phone number and that is a big tip off to me to investigate it more.

  14. Thanks for the great list. We’ve been looking into setting up a payment gateway and I was looking for exactly this type of information. We deal with so many fraudulent request that it’s going to take a risk free solution (which doesn’t exist in my book) to commit to accepting payments online.

  15. Those are good tips for a retailer but for those of us shoppers that purchase from website retailers that don’t do these extra checks leaves us very vulnerable. There needs to be extra security during the check out process like for example your credit card is linked to your cell phone. Issue a text security code to your cell phone and you enter that code to finalize the transaction. This would have to be something setup by the credit card companies. Just a thought because we need to be doing something now instead of waiting around meanwhile having our bank account cleaned out.

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