Published: September 21, 2021
Reading time: 4 minute read
Written by: Forter Team

In 2020, consumers spent over 860 billion dollars with US merchants online.

While it’s true that the pandemic played a significant role in these numbers, the truth is that online shopping is likely here to stay. Just last year, e-commerce accounted for 21.6% of all US retail sales, up from 15.8% in 2019. E-commerce provides convenience and safety for consumers to shop without needing to leave the comfort of their homes.

It also provides ample opportunities for fraudsters to target these merchants.

E-commerce fraud protection is crucial for businesses moving forward. Having worry-free protection against these fraudsters helps keep your bottom line protected.

However, there’s also an opportunity to be proactive and use some best practices to help prevent e-commerce fraud.

Here are some e-commerce fraud prevention strategies and best practices that you can use to protect yourself.

Perform Regular, Consistent Site Audits

Performing audits on your website can help you shine a light on security issues before fraudsters identify these weaknesses.

The question is, what exactly are you looking for with a site audit?

Online merchants should run through the following checklist and take the following precautions:

  • Update cart software and plugins
  • Ensure SSL certificate is current
  • Perform regular malware scans
  • Frequently backup online store
  • Set strong passwords for all critical password-protected accounts
  • Properly encrypt all store-customer communications
  • Remove inactive plugins

Require a Card Verification Value Number for Any Purchase From Your Website

There’s a three-digit code on the back of all Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards known as a Card Verification Value, or CVV for short. This code can come in handy for merchants who want to crack down on fraudsters attempting to purchase goods or services with a stolen card. Since the code is located on the back of the card itself, requiring this number for all purchases means that the consumer will need the physical card in hand.

Use an Address Verification Service (AVS)

Many credit card companies offer an Address Verification Service to help compare the address submitted to the merchant with the bank’s address on file. Once the bank has done this check, an AVS code is sent to the merchant. These codes can indicate various discrepancies between the provided address and the one on file.

By analyzing these transactions carefully and evaluating the discrepancies, merchants can better understand whether to accept, reject, or flag the transaction for potential fraud.

Stay Up-To-Date With PCI Standards

Payment Card Industry, or PCI standards, are a set of standards that businesses must adhere to when accepting credit card payments. Typically, most major payment processing options follow these standards closely. However, it is the merchant’s responsibility to ensure that any third-party payment processors that they use are PCI-compliant.

Not only are these standards a requirement for accepting credit card payments, but they also help combat fraud.

Train Your Support Team to Spot Signs of E-commerce Fraud

In brick-and-mortar stores, staff are often trained on loss prevention and spotting the signs of in-store fraud.

Training your support team to spot the signs of e-commerce fraud can yield similar positive results.

There are several signs of e-commerce fraud to look out for, some of which include:

  • Orders that are bigger than average
  • Inconsistent order locations
  • Several different shipping addresses with a single billing address
  • Shipping items to unusual locations
  • Multiple orders are being shipped to the same location using different credit cards

Your customer support team can become your first line of defense against fraudsters and protect your bottom line. Make sure that team members are aware of these tell-tale signs of e-commerce fraud.

Use an E-commerce Fraud Protection Service

An e-commerce fraud protection service can be one of the most consistent ways to combat e-commerce fraud. Many of these tools automate the prevention and detection process to ensure that you have worry-free protection at all times.

With Forter, for example, you can secure the entire purchasing process using one platform. Powered by the largest network of online retailers, you’ll be able to figure out which customers to trust in real-time.

Forter offers several fraud prevention services, including:

  • Payment protection
  • Account protection
  • Policy abuse protection

All of these services can help streamline your e-commerce fraud prevention strategies. Since the needs of your business are constantly changing, Forter’s solution is tailored to those needs. You’ll be able to maintain a positive customer experience while keeping fraudsters at bay.

Use These E-commerce Fraud Prevention Strategies to Protect Your Bottom Line

Unfortunately, fraud is a problem that will never disappear for both brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce merchants. There will always be people looking to profit from fraudulent transactions, whether from using stolen credit cards or taking advantage of sales policies.

This makes it more important than ever to implement best practices to combat these fraudsters.

By following these e-commerce fraud prevention strategies, you’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing that your bottom line is protected.

Looking For More Information?

Forter is always here to answer your questions about e-commerce fraud prevention strategies and other fraud-related topics. Reach out to us, we’re here to help.

4 minute read