An Obvious Case of Credit Card Fraud

May 19th, 2010 by Chris

Check out my credit card logs for one of my ecommerce sites.

2996091721 12349 Captured/Pending Settlement 19-May-2010 05:21:48 Sadchik, Nikola V XXXX5834 USD 321.08
2996091247 12348 Declined 19-May-2010 05:21:00 Sadchik, Nikola V XXXX1251 USD 321.08
2996090463 12347 Declined 19-May-2010 05:19:43 Sadchik, Nikola A XXXX1006 USD 321.08
2996089776 12346 Declined 19-May-2010 05:18:31 Sadchik, Nikola V XXXX3056 USD 321.08
2996089396 12345 Declined 19-May-2010 05:17:52 Sadchik, Nikola V XXXX2150 USD 321.08
2996087233 12344 Declined 19-May-2010 05:15:10 Sadchik, Nikola V XXXX4741 USD 321.08
2996086915 12343 Declined 19-May-2010 05:14:35 Sadchik, Nikola V XXXX0838 USD 321.08
2996086430 12342 Declined 19-May-2010 05:13:37 Sadchik, Nikola V XXXX6155 USD 321.08

This has a Russian billing and shipping address, and as a rule I never ship to Russia. I have never had a legitimate order from Russia, the few I have shipped in the past all turned out to be stolen credit cards, so now, I never do. There are many countries I will not ship to because of the risk of credit card fraud.

Anyways, so I had this order come through and while I wouldn’t ship it anyways just to check I pulled up my credit card transaction logs. What do you know but this guy tried to place his order 8 times with 8 different credit cards, the first 7 of which were rejected. What are the chances he is legitimate? Next to 0 to be sure.

One thing that annoys me immensely about credit cards in general is that banks seem so apathetic about stopping fraud. I honestly think Visa and Mastercard could care less about credit card fraud. Merchants are the ones who fit the bill, they make their money even off a fraudulent transaction, so what do they care?

For instance, I catch fraud all the time doing my manual reviews, but there is absolutely no one who I can report it to. You’d think it’d be really really easy for the credit card companies to setup a website or a phone service where merchants could phone in suspected stolen credit cards. But there isn’t, not for Visa and Mastercard I can call my merchant provider to ask them to stop any transaction, but that just shelters me. I can lookup the card issuing bank and try to contact them (which is a pain if they are foreign) and warn them, but I need to speak the language, and it isn’t always possible to look it up or get an accurate phone number. With American Express there are numbers I can call, both to verify international addresses and report fraud, but not for Visa and Mastercard.

This is the computer age, why can’t they provide such an automated service?

Anyways, credit card fraud is often this obvious, if you’re the least bit diligent you can usually avoid most of it.

The card that finally worked in this case turned out to be from an Australian bank, so because there is no language barrier I decided to call them and let them know to block that customer’s account, my good deed for the day.

4 Responses to “An Obvious Case of Credit Card Fraud”

  1. richelleM  Says:

    Fact: Every year, fraudulent credit card purchases cost online retailers millions of dollars. Without the benefit of scrutinizing a customer and requesting additional identification in person, it can be more difficult to properly identify fraudulent charges made online.

  2. Andrew  Says:

    Hi there.
    It’s sad to read such prejudice about Russia. You, like many others, just put a sticker without thinking any further. Just because you feel comfy like that. In one shot you turn down the whole big country.
    Do you know how many fraudulent Americans I meet everyday in Moscow? Tons, literary. Actually, most of those that live here and not visit for a holiday trip, trying to catch some fish in dirty waters.
    But this is not the case of me writing this, anyway.
    Just wanted to let you know I’m buying for thousands of dollars annually with my credit card from many countries, including US. True, many of my requests were getting blindly turned down, including big names like Barnes and Noble. But it was easily fixed via e-mail, fax and phone, and now we do have business regularly.
    I mean, you shouldn’t blame all the people just because they live in a certain country.
    I’ve got several Web shops myself, so I do understand what you are talking about.
    And your article is very useful (I’m actually going to share it with my shop-owners buddies).
    Shouldn’t you do it in a more neutral way maybe?
    Well, thanks for the article!

  3. Chris  Says:

    I can’t afford to take the risk. If I ship an item to russia and the card is stolen I am out $25, plus the cost of the item, plus the cost of shipping. When shipping alone for my items can be several hundred dollars, it isn’t worth it to me.

    100% of the orders I have shipped to Russia have been made using stolen credit cards. So yes, I stopped accepting them. I don’t like being stolen from, and you can’t argue with 100%.

    If I was a big company maybe I’d be more willing to risk it, but I’m not, every dollar stolen comes out of my personal wallet as the business owner.

  4. Donna  Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I found your blog by trying to research how or what I can do about Fraudulent International Charges.

    I was unaware that International orders can be charged back, and there is not a thing we can do! All they have to do is say, “I didn’t make that charge” .. and “WE” lose out on hundreds of dollars, just like that!

    This has just happened to me and I too, was told today, that I can contact the bank, but good luck trying to find an english speaking representative.

    Needless to say, I’m out $800 dollars, but a big lesson learned.

    However, I’m furious that, that person is laughing with my merchandise in hand, and absolutely no repercussions.

    I will definitely do what I have to, to verify international purchases, and if I can’t, I won’t ship !

    Oh, and Chris, the person who made the fraudulent purchases is, Mihail Pawlow! BEWARE OF THIS NAME!

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