As an eCommerce seller, receiving new purchase orders is essential for the success of your business. Each order serves as a measure of your business’s triumph and helps identify your most popular products. But, the virtual nature of an eCommerce store opens the door to fake orders, a common type of fraud that can have a severe impact on your business. To safeguard your WooCommerce store, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent fake orders.
Understanding Fake Orders
Fake orders are product orders placed with the intent to prank or defraud a company. The motives behind these fraudulent activities vary and may stem from mischief or attempts to trick businesses. Typically, perpetrators of fake orders opt for the Cash on Delivery method, neither paying for nor accepting the order. This differs from a cancel order, where users voluntarily choose to cancel their purchase. Fake orders result in substantial losses for businesses, as products are dispatched, shipped, and assigned to delivery agents.
According to Juniper Research, online payment fraud is projected to exceed $206 billion between 2021 and 2025. Over 47% of fraud losses in 2021 were due to purchases of remote physical goods. Detecting and preventing fake orders is crucial to protect your WooCommerce store from financial losses.
Detecting Fake Orders
While it is impossible to entirely avoid fraudulent transactions, implementing measures to detect them is essential. Perpetrators of fraud employ various tactics, but fake orders on WooCommerce often exhibit common indicators. Here are three main ways to detect them:
Large Orders from Unknown Customers
As a small business, you likely have an idea of the average order size from your customers. If an unknown customer places an exceptionally large order without paying in advance, it can raise concerns. Large unpaid orders can burden your business financially, as you are responsible for shipping costs and chargebacks associated with fake orders.
Conflicting Customer Information
When a new customer places an order on your WooCommerce store, verifying their details is crucial. Check if their name and email address align, as genuine customers often use emails that incorporate their name. Artificial and random-numbered email addresses may warrant closer scrutiny, as fraudsters often use temporary or bogus accounts to place fake orders. Additionally, compare the billing and shipping addresses provided, taking note of any international shipping discrepancies.
Multiple Declined Transactions
Occasional declined transactions are normal, but a customer with a high number of declined transactions within a short period may be engaging in fraudulent activity. Consider blacklisting these customers, although it may not completely eliminate them.
To prevent fake orders on your WooCommerce store, employ various systems and tools.
Actionable Tips to Prevent Fake Orders on WooCommerce
Here are some effective tips to safeguard your WooCommerce store from fake orders:
- Familiarize yourself with fraudulent activities, specifically fake orders, to identify problem areas in your store.
- Assign someone to monitor fraud and scan activities on your WooCommerce store regularly.
- Approve or reject new users who place orders on your store to filter out potential fraudsters.
- Adapt your screening parameters during discount periods, festivals, and offers to accommodate changing shopper habits.
- Protect your product pages and entire store with passwords to limit access to genuine customers.
- Require advance delivery charges for bulk orders or orders to distant regions.
- Provide quality products and services to attract serious customers dedicated to making genuine purchases.
- Set up verbal and email confirmations to verify orders before dispatching them.
- Disable cash on delivery payment options to filter out customers placing fraudulent orders.
- Install user-friendly fraud prevention plugins, such as The Dotstore’s WooCommerce Fraud Prevention plugin, and adjust the settings accordingly.
Now that we have explored basic ways to prevent fake orders on your WooCommerce store, let’s delve into some advanced techniques.
Advanced Techniques to Prevent Fake Orders on WooCommerce
To further enhance the security of your WooCommerce store and prevent fake orders, consider the following methods:
Configure spam settings
Every eCommerce platform, including WooCommerce, provides access to spam settings. Modify these settings to prevent specific types of customers from placing fraudulent orders.
Implement CAPTCHA to authenticate customers and prevent bots and hackers from registering bulk accounts and placing fake orders.
Tighten store privacy
Review and tighten the privacy settings of your WooCommerce store to protect against fraudsters, bots, and spam orders. Ensure that only authorized administrators can log in with unique and secure credentials.
Perform a reverse lookup
If you find a customer’s order suspicious, conduct a reverse lookup by scanning their social presence and accounts. This will help verify their legitimacy as a person. If no results are found, consider blocking them.
Enable strict verification protocols
Enhance your store’s security by enabling strict verification protocols, such as requiring passwords to access product pages. You can also limit access to specific user roles, such as subscribers or registered users, for added exclusivity and security.
Confirm before shipping
To catch fake orders before any products or money are lost, call customers directly on their registered numbers to confirm their orders before shipping. Legitimate customers will readily verify their orders, while fraudsters may struggle to do so.
Verify the address
Once you pack a customer’s order, ensure it gets shipped to the verified address with the correct postal code. Confirm the order and deliver it to the verified shipping address. Suspicion may arise if the shipping address significantly differs from the billing address provided.
When customers place orders using online payment methods, confirm the Card Verification Value (CVV) code. The CVV is a three-digit debit card code that must match the customer’s card details.
Incentivize online payments
To reduce fake orders placed via Cash on Delivery, offer additional discounts and incentives for customers who opt to pay using digital transaction methods.
Install the WooCommerce Fraud Prevention Plugin
The most effective way to prevent fake orders on your WooCommerce store is by installing The Dotstore’s WooCommerce Fraud Prevention plugin. This plugin offers a range of settings that accurately detect and prevent counterfeit orders. It assigns fraud scores to users and calculates their risk threshold, automatically blocking high-risk customers to minimize further damage.
Fake orders and other fraudulent activities are common in the eCommerce world and can significantly impact your store’s profitability and security. By employing tools like the WooCommerce Fraud Prevention plugin, you can ensure enhanced protection against fake orders. Discover more of our plugins at the ProgramMatek website!