Tom-Chris Emewulu
Chargeflow's Digital Evangelist
Table of contents

If you are running an eCommerce store on Shopify, chances are that you've already experienced fraudulent and high-risk orders or at a risk of fraud while using any payment processor.

The process is often the same: A scammer steals credit card details from unsuspecting cardholders and places an order on your website. A few days later, the card owner finds out about the bill and slaps you with a chargeback.

Suppose you're not yet acquainted with the chargeback process construct. In that case, it's helpful to give you a quick overview of the concept before we continue. 

A chargeback disputes occurs when a customer disputes a transaction directly with their issuing bank. The merchant will then re-present the transaction to the customer's bank via the card issuer before reclaiming the funds. That is if the bank ruled in their favor.

Chargebacks cost e-commerce businesses upwards of $40bn a year, and the typical reasons for chargebacks include:

According to industry data, even though 43% of merchant network respond to potential chargebacks, the average net recovery rate is just 12%.

That said, the rest of this article will provide you with all you need to know to handle fraudulent and high-risk orders on your Shopify store effectively and only serve genuine customers on your store.

What is a High-Risk Shopify Order?

A high-risk Shopify order is any order that the card owner has not authorized.

High-risk or potential fraud transactions can include orders made with lost, stolen, faked, or synthetic credit/debit cards. But that's not all. High-risk orders can also be in the form of friendly fraud, where a customer receives their purchase and later claim orders were not delivered or that products were damaged.

Every fraudulent order on your Shopify online store comes with overwhelming risks. You lose the products/services, for starters, and you're out of pocket due to ancillary expenses like shipping costs to provided billing country and so on. Plus, if the credit card company invalidates the transaction, you're left with a chargeback.

Any fraudulent and high-risk order on your Shopify store means heavy out-of-pocket expenses in the final analysis. That's exclusive of the time you invest in the process and opportunities forgone. Several credible reports have found it can take more than a month for an average e-commerce merchant to discover a fraudulent order.

tats about rising trend of high risk order in Ecommerce

How can you discover a fraudulent and high-risk order on Shopify?

Online shoplifters are continuously devising ways and means of taking a merchant's lunch money. But you shouldn't let that be you.

Below are some vital strategies for detecting high-risk orders on Shopify.

Billing address v/s shipping address: A billing and shipping address mismatch is a significant red flag. Merchants should examine that data point before accepting or declining a transaction. The reason? That data could point to something more (the credit card number is stolen).

Shipping address change after order: Package rerouting is one of the oldest tricks in the fraudster book. Once a buyer provides a new shipping address for a previously approved order, review it again for fraud. Check whether the new address still matches a legitimate purchase story. Is it in a logical geographic range? Do the phone number and email make sense?

A large order from a first-time visitor: First-time customers who place a large order typically set off alarm bells on fraud analysis and prevention systems. Once a criminal has tested a stolen card number and verified that the information checks out, they move fast. They steal as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, before moving on to the next unsuspecting store.

Phone orders: Scammers often target stores that allow phone orders because it means they don't have to expose private information such as their IP address. They trick merchants into fulfilling high-risk orders without the usual security algorithms and technology checks.

Multiple attempts to complete the order: If a customer has tried numerous credit cards, names, billing addresses, and so forth, your fraud sense should be tingling.

To help merchants address fraud cases, Shopify created an inbuilt fraud detection framework that marks each order as low, medium, and high-risk. Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant that include:

  • Maintaining a vulnerability management program
  • Actively finding and patching any vulnerabilities
  • Monitoring and testing its network regularly
  • Strong access control measures
  • An information security policy
  • Protecting cardholder data

When you see that Shopify has marked any of a transaction as a high-risk order, you might want to cancel the order. If you wish to process with the order, it'll be wise to perform some due diligence to ensure that the order is risk-free.

$40 Billion global payment fraud by 2027

Due diligence for analyzing high-risk orders on your Shopify store

Did you know: 87% of consumers say they would agree for transactions to take longer to complete if extra steps for authentication meant their information was better protected, according to European Payments Council, 2021. With below mention fraud protection filter you will protect your business and its finances in the longer run. 

1. Verify the Customer

Customer Due Diligence begins from obtaining basic, essential information about the customer.

Contact the customer and ask the necessary questions to ensure that the order is not fraudulent. Don't skip this step in a bid to fulfill an order quickly. You might be shooting yourself in the foot if you do.

Below are vital data you should collect as part of your due diligence in verifying a high-risk transaction on your Shopify store.

A government-issued ID: A document issued by an independent and reliable source bearing the customer's photo is one crucial tool for verifying a customer name or identity. That can be an ID card or a passport.

A credit card picture: You can also ask for a photo of them holding the credit card network they used for the transaction. Ensure the card has the same name as provided in their government-issued ID, with the last 4-digit credit card number matching what you have on your record.

Proof of day: Ask for proof of day, like any magazine, newspaper, etc. It seems pretty harsh and extreme. But this verification data could be an excellent arsenal in your chargeback representement if the customers go on to dispute the transaction or you have a chargeback fraud attempt.

2. Call the phone number the customer issued

Online shoplifters often use fake phone numbers to make a transaction. One effective method for ferreting out a fraudulent or high-risk order on your Shopify store is to call the phone number the customer provided. If they pick up, you could ask them simple questions like the specifics of what they ordered, their location, and so. Their answers and consistency of information will help you determine whether you should process the transaction fee or decline it to prevent future fraudulent chargebacks.

Its important that you always look for any means that can be linked to fraudulent activities. Recently, third-party fraud apps have been used by scammers to gain some financial advantages. Make sure that app is present of reliable platforms and read the manual reviews so may know what that app is about.

3. Google the email address used

Another thing you can do to evaluate the buyer's credibility is to search the issued email online. If the email address was flagged in previous fraud attempts or shows relevant social media profiles, you will see that. It is a business safe practice and highly recommended for fraud chargeback protection and reduction in excessive chargeback fees. You can use chargeback alerts that can send email notification in case of fraud attempt. 

It is advised to make sure that you do not compromise the overall customer service for legitimate customers that passes all the green indicators. For right customers, first step to checkout processes the experience should be flowless.  

How to deal with high-risk orders on Shopify?

Dealing with high-risk orders on Shopify can be a challenging task, as it requires careful consideration of various factors to prevent fraud and protect your business. Here are some tips to help you manage high-risk orders on Shopify:

  1. Set up fraud prevention tools: Shopify offers various fraud prevention tools such as Shopify Payments, which can help you detect fraudulent transactions. You can also use third-party fraud detection services to help you identify high-risk orders.
  2. Analyze order details: Before fulfilling any high-risk orders, analyze the order details carefully. Check for inconsistencies in the shipping and billing addresses, order history, and other information that could indicate fraudulent activity.
  3. Use manual verification: For high-risk orders, consider using manual verification techniques, such as contacting the customer via phone or email to confirm the order details.
  4. Set up order limits: You can set up order limits to prevent high-risk orders from being placed. For example, you can limit the quantity of products that can be ordered or set a maximum order value.
  5. Consider using a payment gateway: Payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and offer additional security features that can help prevent fraud.
  6. Consider using order fulfillment services: You can use third-party order fulfillment services to handle high-risk orders. These services can help you manage the risk of fraud and chargebacks.

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of fraud and protect your business from financial losses.

Avoid handling Chargebackl manually

Use fraud detection and prevention tools to level up.

According to a recent study, global payment fraud is rising and will cost merchants $40.62 billion by 2027. Further, analysts at Lourenco found that the increased use of online product payments and contactless credit cards also led to more CNP fraud, which saw a 16.4% uptick in 2021.

While doing your due diligence on every transaction is crucial, fraud detection automation and dispute management is one highly recommended method for stopping fraudulent or suspicious activities and high-risk' orders on your Shopify store.

Apart from being much more effective than manual processes, dispute and fraud automation tools offer advanced protection against fraud at little cost with effective chargeback guarantees and timely fraud recommendation.

For example, with the machine learning algorithms trained on historical transactions across all Shopify stores, fraud mitigation tools like Chargeflow helps you stop fraudulent orders with extra layer of security. Chargeflow, a fraud prevention app, helps prevent high-risk orders with a single dashboard and gives you all the information you need on your disputes and chargebacks across multiple payment gateways. You're never done building your business until you've secured your revenue with a fraud detection Shopify app.


What are basic differences between legitimate and fraudulent order on Shopify?

A correct order on Shopify is made by a legitimate customer using a valid payment method, while a fraudulent order is made using a stolen or fake identity or stolen payment method with the intention of obtaining goods without paying for them.

How can I cancel a high-risk or fraudulent order on Shopify?

You can cancel an order by going to the Orders section of your Shopify admin and selecting the order you want to cancel.

Can Shopify detect fraudulent orders automatically?

Shopify does not have a built-in fraud detection system, but there are third-party apps such as Chargeflow that can help you detect and prevent fraudulent orders.

What happens if a fraudulent order is processed on my Shopify store?

If a fraudulent order is processed, you may be held liable for the charge and may have to refund the customer. Using a fraud detection tool like Chargeflow can help prevent this from happening.

How to know that shopify this order might be fraudulent?

To determine if an order on Shopify might be fraudulent, there are several factors to consider. These include the value of the order, the shipping method requested, the quantity of items ordered, the billing and shipping addresses, the country of origin, and the email address used to place the order.

What should I do if my Shopify store is targeted by fraudsters?

If your store is targeted by fraudsters, it is important to have a system in place to detect and prevent fraudulent orders. Using a third-party app like Chargeflow can help you identify and prevent fraudulent orders from going through.

Are there any third-party tools or apps that can help me prevent fraudulent orders on Shopify?

Yes, there are third-party tools such as Chargeflow that can help you detect and prevent fraudulent orders on your Shopify store.

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