publicised aspect of e-business, where fraud is concerned, is where unscrupulous retailers
use a purchasers credit card details to make unauthorised debits, or where credit card
details fall into the wrong hands and the unsuspecting card holder is left to foot
the bill - right ?
The truth of the matter is that where "bad" card transactions are made, it is
not the consumer or the card company that pay the price - it is the retailer ! Where
a fraudulent transaction is made, the card-holder will report it to their credit card
issuing bank/company, who in turn will debit the transaction amount
from the retailers merchant account (the merchants card processor will also levy a fee on the merchant) - this practice is known as
The Card processing company and the issuing Bank will then make money both ways
- they have authorised the transaction, charged the retailer the fees for processing
the transaction, they then deduct the order cost from the retailer, and charge a
chargeback fee - leaving the retailer out of pocket for the cost of the goods,
the shipping costs, the original transaction fees and the chargeback fee also.
Many e-tailers have been financially ruined (in the blink of an eye) by the combination of
credit card fraudsters and the impossible rules imposed by the Card
institutions - American Express, Visa, Mastercard to name but a few. This statement is not
made lightly - the card companies appear quite happy to profit from the criminal
activities of the fraudsters - their public face is that of institutions that
"care" for their customers - the card holder ; the reality is that they
are in a "No Lose" situation and obviously they have no real incentive to change the very profitable status
quo, and legislative change by the EU and American authorities is slow in coming .
So what ?
Well, what this means is that ultimately, the honest consumer ends up paying a
higher price for goods, as retailers try to make up the margin on stock that they
have lost to fraud, as well the extra costs of putting anti-fraud measures in place, which
are sometimes very elaborate, very expensive, and often very inconvenient for the
So whether the transaction is made by somebody using another card-holders details, or
whether it is actually made by the card-holder, and then illegally "charged
back" to the retailer (a practice known as Cyber-shoplifting) it boils down to the
same thing - FRAUD !
How We Combat Attempted Fraud
Our policies on fraud and
attempted fraud are very straightforward - ZERO TOLERANCE !
retailers to combat fraud, and we will gladly share the fraudsters details with
others in a similar situation.
In practice what this means is
that the fraudsters details are entered onto a variety of different World-wide data-bases,
resulting in mutual protection for other retailers - offenders are "locked out"
of any future transactions, and will face criminal prosecution. We also pass
over ALL details of attempted fraud to the Law Enforcement agency with jurisdiction over
the fraudster, as well as pass on all details to the Embassy/Consul of the country where
the fraudster is resident.
We reserve the right NOT to accept orders from certain countries which are notorious for
their high incidence of fraud and fraud related activites - this is an unfortunate
by-product of the situation, because it means that some honest customers are being
excluded because of the activites of the dishonest.
Help us to maintain the integrity of e-commerce by observing the following;
1) Never e-mail your card details to anyone (use only secure encryption or fax)
2) Never leave your credit card out of your sight - when your card is being
"swiped" at a payment terminal, make sure that it is done in your presence
(portable card readers are about the size of a mobile phone, and can be used by dishonest
staff to copy all your card details in a second or two).
3) Before querying an item on your credit card bill with the card issuer, check your
invoices; lots of e-tailers use third party credit card processing, so it may be the
processors name (and not the actual Merchants name) that appears on your credit card
Your patience, understanding and
co-operation is much appreciated - help us to make the Internet the best means of
shopping, safe, secure and convenient for both customer and retailer !