Every year OutMotoring.com processes nearly 12,000 orders. Of those we usually get about 12 fraudulent orders (average of about 1/month). It's not a percentage but it adds up, especially when the scammers get high ticket items. On our side it's part of the risk of doing business and we hope the MINI community is honest, which for the most part is true, however we are still getting scammed and it hurts. Out of all of the fraudulent orders we have been hit with the vast majority are from overseas. In fact, I think I can only recall 2-3 over the years that were actual customers living in the USA and having their order shipped to the USA. Based on that info, it is safe to say that US MINI owners and enthusiasts are honest, ethical and overall good people who respect commerce and each other. They would never consider using a stolen card or being a part of anything remotely associated with fraud. To those we say "thanks" and we hope your goodness continues to shine.
To the dirtbags, that are 99.9% overseas that commit fraud we wish you would go away. Our fraud filters catch the majority of the fraud that is attempted on our site but a few get through and those hurt. They hurt BAD. In fact just this morning we received what is called a "chargeback' which means the card used for a particular purchase was used without permission of the card holder (stolen). The card owner reported the fraud and the credit card company simply takes the money BACK from our business accounts, regardless if the claim was accurate. Because this process usually takes days and often weeks, we have, in nearly every case shipped the goods which have been received by the illegal user of the credit card. Why can't we just confirm the billing address matches that on file with the credit card company? We can, but ONLY in the USA. So, in order to offer our services and products to MINI owners worldwide we take that risk that we are dealing with honest folks. Guess what? Today we got spanked. We shipped nearly $3,000 worth of goods and nearly all of it was delivered (to a apartment in Florida). The customer even emailed us a few times to see how his orders were coming along and was excited to get the good for his MINI!! Yay, we love the enthusiasm so it did not raise any red flags on our side. Given we process about 100 orders internationally each month it is NO BIG deal for us to process orders this large shipping internationally. Today the credit card company took all of the money back and we are left hanging. There is NOTHING we can do because the card WAS used illegally and because the customer was not standing in our facility and personally presented his ID which should have matched the info on his card, we take the hit. Nothing can reverse a chargeback when it comes to e-commerce. Brick and mortar shops do have the ability to prove that a customer was standing in their building, presented his ID and made the purchase and can likely win the case.
So, why do we just keep shipping stuff overseas when we know we are going to get hit with about $3-$5,000 worth of fraud a year from overseas customers? Truth be told, every time I open a chargeback letter from our merchant my heart sinks. I swear I am going to cut off shipping outside the USA. But we have SO MANY good customers and again, 99.9% of them are HONEST. Why would a MINI enthusiast scam us? Why, when we have done so much for the MINI community and run a top notch, reputable company? Well, dirtbags are dirtbags and they don't care who they hurt. In my case, the cost of the fraud goes deep. Here's the process. We ship items which are assumed to be paid for legitamately. The inventory is part of our business investment so we have already paid for it. The money that was transferred to us just a day or so after the order was processed gets taken back (sometimes this takes 2-4 weeks). Now we are out the cost of the goods AND the shipping AND a $50 chargeback fee that the bank imposes to process the fraudulent charge. It adds up fast. And it sucks. And short of NOT shipping internationally OR requiring ALL customers to pay with paypal or waiting 3 weeks before shipping any international orders (to allow a chargeback to be found by the real card holder and then processed, etc).
The next logical step for us is likely that we will not process any NEW customer orders unless they pay with paypal and after we have established a relationship with them we can then accept credit cards. I imagine we will have to set some sort of threshold where we have to initiate this process, such as a $500 order and above always gets pulled and we refund the credit card charge/cancel the charge and then request the customer send us the same amount of $$ via payapl or wire transfer. Maybe this will stop the fraud?