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Email Gift Certificates & Fraud

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  • Email Gift Certificates & Fraud

    When I set up my store I put up an item for an e-Gift Certificate that could be purchased in $25 and have a code sent via email. Just seemed like a good idea. Haven't sold any although have redeemed some as part of our rewards program.

    Yesterday one customer bought 8 of these for a total of $25. Thing is that the transaction was obviously fraud. They thought they would be sent via snail mail and gave me a shipping address that was different than the billing address, with the shipping address going to a freight forwarder.

    The purchaser also filled out 8 different email addresses for the recipient on the gift cards, each one going to an anonymous mailer.

    So I canceled the order and deleted the GC codes.

    But this brings the question, how does one prevent fraud on these? It seems like it would be super easy to abuse, if the purchaser didn't make the same stupid mistakes as they did here. If they just sent a couple to one email address, and didn't expect them to be physically mailed to a freight forwarder, I would have no way to differentiate between this and a person that wants them mailed to a person for a gift.

    Should I disable these for purchase altogether?

  • #2
    In my store, they usually wait a few days and then order something expensive with the gift certs.

    I am not sure how to verify the original order is legitimate or not. For us, NO ONE orders more than one or two certificates at a time, so we know if it is for $1k worth of them, we should watch out.



    • #3
      I took the temporary measure of setting a maximum quantity of 4 ($100) and to require registration to purchase. That should help.


      • #4
        We don't offer the gift certificate as a regular item, only as a rewards item. Hope your fix helps.

        Packaging and Shipping Supply Specialists


        • #5
          Thanks for the advice. I just changed my advanced options on my GC to require a login to buy them.

          I limit the number that someone could order ($200 at once except for the $100 amount which is 3.)

          GCs have not been very popular. I only get a few orders for them in a year.