Sharing ideas for better fraud prevention.

4 Steps to Kickstart Your Manual Review

In the past , we’ve written about the neglected cost of manual review and obvious verifications that just don’t exist. Both posts highlight the need to perform review efficiently. But what if you are just starting out and don’t know where to start, let alone doing it efficiently. Today, we are going to go back to the basics and look at how you can begin to set up your process of review.

1. Gather your information

The first step is to gather all the information you have on the specific transaction you want to review. You want to make sure you have all the order details, including name, phone number, email address, billing address, shipping address, etc. If you can get the IP address where the order was placed, that would be very helpful as well.
In addition, you want to make sure you have information related to method of shipping and products ordered.

2. Check your own positive/negative lists

Positive and negative lists are lists developed overtime based on your specific store and your customer base. As part of your business planning, you should analyze and figure out who your target customers are and who your actual customers are likely to be.

When you perform manual review, use your positive and negative lists to quickly weed out those already have a “prior record.” This step can often be automated during your screening process before manual review. It is good to perform this step as early as possible (whether automated or manual) to not to spend time on reviewing these transactions, since these are likely to be repeat customers or repeat offenders with specific characteristics. For those of you that get an email confirmation with order details, try searching your email archive for past orders placed with similar data like the IP address, email, or shipping address.

Positive and negative lists can be developed for many different pieces of data, or combination of data. For example, you might want to create a positive list of good repeat customers. This can include their names, emails, phone numbers, addresses (both billing and shipping). It’s up to you to determine what pieces need to match before you determine that you are comfortable enough to let the order be fulfilled.

Alternatively, if you find that certain users have abused you/your store repeated, put them on a negative list using identifying information such as IP address, name or email addresses. You might also want to develop a high risk shipping addresses to reject orders that are going to those high risk locations.

3. Dig deeper by looking for information out of place

A lot of times fraudsters try to make things look as real as possible to past review. In this step, you should keep that in mind and sound the alarm bell when something seems out of place. It is much easier to look for abnormalities when all the information you need in one place.

Use your common sense. I cannot stress that one enough. Does it seem weird someone is shipping 20 laptops to a warehouse 3000 miles away? Or for same customer to make many repeat purchases within a very short period of time? Your experience with and knowledge of your customer will help you determine what is out of the ordinary. If you just opened your store and don’t have that much traffic and a very big order comes from overseas randomly, think if this makes sense.
This is also a good time to investigate and verify information. Do a IP lookup to see where the order was placed from. Look up the social profile using the email address given. The more information you get, the more comfortable/uncomfortable you will be to take the risk of fulfilling the order.

4. Don’t forget to cross reference

In step 3, you are looking up and using tools to look up additional information to verify an order. Don’t forget to cross reference all the information you have dug up. For example, if the person ordering products from you claims to be from Company X and you find that the IP belongs to Company X and the shipping address is going to Company X, then you should feel confident that this is unlikely to be a bad order.

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