WooCommerce – How to Reduce Fraud, Spam, and Store Losses

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Fraud is everywhere. In fact, online fraud rates grow up every year, and that affects primarily the E-Commerce industry. This happens because, according to The 2018 Global Fraud and Identity Report, “online activities among consumers reflect widespread embrace of digital commerce as a way to purchase goods and services (90 percent) and conduct personal banking (88 percent).”

Therefore, if you’re in this industry, you’re likely to deal at some point with fraudulent transactions. Besides, one of the problems you may face if you have a small-to-middle sized business is that most of the time we don’t have a team especially dedicated to deal with those fraudulent transactions.

For that reason, we want to give you five easy solutions to reduce fraud, spam, and store losses. We’ll use the Conditional Payment Gateways plugin, which allows you to create different conditions to manage your payment gateways. You can restrict payment methods for countries, restrict credit card usage to customers with previous purchases, etc.

Once you install and activate the plugin, go to WooCommerce > Conditional Payment Gateways to open it. There you’ll find the Enable Conditions checkbox, the Tutorials section, and the Add condition button, which you need to hit in order to create conditions for your payment methods.

1- Disable credit card usage for customers with less than 2 purchases

Stolen credit cards are a problem for WooCommerce stores’ owners. You know, it’s not just a matter of losing some money in a fraudulent transaction. It could affect your other customers.

Spammers could saturate your server by testing too many credit cards. That’s serious because you can lose some genuine customers if your server is not working well due to spammers trying to trick your store.

Therefore, here we’ll narrow the payment gateways. We’ll disable credit card usage for users with less than 2 purchases. That means only users with more than three purchases will be able to use credit cards or their transactions.

Please hit the Add condition button to create a condition and use these values:

  • Add new condition: Enter the condition title
  • Condition 1: Previous orders from the customer <=  2
  • What do you want to do: Disable the payment method(s)
  • Select the payment methods: Stripe, Stripe_alipay (or any other credit card gateway)
  • Click on Publish

After that, not everybody will be able to use credit cards, but only your customers with more than 2 purchases. This will reduce your possibilities to get cheated.

2- Disable credit card usage in small orders

Another way to avoid being cheated by spammers is to disable credit card usage in low-cost products or small orders. This is important because sometimes spammers buy many low-cost products to see if the credit cards are still active.

However, if you’re cheated several times with low-cost products, you’ll lose considerable amounts. Therefore, we want to show you how to disable credit card usage in small orders. Just create a condition with these values:

  • Add new condition: Enter the condition title
  • Condition 1: Total < 100
  • What do you want to do: Disable the payment method(s)
  • Select the payment methods: Stripe, Stripe_alipay (or any other credit card gateway).
  • Click on Publish

With this you’ll make sure that spammers don’t use those common fraudulent methods.

3- Restrict credit cards in products with more chargebacks

Something that’s becoming normal in the e-commerce industry is customers asking for chargebacks in certain product categories. For example, they may ask for refunds in technology products like smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.

Or maybe in your case customers are asking for refunds in other product categories. One way or another, we recommend you to see in which of your categories or products you have been asked for refunds most frequently. In that case, it can be a great option to disable credit card usage in all those products.

You can follow these tutorials to disable a payment gateway in specific categories or products.

Important. Remember that you need to select the credit card payment method (Stripe or Stripe_alipay for example).

4- Restrict credit cards in specific countries, states or cities

A chargeback fraud is something very serious. Although it’s been called “Friendly fraud,” it’s not friendly at all. Through this fraudulent process, customers claim to have never received what they purchased, and therefore they ask you to give them their money back.

This is really important because countries like Brazil and Mexico, for instance, have been recognized to have the highest chargeback fraud rates, so you may want to stop having to send refunds to those countries. You know that every time it happens, fees are high and nobody wants to lose money. It’s really hard to earn it!

What you can do is to restrict the use of credit cards in some specific countries, states, or cities where chargebacks are more common.

  • WooCommerce – Disable Payment Method for a Specific Country

Important. Keep in mind that you’re disabling the credit card payment method.

5- Enable cash on pickup in high-value products/orders

If you sell high-value products and nobody has ever tried to trick you with a false or stolen credit card, just give it time! You can lose thousands of dollars if you accept credit cards indiscriminately. And we’re a hundred per cent sure you don’t want that.

So here’s what you can do. You can disable all payment methods and only enable Cash on hand or Cash on pickup for all high-value products/orders. We’ll create a condition in the Conditional Payment Gateways plugin that states that products/transactions with a value equal or higher than 500 dollars will require the Cash on hand or Cash on Pickup payment method.

  • Add new condition: Enter condition title
  • Condition 1: Total >= 500 (for example)
  • What do you want to do: Enable the payment method(s)
  • Select the payment method(s): Cop (which means Cash on pickup)

After that, your products with a high value will accept Cash on hand or Cash on pickup only as the payment method. That means customers will pay with cash when they receive the products they have ordered. You’ll no longer have to lose money because of people tricking you on your high-value products.

Protect your store from fraudsters!

Fraud is everywhere, and it can make us lose lots of money. However, we can avoid it. These are five useful ways to prevent being cheated by malicious users. We hope they reinforce your fraud protection.