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Using VisitorVille for Merchant Fraud Prevention

For online merchants, VisitorVille offers creative and easy methods to prevent credit card fraud. It provides you with the real-time information you need to make informed decisions that will save you time, aggravation, and money.

With the Virtual VCR, you can replay traffic for any date or time and see exactly what happened during any given sale. You are able to analyze dozens of pieces of information on any given visitor.

With VisitorVille, you will learn a number of things to help determine if the sale is legitimate or fraudulent, such as:

  • The true location of the customer. Often purchases are made by people in a different country than the shipping address. Sometimes criminals will make a sale just to test the validity of the credit card they have stolen. By seeing if there is a mismatch in geographic location, you can void a sale before it becomes a loss to you.

  • How the customer found your site. The search terms used to find your site will often give a criminal away. For instance, if a first-time visitor found you via a search for "free shipping worldwide", and within minutes bought a large quantity of goods (without looking closely at what you have to sell), that is a suspicious transaction.

  • Whether the customer is a first-time or repeat visitor. By viewing the customer's past history on the site, the pages viewed, and the time spent per page, you will gain clues about their behavior.

  • The customer's computer settings. Even knowing the screen resolution of the customer's computer provides useful clues. For example, a high screen resolution denotes a large (expensive) monitor, and therefore someone likely more affluent than a common criminal. The same can be said for the browser choice and version; a person using the latest version of Firefox or Internet Explorer can demonstrate someone who is concerned about safety while web surfing.

Here is a real-world example of how I have detected fraudulent transactions on the web site of my record company: A sale came through overnight from a customer in England with an apparently valid mailing address and credible e-mail address. Since it was a large sale, though, I wanted to perform due diligence before shipping product, so I used the Virtual VCR to play back traffic from the hour the sale occurred. I was able to quickly see that the person making the sale was in North Vietnam, not England. I wrote a follow-up email, didn't receive a response, and so I voided the sale. In this specific scenario, VisitorVille saved me $120.



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