While most of the time, customers are one of your greatest assets — they spend money, buy goods and help keep everything running– sometimes an unassuming customer can create a lot of headache through friendly fraud.

Friendly fraud occurs when the cardholder disputes a transaction that they knowingly entered into, but then for one reason or another decides to dispute the charge with their bank or credit card company. In this post we want to talk about a few of the ways this happens.

Revenge!

Sometimes, no matter how much you do to appease them, a customer may never be satisfied. While their motives may be unclear, this type of fraudster will dispute the charge for any number of reasons, including delay in shipment, product wasn’t as described, product didn’t meet expectations, and likely due to a strict  or “no” return policy, they decide to initiate a chargeback.

Lazy consumers

We’ve all at one time or another bought something in the store or online, got it home and realized you didn’t really want it. Sometimes the prospect of returning the item seems too much of a hassle, so the consumer calls and disputes the charge. This is more common with high ticket items or lifestyle goods (fashion items).

“I forgot to cancel that subscription…”

Many of us can identify with signing up for a trial or a subscription, forgetting about it, and being frustrated when you realize you forgot to cancel. For some, instead of returning the product (if available) or cancelling the subscription and letting it go, they will take the extra step and dispute the charge.

The sly ones

Sometimes people who understand how chargebacks work will manipulate the system to their advantage. After receiving the product or service, they will lie and say they never received it to get their money back.

While it’s hard to spot friendly fraud on the get go, there are some ways that you can mitigate it. As we always recommend, keeping appropriate records of transactions is always your first line of defense. Additionally, being honest and upfront about your products and what your customers can expect will go a long way towards preventing chargebacks.
If you are an eCommerce site, one way to transfer the responsibility of the fraud is to use payer authentication methods such as Visa Checkout or Mastercard Masterpass. Contact us to learn more about how to integrate these into your checkout process.

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