My First Sale, What the Fraud?!?!

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Man in mask stealing money representing fraud charges by GradSimple.

8:03 pm, Monday. Nah, I’m playing – I don’t remember the time nor the date of my first Shopify sale. I do remember how I felt, though: intense excitement, pride, and then…suspicion.

First off, the order came from Tijuana. WAIT, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with Mexico, or Tijuana. Lovely food, lovelier people. However, with the utmost peace and love and respect, there tends to be a lot of fraudulent charges that come through from Mexico.

Testing, testing, 123

Typically what happens is known as card testing, where people will test hundreds of different combinations of card credentials until one sticks. And when one does stick, they hope against hope that the little shop they ordered from won’t think twice and will fulfill their order.

Well, I did think twice.

In fact, I thought quite a lot. Shopify has a system in place for fraud detection that flags orders based on certain criteria. Some of the things they check for include billing address, number of attempts to charge the card, pin, and expiry date (to name a few).

B-b-blocked!

Mama didn’t raise a fool. My inaugural order, though exciting, was 100% fraudulent. No shot I was going to process it. They set off nearly every red flag in the book! 

I refunded the card. A little while later, I received my real first order – just as gratifying as the other first. Perhaps even more so, considering I was making shmoney this time around.

Now listen, just because I shared this success story doesn’t mean I never fell for fraudsters. I once processed a $100+ order of iPhone and AirPod cases because only one fraud flag had been triggered (expiry date).

A few weeks later, they submitted a chargeback. Curious, I checked the shipping address. It was a random warehouse in Yucatán. 

Listen, you win some and you lose some, right? You just gotta win more than you lose. 

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Head Writer and Editor for GradSimple. She also translates all of Ricky's incoherent raccoon ramblings into readable content (newsletter subscribers know what's up).

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