Today we declined a potential fraudulent credit card sale.
A potential customer called us today, asking about our 4K camera drone, the Chroma. He wanted one in a bad way, and insisted that he needed it the next day. Problem was, he was from out of town, and needed it shipped next-day. Except he was in town on business but couldn't come by and pick it up. Or something. See, the entire thing felt kind of sketchy from the start. The gentleman on the other end of the phone was nice enough, but couldn't seem to keep his story straight. Still, the credit card information he provided all lined up, and we went about getting the Chroma ready to ship.
Still, we couldn't shake the feeling that something was off, and decided to contact our credit card processor. They explained that while all of the numbers and security data checked out, the address we were supposed to ship it to wasn't on any of the databases the bank had for that card. Sketchy feeling all but confirmed.
Roger called the gentleman back and explained that we would not be sending him the Chroma, and that we'd be declining the sale. While I wasn't privy to the other side of the conversation, suffice to say that our explanation of potential fraud didn't go over well. The man huffed and puffed, but in the end, Roger held firm.
I tell you all this not to embarrass this unknown man, nor to make fun of a delicate situation, but rather, to illustrate how committed we are to keeping our customers' credit card data safe. We don't keep any sensitive information like credit cards numbers, expiration dates, or security codes on file. We will only ship to the billing address of the credit card. As our society trends more and more away from cash and into electronic payments like credit cards and debit cards, it's up to retailers to keep their customers' data safe, and if something doesn't feel right, speak up about it. We are serious about protecting our customers, ourselves, and the reputation of our store.
It wasn't fun missing out on a potential $1,400 sale, but as nice as that transaction could have been for us, it could have been just as bad for someone else - assuming that the charge was fraudulent. In truth, neither we nor our credit card processor could confirm with 100% certainty that this man set out to defraud us, but erring on the side of caution was the best move.
That Chroma still sits on our shelf, and that gentleman on the phone is likely looking for another place to procure one, legitimately or not, I don't know. He might even complain about us online somewhere - a completely natural thing to do. Even if he does, however, I know that we did the right thing, and I hope our customers understand just how far we're willing to go to protect them from fraudsters. Whether this was a fraudulent situation or not, it was a good test of our ability to sniff out something sketchy, and it was a test I think we passed.
Please be careful with your personal data during this holiday season, and we'll see you in the shop.