What is Friendly Fraud

What is Friendly Fraud?

Card not present (CNP) credit and debit card transactions provide the perfect environment for what’s commonly referred to as friendly fraud.

A CNP transaction as “a payment card transaction made where the cardholder does not or cannot physically present the card for a merchant’s visual examination at the time that an order is given and payment effected, such as for mail-order transactions by mail or fax, or over the telephone or Internet.”

Friendly fraud “ocurs when a consumer makes an online shopping purchase with their own credit card, and then requests a chargeback from the issuing bank after receiving the purchased goods or services.“

The two categories of friendly fraud are intentional and unintentional:

Intentional Friendly Fraud.The deliberates falsification of facts by a consumer which is intended to deceive a merchant.

Reasons for intentional friendly fraud may have to do with buyer’s remorse. Perhaps the buyer made an impulse purchase for an amount that exceeds their comfort level or their financial circumstances suddenly changed and they wish they hadn’t spent the money or, maybe, their spouse doesn’t approve of the purchase.

Then there are fraudsters who commit online shoplifting by buying merchandise online and then disputing the transaction after the merchandise is received. In this way they can enjoy the merchandise for free, just like shoplifters at brick-and-mortar stores.

Unintentional Friendly Fraud: When a buyer mistakenly disputes a legitimate transaction without the intent to defraud a merchant.

Typically, unintentional friendly fraud is the result of forgetting about a purchase, not recognizing the transaction details shown on their credit card or bank statement and not knowing about a purchase made by another cardholder on the account.

Online businesses collectively lose billions of dollarseach year due to friendly fraud, making it crucial for merchants to take necessary steps to help prevent fraud before it happens, such as:

  • Cross-checking cardholder information.
  • Making sure IP addresses for orders match delivery locations.
  • Confirming order details with customers should anything look suspicious?

Merchants also need to be vigilant about watching out for pending chargebacks and aggressively fighting fraudulent chargeback claims.

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