It is always wise to be mindful and monitor all incoming donations to your campaigns. Fraud and false charges are an unfortunate reality of online payments and they can happen. Most online scammers will use payment pages to test stolen credit card credentials. This help document includes some information on how to prevent fraudulent charges as well as what to watch out when reviewing your incoming donations.
Fraud prevention tips
- Review your incoming donations for suspicious donors.
- If the bulk of your donations are from within the United States it is suggested you require billing zip code verification by enabling the "require zip / postal code setting" in your control panel. If your donations come from outside the United States it is not recommended you enable zip/postal code verification. This is not recommended because some credit cards outside of the United States may not have their postal/zip code included.
Below are a few indicators that a donation may be fraudulent.
Indicators of fraud
- The donation comes from a country outside of your primary donation region. For example if you primarily receive donations from the United States and you suddenly receive a donation from Russia, this may be an indication of a fraudulent charge.
- The email address is unreadable or a combination of random letters and numbers. For example: 302Xoskfg@domain.com.
- Multiple small donations from the same email address on different credit cards / payment types.
If any of the above cases arise it is wise to immediately email the donor and confirm the donation. In the event the email bounces or fails to send, or the donor is non-responsive, it is suggested you refund the donation. If you do not refund a donation on a fraudulent charge you may receive a $15.00 charge back fee from Stripe. More information on charge backs can be found here.
We take fraud very seriously. If your campaign is receiving suspicious donations or fraudulent charges, please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.