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Gift certificates are a great feature, especially for stores selling often-gifted products. However, online gift certificates can be a magnet for fraud. By changing the default gift certificate settings in your store, you can minimize the chances of getting hit with unwanted chargebacks.
Because gift certificates are sent immediately to the recipient upon purchase, scammers are known to buy gift certificates with stolen credit cards and then quickly turn around and use the gift certificate to purchase products from your store. Store owners, not realizing what has occurred, ship the orders out normally.
Then, a few weeks or months later, they receive a message from their payment processor that the original payment for the gift certificate itself has been reversed. This leaves the store owner without the products they shipped (when the gift certificate was redeemed), and without the money paid for the gift certificate itself. Meanwhile, the scammer has the products and can sell them online for 100% profit.
To minimize gift certificate fraud, you have two options. You can disable gift certificates entirely by going to Marketing in the left navigation and then clicking on Gift Certificates. Or you can make your gift certificates less appealing to scammers by changing the available gift certificate amounts.
By default, your store is set to accept gift certificate values of $1 to $1000 – the purchaser can enter any amount between those two amounts. However, you can change the setting to “Specify a list of allowed gift certificate amounts” and then type in a few set values like $25, $50, $75 and $100. Since fraudsters are looking to get the largest possible return for their efforts, they are less likely to pull this scam for only $100 in free merchandise. Additionally, you’ll have a much smaller loss should scammers target your store.
This post is an excerpt from my new book, 60 Killer BigCommerce Tips & Tricks for Managing Your Store Like a Pro, now available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.com.