Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 23rd, 2006
    Posts
    4
    I am only in it for the money
    Hello,

    Please read the following and tell me your opinion.

    From merchant:
    "A message from one of your merchants: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Dear xxxxxxxxxx:

    I wanted to reach out to because we're getting a number of fraudulent orders referred to us from your links. The IP addresses are all coming
    from the same location. The orders are higher than our average orders and some of them have been $150 or more.

    We're investigating all of the orders and we'll either notify you that they have been cleared or we will be voiding the transactions in SAS.

    Regards,
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxx"


    From me:
    "Dear xxxx,

    Thank you for your message. I actually had a look in my logs and what I made out is that all these sales are from the same person and that's why the IP addresses are all coming from the same location. All these are recurring sales since your affiliate program has a cookie of 90 days. The first sale was made on 01/14/2008. It seems that this person is quite satisfied with the level of the service that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx offers and thus keeps buying again and again I should say. I can't really see any reason for somebody placing fraudulent orders again and again when they are never fulfilled.

    Regards,
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

    From merchant:
    "Hi xxxxxxxxxxx,

    I can think of a reason to place orders that aren't fulfilled - affiliate commission. Every order that you have delivered to us has been from the
    same person and every one of those orders has been highly suspicious. That person is placing what very clearly appears to be fraudulent orders for which you have been paid commission. We have received no response from the customer in question by email and their phone number is disconnected. We are investing the matter right now. During our investigation, we are suspending your affiliate account and notifying ShareASale about the matter.

    If after our investigation it turns out that the orders are legitiment, your account will be reinstated. We take fraud very seriously and will do
    everything in our power to protect our interests and the interests of our legitimate customers.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Thank you,
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

    From me:
    "Dear xxxx,

    I must say that reading your e-mail made me feel frustrated, sad and indignant. It has never even crossed my mind that anyone would even think of suspicting me for fraudulent behaviour as it was made clear to me in the content of your response. Just one question, if you don't mind me asking. An unfufilled order would result to the commission to being voided. Consequently why should someone ever wish to act in such a way? Aren't you in a position to know if you have finally charged the customer's credit card so that the order has been fulfilled? Would you be so kind as let me know what sort of investigation that would be?

    If you consider my enquiries sensible I would be grateful if you came up with an answer.

    Thank you in advance.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

    From merchant:
    "Hi xxxxxxxxxxx,

    We track everything that comes through, but we get hundreds of orders on some days. The problem with this particular issue is that the card appears to be valid, so 2 of the orders were shipped before we caught the rest. If a card is valid, but someone is abusing or using it for fraudulent purposes, the actual card holder may not find out that someone used it fraudulently until they get their statement 30 days later. We question these orders for a number of reasons, including the frequency at which they were placed, the size of the orders, all caps used to place the order, no valid phone number, no responses to emails, etc. etc.

    Again, we're still investigating, but I've been in this business long enough to know what a fraud order looks like and these are almost definitely fraudulent. We'll keep you posted.

    Thank you,
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"


    Notice that this affiliate manager avoids saying that the orders come from the same person. He says that "The IP addresses are all coming from the same location". When I tell him that the orders come from the same person he silently admits but still avoids to say that the orders have been fulfilled. If he told me that the orders had been fulfilled, he wouldn't be able to void the commissions. Finally he admits that only 2 of the orders have been fulfilled (out of a total of 5). Please note also that this manager contacted me only after the 5th order. The 4th was placed on 01/18/2008 and the 5th on 05/02/2008. When I looked in the testimonials in their website I saw that the customers were very happy with their fast shipping, but in this case, 16 days later, this manager claims that the order placed on 01/18/2008 has not yet been shipped on 05/02/2008 and he contacted me only after the last order was placed. If he had suspected a fraud earlier he wouldn't have e-mailed me 16 days later. But it is obvious that he contacted me because one more order was placed by the same person and I received another commission (5th) with a single click. By suspending my account he managed two things: a) If this customers place another order in between, I lose the commission, b) he wants to give the impression that things are really serious. It's like saying: "Hey, shut up, you are suspected for fraud. So wait and be grateful for just having your commissions voided."

    Well, maybe things are really serious, they have to pay another commission.

    The whole thing boils down to this: "Reccuring sales really hurt!"

    Please let me know what you think. I have much more to say you on this matter.

  2. #2
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Argieville
    Posts
    1,381
    on one hand your claiming the reoccurring cookie, but then contradict with a 90 day cookie argument. If your claiming the same person is in your logs, you can simply provide some log dumps to the merchant.

    Maybe you are on the up and up, but that does not mean your visitors are...seems like both you and the am remained polite, but i guarantee you they know their business better than you do (it's their business right?)

    for those in The US etc...the month is the second part of the date with the actual day being first (here in Argentina anyway), so the 4th order to the 5th is really Feb 5th not May 2nd or 3 months into the future as it might look
    Last edited by mrbshouse; February 8th, 2008 at 07:17 PM. Reason: date explination

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 23rd, 2006
    Posts
    4
    Hola mrbshouse, soy de Argentina también. Pero...

    01/18/2008 = January 18, 2008
    05/02/2008 = February, 2008

    This merchant claims that this customer kept placing orders even when they stopped sending him his packets. Even 16 days later. What for? This is rediculous. Claims that he kept placing orders so that I would take the commissions. Which commissions? The ones that would be voided because the orders would never be fulfilled. It's a shame.

  4. #4
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Land of The NFL Champs!
    Posts
    2,942
    Apparently, what is frosting them is that the orders are "possibly" coming in via a stolen number, and the cardholder may soon report the fraud, thus leaving the merchant holding the bag for both the cost of the item, and a commission. I had my card number used for a fraudulent purchase and the merchant ended up eating it when I had the charge taken off my card.

    But this does not mean you are any way responsible. The person committing the fraud, if it was fraud, just happened to set your cookie. I am fairly sure I have had fraudulent sales placed on my sites from time to time. And the sales, along with my commissions were reversed, no questions or accusations made. They have no business accusing you this way if you ask me.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  5. #5
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    The AM mentions the order was placed in all caps and seemed spooked by that.

    When I place orders online I use all caps because the moron at my bank who set up my account typed everything in all caps, so my bloody credit cards info is in all caps.

    It's highly unusual, sure, but not in itself an indicator of a stolen card or fraud.

    Also, there can be a lot of people behind one IP. Through the wonders of NAT firewalling, to the outside world an office of 500 people can all appear to be from the same IP.

    But you have to admit that this is kind of idiotic purchasing behaviour. Making the same purchase over and over, rather than purchasing in quantity? Also, the phone number being disconnected would be a huge red flag for me.

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Thailand/ Cambodia
    Posts
    805
    mmm, it would be nice to see what they were purchasing and then we could understand the reason for many orders.

    Also the merchant tried to contact the owner but can't so bear this in mind, " We have received no response from the customer in question by email and their phone number is disconnected." yet he keeps reordering which is sending up alarms.

    What i like about the above dialog is you are both communicating and keeping it very professional. Good on both of ya.

    I agree that the order might be placed with a stolen card and it just happens they got ur cookie attached. It would seem thou that the mercant could contact the cc company and confirm the adress of the card holder and the address the items are being shipped to.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  7. #7
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Land of The NFL Champs!
    Posts
    2,942
    So what they are proposing is that affiliates join their program for the sole purpose of using stolen credit card numbers to purchase goods and receive the commissions (and goods) themselves. In other words, affiliates use the relationship to break the law and expose themselves to prosecution while supplying law enforcement all the information they need to easily track them down. Sounds pretty unlikely to me!

    Or, perhaps an affiliate splits commissions and sales of stolen goods with a another thief making such purchases. Again, the affiliate risks prosecution once a pattern is set up. Still unlikely since the rewards to the affiliate would be minimal compared to the risk.

    Most likely is that some person unknown to the affiliate just happened to make fraudulent purchases using the affiliate link.

    Fraud schemes and purchases are often run from off-shore locations using all types of tricks to leave no clear identity trail for law enforcement.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  8. #8
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York, USA
    Posts
    6,195
    I would hope that affiliate managers would understand that it's no more the affiliate's fault that unscrupulous people go through our links to commit fraud than it is the merchant's fault they target their program for fraud. I guess the only good news here is that the AM is keeping a watchful eye out. Unfortunately they're suspicious of the wrong people.

    I occasionally have transactions reversed for invalid credit card use. It's not my fault that happens anymore than it is the merchant's. The AM is watching the affiliates but who's watching the affiliate manager, hmmm?

  9. #9
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    Papia, how long have you been with SAS? Do you have an established history of bringing merchants good orders?

    If not, then you can hardly blame the AM for being spooked by the fact that all orders from you are coming from a single source with a disconnected phone number. Of course, it still doesn't mean you're at fault, and yes it's unfair, but I understand where the AM is coming from.

    If you do have a history then I would think the AM can check your stats and let your record speak for itself. And yeah, as Rhea says, it's not your fault.

    As for it not making sense why an affiliate would do something like this - you're absolutely right, but, well, criminals don't tend to be very smart do they?

  10. #10
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    Ok, well, if you joined ABW in 2006 then I suppose you're probably not a newcomer to SAS.

    I may not be smart but, I swear, I'm not a criminal!

  11. #11
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 23rd, 2006
    Posts
    4
    Concerning to what he tells me, he cannot prove it. He just tells it to me. Can he prove that the phone number of the customer is disconnected? No. If I tell him to hand me over the details of the customer, he won't do that. Can he prove that despite the fact that they emailed the customer, they didn't get a response? No. But, on the other hand, what I am telling is automatically proved because it is either a fact or an argument.

    He also tells that all orders from me are coming from a single source which is not true. I can see two more orders on 04/16/2007 and 04/21/2007.

    I am with SaS for more than two years and never had a complain from a merchant before. But, now, this affiliate manager claims that I, who live in Greece, and have nothing to do with the U.S. like the merchant and probably the customer in question, too, commited a fraud (a so complex one) for $81.64 in commissions. This is ridiculous, rude and a shame at the same time.

    Because of me not being able to believe that somebody can be so rude and unfair, what I make out from all this, is that he is just trying to find a good reason to void the commissions.
    Last edited by papia; February 9th, 2008 at 01:22 PM. Reason: adding more details

  12. #12
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    Yeah, we do put a lot of blind trust in the merchants and AM's. It is so easy to simply void a transaction and claim it was a fraudulent card and I'm not sure if or how the networks can prove otherwise.

    I figure the only way they can do it is to figure out that a merchant is, statistically speaking, voiding a lot of transactions in comparison with other merchants in the same business. So as long as they only void enough to stay under the radar they're safe. Maybe others can correct me if I'm wrong.

    What are the merchant's stats? What's their reversal rate?

    Are they in the web hosting business?

  13. #13
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 23rd, 2006
    Posts
    4
    Well, Mr_C, what crosses my mind each time that a merchant voids a commission of mine is the same. But I cannot prove nothing so I play the fool. In that case, it was so obvious to me that he was just trying to void the commissions that I had to respond. I explained some of the reasons above. When he realised that I wouldn't believe him, he suspended my affiliate account in order to give another impression. If he really believed that I am a fraud he would have suspened my account before my polite response.

    It is so simple. Apart from being an affiliate, I am an online shopper too. I've placed hundreds of online orders and have never cancelled any of them. Have you ever cancelled any order that you have placed? Have you ever placed a fraudulent order? Do you know anybody that has ever done that? I guess no, but the merchants still keep voiding our commissions. Voiding a commission should be a very rare phenomenon, but it isn't. It seems that all criminals use our links to place their fraudulent orders. What a coincidence!

    I am very frustrated. Not because of the money but because of he having the guts to act in this way. They have quite a new affiliate program to have reversal statistics.

  14. #14
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    I've canceled online orders before and I know people who have done the same. The slightest little thing that pisses me off and I'll be canceling that order, sometimes even before it gets sent.

    The most recent time I did it was because the price I was quoted at the checkout was not the same as what I received on the invoice. The merchant had added taxes afterwards because they claim they had no way of knowing what the shipping costs would be. That's nonsense.

    And it turned out that at the checkout, in tiny print at the bottom, it does say up front they'll be adding applicable taxes afterwards. Well, that just made me angrier. How dare they try to hide it from me in tiny print.

    Web shoppers are very fickle. If you don't do absolutely everything right during the checkout process then you may as well have lost the sale and can expect plenty of reversals.

  15. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. E-Gold Indicted for Money Laundering and Illegal Money Transmitting
    By Trust in forum Credit Card processing and other payments
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: June 11th, 2007, 12:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •