About Suspicious Payments

3 min read
If a payment appears as Suspicious in your Wix Payments account, there is a very high probability that the order has been made without the cardholder’s knowledge or permission. 

If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of a payment, consider refunding the payment and holding off on fulfilling the order. This may help you to prevent a potential loss.

Investigating a suspicious payment

Carefully analyze orders that seem suspicious to help you avoid a chargeback. Chargeback fraud is a risk for all businesses that accept card payments. A cautious merchant will:
  • Verify high-value orders: If you receive an order with an unusually high-value, it's worth taking the time to verify the customer's identity. We recommend setting up a face-to-face call, if possible. Large repeated orders on such items also pose a high risk.
  • Verify the customer's contact details: It may be a good idea to call the customer's contact number, or google their email address to check for anything unusual. 
  • Check the billing address against the shipping address: If they match, the chance of fraud is reduced. If they don't match, you may want to ask your customer why that is?
  • Watch for card processing behaviors: Be wary of multiple declined payments, or multiple attempts from different cards. It is unlikely that one customer will have 6 or more cards. Likewise, beware of cases where customers ask to split the payment into 2 or more partial payments, spread over different cards.
  • Analyze unusual shipping behavior: Notice if shipping is overpriced in comparison to the value of goods; if your customer insists on a rush-shipping option without sign-on delivery; or shipping to forwarding companies that provide reshipping to other countries.
  • Avoid 3rd party payment requests: Avoid requests to pay for special “vendor” services that you do not offer (such as door-to-door delivery, custom shipping, catering or event planning). These may be Western Union, Zelle, Cash App or similar money transfer requests. Any 3rd party requests may be indicative of a scam. Be aware that such payments are final. Likewise, we don’t recommend issuing refund requests via these payment methods. Instead, use the original payment method provided by your customer.

Refunding a suspicious payment

If a cardholder doesn't recognize the payment, they are likely to file a chargeback. In these scenarios, cardholders are likely to win any chargeback dispute. This means you will lose the value of the order, as well as incurring possible penalties against your Wix Payments account. Penalties may include an increase in your chargeback ratio, or possibly even the closure of your account.
If you haven't yet fulfilled the order, refunding the purchase allows you to retain the value of the goods or services (minus the transaction processing fees), and limits your financial loss.
If you've already fulfilled the order, it's true that, in issuing a refund, you'll lose the value of the purchase. However, your losses will be cut there.
A chargeback, on the other hand, will mean the loss of the purchase value, as well as increasing your chargeback ratio. This could put your business at risk, as your Wix Payments account may be closed due to a high chargeback ratio.

Canceling fulfillment of the order

If you doubt the legitimacy of a payment, consider holding off on fulfilling the order. If the order is for a product, event or service, follow the relevant advice on how to cancel fulfillment:
  • Shipping: If the order is for a product that has yet to ship, consider canceling shipment. If you've already shipped the order, it may still be possible to intercept the order. Some delivery services, such as USPSUPS and FedEx allow you to redirect your already shipped order. 
  • Wix Events: If you have provided a ticket for an event, you can cancel the ticket(s) before the event is held.  
  • Wix Bookings: If the order is connected to a service provided with Wix Bookings, you can cancel the session

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