Security and Trust Bulletins

Current Issues

October 16, 2006

We have recently received reports of buyers placing orders with legitimate order details except for invalid cities. Some of the cities used include:

Jatim
Lagos
Jember
Jtm
Jawatimur
Jawa
Jawatim
Timur
Jawaeast

For most of these orders, the countries listed are Australia or Hong Kong. Please make sure to review the full address information on any order, and contact the buyer if you have any concerns about the information provided. Postal system Web sites are often useful for verifying addresses as well.

October 12, 2006

AbeBooks provides fraud protection when an order is placed using Visa and MasterCard. If a buyer contacts you with new payment or shipping details after an order has been placed, please review these as you would for a seller direct order. If the books are shipped to a different address than what we passed to you from the checkout, we can no longer cover any chargebacks that may occur as our screening is based on the information provided in the checkout.

Review the tips on the main page for indicators of fraud, and make sure to follow up with the buyer if the details seem suspicious. If you aren’t sure, reject the order and ask the buyer to place the order again through the AbeBooks checkout, making sure to input the correct shipping and payment information this time.

May 1, 2006

AbeBooks has recently seen a trend of suspicious orders from a buyer that associates their account with charities. The characteristics of these orders include:

- The buyer usually places orders for lower-priced paperback books.
- The buyer's payment methods of choice are check and money order.
- The buyer associates their account with the name of a charity.
- The shipping addresses used often include "27th Ave, Brooklyn, NY."

This buyer opens new accounts and places new orders on AbeBooks, changing the name associated with the account every time. We’ve included a list of some of the last names used recently; if you receive an order with one of these names or one similar, in combination with the characteristics noted above, please review the order carefully before processing.

- Dewung
- Melrandra
- Melander
- Melwandler
- Meadlender
- Meadlaner
- Mejarnder
- Donning
- Nermandler
- Merklender

Bookseller Best Practices

We encourage you to review all of your orders carefully before shipping. Make sure to follow these guidelines for any suspicious order:

- Contact the buyer directly to fill in any missing details.
- Wait until the payment has cleared before you ship the book.
- Report suspicious orders to Customer Support. Make sure to include the details of why you are suspicious, and what steps you've taken to investigate the order.

March 23, 2006

We’ve recently received several reports from booksellers of the following attempted fraud.

A buyer e-mails a bookseller outside of the AbeBooks system requesting information about some of their books as they plan to purchase thousands of dollars worth of inventory. The buyer or the bookseller mentions that they’ve heard of such scams, and the buyer reassures the bookseller that this isn’t one of those cases. Usually, the buyer offers to send a money order to pay for the books. If the bookseller does ship the books, the money order turns out to be forged.

Best practices:

  • Ask the buyer to make their purchase through the AbeBooks shopping basket. Often, suggesting a different payment method deters the buyer and the communication ends. If the buyer is valid, they should be open to your suggested payment methods.
  • If you do receive a money order, take it to your local bank and ask for verification. Forged money orders can look very real.
  • Try doing a reverse look-up of the phone number, an address search, or other ways of verifying the buyer’s identity.

AbeBooks monitors all orders for fraudulent and suspicious activity, so these best practices are especially recommended for orders you receive outside of AbeBooks.

January 13, 2006

AbeBooks has recently seen a trend of suspicious orders from a buyer that associates their account with charities. The characteristics of these orders include:

- The buyer usually places orders for lower-priced paperback books.
- The buyer's payment methods of choice are check and money order.
- The buyer associates their account with the name of a charity.
- The shipping addresses used often include "27th Ave, Brooklyn, NY."

February 17, 2006 Update:

This buyer continues to open new accounts and place new orders on AbeBooks, changing the name associated with the account every time. We’ve included a list of some of the last names used recently; if you receive an order with one of these names or one similar, in combination with the characteristics noted above, please review the order carefully before processing.

- Dewung
- Melrandra
- Melander
- Melwandler
- Meadlender
- Meadlaner
- Mejarnder
- Donning
- Nermandler
- Merklender

We encourage you to review all of your orders carefully before shipping. Make sure to follow these guidelines for any suspicious order:

- Contact the buyer directly to fill in any missing details.
- Wait until the payment has cleared before you ship the book.
- Report suspicious orders to Customer Support. Make sure to include the details of why you are suspicious, and what steps you've taken to investigate the order.

July 18, 2005

AbeBooks has recently seen the following characteristics in suspicious orders:

- Large orders for books on orchids.
- Large orders for new titles and bestsellers (Hot Ticket Items).
- Orders from Australia with an Indonesian street and city in the shipping address.

Please be sure to review all of your orders before processing or shipping them using the tips on this page.

Click here for a list of Hot Ticket Items.

AbeBooks Best Practice Tip: Contact buyers by phone. This not only confirms the validity of the buyer and the phone number, but also provides good customer service.

 

June 17, 2005

We have received reports that third parties pretending to be AbeBooks have recently distributed fake or "spoof" e-mails to some of our customers. The headers in these “spoof” or “phishing” e-mails have been altered so that it appears as though the e-mail is from AbeBooks. Read more about the characteristics of these e-mails as well as what to do if you receive one.

 

May 16, 2005

AbeBooks has recently seen suspicious orders for expensive items. These recent orders share some of the following characteristics:

- UK shipping address

- Buyer name in the following format: FirstnameLastname

- Email addresses that either appear to be variations on Chinese words, random strings of letters, or nonsense

- Items ordered greater than $500 in value

- When contacting client by phone or email to confirm order, the email may bounce and the phone number may either be invalid or belong to someone other than who is indicated in the order details

- Orders placed on the AbeBooks.co.uk site

- Payment methods selected are one of the following: check, money order, bank draft, or cash

Please exercise caution when processing orders with these characteristics and refer to the tips outlined on this page.

 

October 2004

Trends
AbeBooks has recently seen orders from fraudulent clients where a portion of the name has been included as part of the shipping address. Please review the buyer’s shipping address and name carefully to identify such patterns.

AbeBooks has also recently seen fraudulent clients who have placed orders for a large number of items that are being featured on our homepage or have been publicized in popular books clubs.

Another recent trend identified involves fraudulent clients from Indonesia placing orders with US shipping addresses and names. The clients then email the bookseller directly and provide a second Indonesian shipping address. When questioned about this discrepancy, the fraudulent clients indicate that they are going to school abroad. The best way to verify this type of order is to contact the buyer directly via email.

E-mail scam: Please be aware of buyers claiming to be book dealers, ordering large amounts of items, asking to overpay with a cashiers check and then requesting that the bookseller forward the extra funds to a third party. In this latest scam, the cashier’s check is usually counterfeit. Please use extra caution when processing all orders using the fraud recognition and prevention tips outlined on this page.

 

Sept. 13, 2004

AbeBooks has recently received reports of a potentially fraudulent buyer placing large orders for libraries and other institutions using an invoice as the payment method. As we cannot divulge the details of our investigation, please verify buyers' contact information, payment details and shipping addresses for all orders using the fraud recognition and prevention tips outlined on this page.

April 26, 2004

AbeBooks has recently received inquiries from booksellers with this question. To learn more about this security feature available to our booksellers and buyers, please read "CVC (credit verification code) - Another Security Feature"

April 19, 2004

Hot Ticket Items
Did you know that books are as popular with internet criminals as electronics and jewellery now? Books are easy to ship and are quick and easy to resell. Such books include bibles, medical textbooks, dictionaries, computer books, and bestsellers like Harry Potter books.

What does this mean for booksellers? Ensure that you review orders for large volumes of these types of items carefully and use the fraud recognition and prevention tips provided on this Security Page.

April 8, 2004
AbeBooks has recently been notified by some of our booksellers that potentially fraudulent clients from Nigeria are attempting to place orders with booksellers directly. Review "Orders Outside the AbeBooks System" for more information.

April 5, 2004
It has come to our attention that third parties pretending to be AbeBooks have recently distributed fake or "Spoof" e-mails to some of our customers. The headers in these spoof e-mails have been altered so that it appears the e-mail is from AbeBooks. Spoof e-mails are used to commit identity theft and spread viruses.

To learn more about how to identify and protect yourself from these e-mails, please read the spoof e-mails section of the current issues page.

February 2, 2004
Please be aware that potentially fraudulent orders may be placed with the shipping address incorrectly stated as "Lagos" accompanied with other European countries.

In addition to being aware of orders being placed for "Lagos, [Country Name]" please double check orders placed for Tunisia. Verification tips are outlined in the "Check shipping address" section of our Security Tips Page.

Please also see the "Fraud Tips" section for websites that can help you verify the geographic location of a buyer or to determine if their email address is valid. While AbeBooks uses a method to screen orders from "suspicious" buyers where AbeBooks processes the credit cards, we cannot catch all instances of fraudulent orders where the bookseller processes their own credit cards. If you process your own credit cards, please be cautious and use the verification methods available on this page and those offered by your credit card service provider

October 20, 2003
AbeBooks is seeing orders with the shipping address incorrectly stated as Lagos Sweden, Lagos Belgium or other European countries. Please treat any orders that use the city of Lagos with caution and use the verification methods outlined in the tips section of our Security and Trust page.