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Fraudulent Orders

Unfortunately when you sell online, there is a risk of receiving fraudulent orders. Fraudulent orders are unusual on Folksy and we work hard to protect our sellers, but there have been a handful of instances recently of orders placed on stolen cards. In this article we're going to outline what happened, what we're doing about it, how to protect yourself against fraudulent orders and what to look out for, and what to do if it happens to you. 

Fraudulent orders on Folksy

Sadly, there have been a few instances recently (we're currently aware of 9 cases - as of 22 Oct 2020) where orders have been placed on Folksy using stolen US credit or bank cards. The orders have been placed before the cards have been reported stolen, and the orders placed are usually for small amounts to test whether or not the card works. The orders are not detected as fraudulent because the thief has the card security code (also called CSC or CVV code)

Once the card is reported stolen, the payment provider (eg Stripe) immediately notifies the seller that a transaction may be fraudulent. In some cases, this can be a few days after the order has been placed (dependent on how long it takes the cardholder to report it as stolen or contact their card issuer to dispute a payment). However, the seller may already have sent the order. 

Once the cardholder discovers the fraudulent use of their card, the payment is disputed with the card issuer. When the dispute is found in favour of the cardholder, the seller then loses the amount of the payment, the cost of any products already sent, as well as an additional dispute fee of £15 on orders if placed through Stripe.

What we're doing at Folksy to prevent fraudulent orders

We currently offer payments through both Paypal and Stripe. Both offer advanced inbuilt fraud prevention toolsets, and every transaction is encrypted and monitored, and any potentially fraudulent payments will usually be blocked.

In the recent cases the fraudulent orders have been using stolen US cards and the transactions have been processed by Stripe. As soon as we were made aware of the issues, we contacted Stripe to understand more about how the orders were placed and if there are extra security steps we can implement to prevent similar fraudulent orders in the future. 

As it stands we are looking into moving our integration to one that shifts liability away from our sellers. We are unhappy with our sellers not only losing their products but also having to pay a £15 dispute fee. While we work on this, we will be reimbursing any sellers who have to pay the £15 dispute fee to StripePlease contact our support team at if you have incurred a dispute charge due to this fraud. 

The solution we move to will more than likely mean Stripe will only be offered as a payment option for single-seller baskets - meaning that if a customer orders items from more than seller on Folksy they will only be given the option of paying through Paypal. 

We are also looking at increasing the security on all orders by asking customers for their billing address or postcode as well as their shipping address. 

What to look out for

Fraudulent orders are very rare on Folksy, but here are some things Folksy sellers can look out for:

1. A suspicious or unusual email address. 
Look out for email addresses that seem strange, like “”, undeliverable emails and emails that do not match the name given on the shipping details. Legitimate customers are more likely to use email addresses that contain their name. In the recent fraudulent orders, the shipping address is a legitimate UK address, but the customer’s username and email address are nonsensical and don’t match up to the shipping details. Fraudulent orders are also most likely to be placed using free or anonymous email addresses (such as Gmail or Yahoo).

A recent example on Folksy is:

Username: sharigoehring
Email address:
Shipping address: Bethany Smith, XXX Limited, Unit 6 Metcalfe Drive, Altham, Accrington, Lancashire BB5 5TU

2. The username connected with the order seems suspicious
Fraudulent orders are often placed with usernames that don't make any sense. Genuine usernames are more likely to be someone's name, an abbreviation of a real first name and surname, or words that make sense as a business name. This is not to say that a username like "jcruz1228112" is not genuine, but to be more wary and check the other details of the order before posting it.

3. The shipping address is suspicious or vastly different from the billing address or the card’s country of origin 
Before posting any order, check where it’s being shipped and be cautious if the address is going to a PO box or a shipping company, or if it is a long way from the billing address, eg it's a US bank card but the order is being shipped to the UK.

4. You suddenly get an unusually high number of orders from overseas - or at a strange time of day. 
For example, you get 10 orders from customers in the US on the same day, but you haven't done any particular promotions or been featured anywhere and you don't normally get a lot of international orders. The same applies to an unusually high number of orders (either from without the UK or from overseas) at an unlikely time of day, eg six orders all at 3am.

Other things to look out for:

  • Several orders from different customers have the same shipping address. 
  • The customer asks to change shipping address after paying. 
  • Lots of orders from one customer around the same time. 

Find more advice on how to prevent fraudulent orders here:

What to do if you suspect you a fraudulent order has been placed

1. Email the customer to verify the order
If you think an order may be suspicious, contact the customer using the email address given on their order to confirm their details before posting their order. If the email address doesn't work, it may indicate a fraudulent payment. Stripe advises that if you receive "a nonsensical or evasive answer" to your email, that is also "a good indication of potentially fraudulent behaviour". 

2. Refund any payments you suspect are fraudulent as soon as possible.
If you suspect an order is fraudulent, refund the payment as quickly as you can. On Stripe, you can do this in the Dashboard, by selecting the payment and clicking "Refund as fraud". Refunding the payment immediately means it cannot then be disputed and you will not be charged a dispute fee. 

3. Contact our support team to let us know
Email our support team at if you suspect an order is fraudulent.


If a customer who has placed an order through PayPal reports the payment as fraudulent, you may be covered by PayPal Seller Protection. Find out what is covered here -
There is more information about Paypal Seller Protection here -

If you have already posted the order, you may be covered by your insurance, so check your policy. 

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