Why You Need to Understand the Problem of Friendly Fraud


Friendly fraud (chargeback fraud) may seem innocent. After all, customers wrongly dispute a charge. Friendly fraud may be costly for organizations, especially online ones. Your business’s health depends on understanding and preventing friendly fraud.

Financial Losses

Your firm can lose a lot to friendly fraud. Customers that challenge charges are usually refunded and charged a fee by credit card companies. Chargeback fees might climb to $25–100. Also, you lose the initial sale money. Friendly fraud can be worse if it happens again. High chargeback rates might also alert credit card processors, who may increase processing fees or terminate your merchant account.

Damaged Reputation

Friendly fraud can ruin your finances and reputation. Customers can be frustrated while disputing charges. They may post nasty reviews or propagate bad word-of-mouth about your business, deterring clients. Businesses must build customer trust. If clients think your business commits fraud, they may not buy from you.

Difficulty Finding Real Fraud

Friendly fraud can make true fraud hard to spot. It can be hard to tell if a consumer disputes a charge because it was a mistake or an attempt to gain a freebie. This can waste resources researching false positives while fraud cases go unreported. A client may argue they never received a legal purchase. You may spend time and money investigating just to find it was friendly fraud. This distracts from urgent fraud attempts.

Understanding Client Behaviour

Learning the causes of friendly fraud can help you prevent it. Some common causes:

  • Customers may not grasp subscription costs or recurring expenses. Communication and pricing transparency can prevent these issues.
  • Friendly fraud occurs when family or friends use a customer’s card without their knowledge. Strong authentication can prevent illegal use.
  • Impulse purchases with buyer’s remorse: Customers may dispute the charge instead of returning an item.

Addressing these issues can improve customer satisfaction and prevent friendly fraud.

Combating Friendly Fraud

These methods can reduce friendly fraud:

  • Your website and checkout should clearly state your return, cancellation, and refund policies.
  • Use CVV codes or 3D Secure to verify card ownership.
  • Provide several customer service channels so customers may readily ask inquiries about their purchases.
  • Inform clients about their orders with real-time tracking.
  • Monitor transactions for questionable activity with fraud detection technologies.

Following these ideas, you may develop a system that reduces friendly fraud and gives honest clients a satisfying experience.


Friendly fraud causes financial losses, reputational damage, and operational issues, but firms should take proactive actions to address it. Clear communication, strong verification, effective customer service, and fraud detection techniques can considerably reduce friendly fraud. Remember, a customer-centric, transparent, and straightforward communication approach helps prevent misunderstandings and build trust. Understanding and reducing friendly fraud can help your business succeed in the ever-changing world of online commerce by giving real clients a safe and happy experience.

Mayra Smithey

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