Pattern of fraud - cancelling orders

New Member
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We sell custom-built bicycles at After an order comes in, we send a bike frame to the powder coater and order expensive components. We typically do this the same day the order comes in.

Recently we've had two orders that the customer wanted to cancel about two days after order. The email that was sent in each case was exactly the same:

Hello, can you please help me? I was trying to reach you by phone but noone answers...please kindly cancel my order (number #xxxx), I will not be able to receive the package due to the urgent trip

Both orders were paid via Paypal and showed up in Shopify as Low-Risk for fraud.

With the first one, they filed a Paypal dispute and we refunded the payment. We had already incurred costs, so this was not ideal.

The second order was placed two days ago and they emailed the exact same text as above this evening. Note the orders were placed from different people in different locations from different IP addresses.

I can refund their money again, and lose money on components I already ordered and powder coat that already happened. But this is getting ridiculous, and I may just have to turn off Paypal payments.

Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated!




Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
574 20 182

Hey Curtis,

Aria here, I'm on the Social Care team at Shopify. 

That does sound incredibly frustrating, especially with the high cost of selling your specialized product. 

I would carefully check those orders to see if there are any similarities at all. You mentioned the people, locations and IP's were different. How far apart are the locations? Is the payment type the same?

Turning off Paypal won't necessarily solve the problem. It will mean nobody can raise a dispute with Paypal but they can still pay with a credit card and issue a chargeback against you. Fraud and chargebacks are an unfortunate downside of selling online. The best thing you can do is educate yourself on the subject and take steps to protect your business. 

I would install the free Fraud Filter app to block these customers from placing future orders. It adds an extra layer of protection on top of Shopify's inbuilt fraud filter.  I'd also consider Signifyd which can provide insurance against chargebacks. Check out our guide to Fraud Prevention as well. 

I'm sorry you've had this experience. There is a good side to it happening in this way though: you didn't finish building the bikes and hadn't shipped them. Now that you've been alerted to the danger of fraudulent transactions, you can take the necessary steps which could prevent an even bigger loss down the line. 

We are always here for support if you have more questions about this or anything else. 

Social Care Guru

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify
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