Getting a sale on Woocommerce is the best dopamine rush you can feel, especially if you’re a small business owner. The emotions you feel from your first order are unforgettable. 

Immediately, your mind shifts to how you can get even more orders, and you want to provide the best possible experience to your customers. 

However, since it's an online store, you don’t interact with every customer. This increased anonymity also enhances the chances of receiving fake orders, one of the most common problems WooCommerce owners face.

Fake orders can greatly impact your WooCommerce store. So, what’s the solution? This is where my blog will come in handy. 

I will discuss the best tips for avoiding scams and fake orders on your WooCommerce online shop. Make sure to read this article to the end for more information. 

Is WooCommerce Safe? What about fake orders?

Fake orders are situations where users place fake product orders. Their primary intention is to prank the company, not to purchase the products.

These fraudulent activities put tremendous pressure on store owners. While the causes are still unknown, these are primarily due to defaming the store owner or damaging the business. 

People placing fake orders often choose COD or cash on delivery as their payment method. This is because they don’t want to purchase the products, and what’s better than causing headaches than COD?

When the product reaches their doorstep, they neither pay for it nor accept it. This activity differs from order cancellation, as the user wants to damage your business. 

Fake orders can cause significant losses to your business, especially if you’re just starting out. Since the product has already been shipped and is out for delivery, you must pay the delivery agents. 

There are scammers, hackers, and people who want to harm in general. Research showed that remote physical goods accounted for 47% of fraud losses in 2021

Best WooCommerce security tips to avoid scams

So, you might be wondering if WooCommerce is safe. Fortunately, there are a couple of proven ways to identify fraudulent customers and prevent them from placing fake orders. 

That sounds good, right? Here are 13 tips to avoid scams on your WooCommerce store. 

1. Be wary of unknown customers with large orders

After about a month of operation, you’ll get a rough idea of how much an average shopper spends on your WooCommerce website. And if someone orders in bulk, there’s a high chance they will reach out to you for a discount and better customer service.

But you should be wary if a first-time user lands on your site. If an unknown customer places a large order and doesn’t pay in advance, it should be a red flag. 

However, don’t be quick to judge. Try contacting them and asking for an advance while being transparent about why you’re taking an advance for them. If they don’t pay any advance amount or promise to pay it later, make sure you cancel the order. 

Remember that the shipping costs will undoubtedly take a toll on you. Make sure you’re not on the receiving end for chargebacks and shipping costs from a fake order.

2. Check customer information for conflicts

Check, double-check, and triple-check your customers. Ensure the order of the email coincides with the person's original name. You also need to ensure that there aren’t artificial elements like random numbers in the email. 

Scammers love using temporary emails to complete fake orders. They will use different types of email generator tools to scam you. But let me give you a hidden insight. 

These fake email generator tools cannot create original email addresses containing names. If you’re seeking suspicious emails without a reputed platform like Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook, it’s most likely a scam. 

While you’re on the task, check the shipping and billing addresses. They should match. But sometimes, people purchasing something as a gift consider giving two different addresses. 

However, if the shipping address is international, it can pose a problem. This is true, especially if there are other suspicious signs.

3. Look out for multiple declined transactions

It’s normal to have declined transactions once in a while. It’s easy to make a mistake when adding credit card numbers, and sometimes, customers even enter the wrong OTP. 

But if a user has multiple declined transactions in a few minutes, it’s a sign of a scam. They may have tried this fraud activity before. 

That’s textbook behaviour, and you need to blocklist them from your store immediately. But remember that blocking them may not totally eliminate them. 

This is why you need to use different WooCommerce tools and systems. They can help you prevent scammers from placing fake orders in your store. Use your SEO strategy perfectly to boost your WooCommerce store.

4. Use a CAPTCHA

Scammers have become more advanced in bypassing WooCommerce security systems. Nowadays, they don’t manually order products from a store but use bots to register multiple accounts. 

Hackers can do that, too, especially on new websites and stores. They use bots to create and place bulk product orders. They see you as prey and want to get as much information as possible and do as much harm as possible.

This is where CAPTCHA techniques will come in handy. A CAPTCHA prevents bots from using the site and ensures an actual human sits in front of the device and presses the buttons.

In short, no bot can bypass the CAPTCHA system. Implementing this system will ensure the person ordering products is genuine, not a scammer. 

5. Use a VPN to deal with specific IP addresses

Online fraud and phony orders are becoming more frequent. You must take action to defend your company from these dangers. Restricting access to your store from particular IP addresses and nations is one approach to do this.

A virtual private network (VPN) hides your IP, protects your data, and secures online transactions. It’s a must for every online business owner. Without a VPN, you’ve got a target on your back. 

Cybercriminals will do anything to breach your devices, trick you into installing malware, or make your life harder with DDoS attacks. 

Get the best VPN for multiple devices and stay protected no matter where you check the orders. Multiple devices can use a single plan, which protects your bank accounts and wallets.

6. Confirm orders before shipping

In the age of texting, a phone call is an event. As a business owner, use this to your advantage and call the people who placed an order on your website to confirm before you ship it. 

However, you don’t need to call everyone who places orders on your website. You're encouraged to call them if they place a large order. 

Legitimate customers will appreciate the time you give them, and they’ll be happy to verify. But make sure you don’t sound defensive. If they ask you, don’t forget to maintain transparency. 

The scammers won’t pick up the phone. They either use a burner phone or order from a phone number that doesn’t exist.

7. Install a fraud prevention plugin

Plugins exist to make your life easier and automate tasks you don’t want to do manually. Installing a fraud prevention or security plugin on Woocommerce is the easiest way to prevent scammy and fake orders. 

The plugin's numerous options allow you to restrict access to phony orders and fraudulent consumers. Its numerous settings also help you effectively identify and prevent fraudulent orders on your ECommerce site. Additionally, this plugin calculates every user's fraud score and determines their risk threshold.

Many guides show you how to do it step by step, and it’s up to you to set a minimum and high-risk score for users. Based on your experience, you can set scores for specific locations, matching or suspicious IPs, and even emails. If your store works with PayPal, you can ask users to confirm their email before ordering.

8. Be careful with ‘Cash on Delivery’ payments

This is one of the most important tips for avoiding scams on your WooCommerce store. The ‘Cash on Delivery’ option is like a two-edged sword.

You can use it to target more people who want to pay when they receive the order. However, it can backfire if the receiver plans to scam you. You’re paying for shipping and returns on every package, so it’s recommended not to use the ‘Cash on Delivery’ option where possible. 

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate the COD option entirely from your store. Doing so will make your store look fishy. 

Encourage people to order from their debit or credit cards. Offer discounts to those who complete transactions using their cards.

9. Add passwords to your store

Consider adding a password for users to access product pages. Or, if you want to explore security plugins more deeply, allow product access only to specific user roles. This is one of the most important ECommerce design tips you need to know.

But how can you add a password to your store? Simple – just ask your users to create an account before purchasing an order. 

Users must provide their phone numbers, email addresses, and CAPTCHA when creating an account. This way, you can ensure that only registered users are placing orders. 

Registered users, previous shoppers, and subscribers could get exclusive access to your store. This would secure the Woocommerce store, help you better track your customers, and make more personalized offers.

10. Do a vulnerability test

Regular vulnerability scans will tell you whether cybercriminals can exploit and target your site. A few popular examples are Qualys, UpGuard, and Intruder, which show your store's weaknesses. 

If you don’t do this regularly, cybercriminals could hack into real customers’ accounts and make purchases. This will lead to a bad reputation and financial disputes. It’s up to you to make sure this never happens.

Don’t forget to conduct thorough security checks, too. Hackers sometimes use security vulnerabilities as loopholes to damage your WooCommerce store. 

11. Enable multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) should be a standard security feature on every website. After a user puts in their username and password, they must authenticate with another protective layer of security. This is why you need to build a solid website.

This includes a fingerprint, face scan, SMS, one-time code, or a security question. Unlike a primary login, this makes it harder for cybercriminals to exploit weaknesses and for bots to make fraudulent orders.

12. Never save credit card details

People want one-click payouts because they make their lives easier. However, this imposes a massive responsibility on you. 

If your website is breached, a hacker can access all your customers' personal details, which can cause massive trouble. However, if you don’t save sensitive user data by default, you won’t have any problems.

13. Implement a Web Application Firewall

Web Application Firewalls are another excellent way to defend against modern hackers. This will help you filter suspicious requests properly. 

As a WooCommerce business owner, you need to implement robust security solutions. A combination of cloud-based and host-based WAFs will prove highly beneficial. 

While host-based WAFs can prove more expensive, you can use cloud-based WADs to deploy custom rules. You can also block traffic based on the source of the IP address. 

Ready to safeguard your WooCommerce store?

Fraudulent activities, including fake orders, are widespread in the WooCommerce platform. Hackers can significantly impact your store's cash flow. 

Not to mention, they can also gain access to your business’s sensitive information. At the end of the day, you need to ensure your WooCommerce store is protected from such malicious users.

So, is WooCommerce safe? With the right strategies and tools, you can boost the security protocols of your store. Thus, you can secure your WooCommerce store and grow your Ecommerce business.

I hope you found this blog informative. What are your thoughts on these strategies? Make sure you let me know in the comments below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, WooCommerce is undoubtedly one of the most trusted platforms on which to run your e-commerce or online store. However, you can also explore other options.

WooCommerce fully complies with PCI DSS, which has strict standards ensuring the security of payment card data.

While WooCommerce itself doesn't levy fees, payment processors handling card transactions will typically charge a fee. Yet, there's no initial cost to using either. I suggest researching to identify the most suitable payment gateways for your business model and customer preferences.

WooCommerce offers a simple ecommerce solution, requiring the manual addition of extensions for enhanced functionality. In contrast, Shopify provides a robust platform with built-in features like multichannel selling, abandoned cart recovery, digital sales, discount creation, and dropshipping, empowering you to expand your online business seamlessly.

WooCommerce, the open-source ecommerce platform for WordPress, drives success for over four million online stores.