Shopping The Fraudsters

How the turned to technology to help keep its business and customers safe from fraud…Laptopshop. is one of the UK’s most established online retailers. Started in 1998 by its two founders, quickly grew to a 20-employee strong retailer that boasts over 450,000 unique visitors a month to its online e-commerce site. Like many online retailers, Laptopshop.

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order now was all too aware of the need to deliver a great online customer experience whilst being able to be confident in their defence against the online fraudster. With recent reports indicating that identity theft has risen by 34 per cent[1] and with Chip and PIN reportedly driving fraud online, both retailers and consumers are more conscious of the potential dangers than ever before. Shopping the FraudstersBigger retail operations tend to have larger wage budgets that they can use to employ someone who specialises in fraud management, automatically putting the smaller retailer at a disadvantage. Smaller retailers also perceive the economies of scale that larger operations achieve to be a barrier to smaller companies implementing a real-time identity check solution.

What soon realised was that it required a cost-effective way of verifying not just customer delivery details, but also that the customer was actually who they said they were. It decided to work with Business Services, the leading identity verification specialist.

Peter Gore, marketing manager at takes up the story: “We decided to subscribe to Business Services’ entry level ID verification solution because it offered a cost-effective and flexible solution. We bought credit bundles that allowed us to manage our budget, as well as keep our customers safe online.

” An answer to the curse of the online retailerThe solution called 192 Prove-ID enables to cross reference customers’ name and address details against sources such as the Electoral Roll and BT Directory Enquires. The solution also checks dates of birth using Callcredit’s shared databases from the UK’s banks and building societies. By checking against these multiple data sets, the retailer is quickly able to challenge the fraudster to provide more data than they are likely to have at hand. Of course the real honest customer is able to provide a name, address and date of birth quickly and easily.

“Now Business Services is an integral part of our system. By proactively using the name and address checks from the outset, our business hasn’t succumbed to fraud. This not only has a direct effect on keeping costs low, but also keeps customer satisfaction high – ensuring customer loyalty and future transactions,” continued Gore. 192 Prove-ID has also helped Gore and his team battle what they term ‘pub flog’ – the sale of high price goods at suspiciously low prices. Under the scam, fraudsters target online retailers to make high value purchases using stolen identities before selling these items on quickly at a lower price.

Delivering a great customer experienceAs well as verifying name and address details, uses the solution to trace people who aren’t necessarily trying to dupe the system, but have simply moved on, or changed address. Students, for example, are notoriously difficult to track. Many remain registered at their parents’ address while away at university, which makes the ID verification process more difficult. “As a growing business, we don’t want to turn away customers – and equally they want a swift, safe and trouble-free transaction,” said Gore. Business Services’ scalable solution has grown with the’s business to meet its needs. It is now embedded into its business processes – with daily information updates – which ensures that it meets the demands of the business today and as it continues to grow.

“When we started using’s entry-level solution six years ago, we only employed five people. Now we have 20 employees and over 10,000 daily visitors to our site. Business Services’ scalable solution has grown with our business to meet its needs, ” concluded Peter Gore, marketing manager.