More orders didn’t mean more fraud for this online retailer.

"Black Friday 2016 became the first day in retail history to drive over one billion dollars in mobile revenue at $1.2 billion, a 33% growth year over year. Mobile is driving the majority of visits to retail websites on Black Friday at 55% (45% coming from smartphones, 10% from tablets), while accounting for 36% of sales (25% smartphones, 11% tablets)." -Adobe

That was great news to online retailers like B&H Photo.

In the 1990s, B&H was one of the first photography suppliers to offer its customers online orders. What started as a trickle has grown into a sustained surge of orders every day. Though online retail has long since gone mainstream, B&H still sets itself apart from its competitors through, as an example, its verification department.

"You can't reach Walmart's verification department. You can't reach Best Buy's. It just doesn't happen,” says Barry Goldstein, Fraud Manager for B&H. “They're just behind the scenes. They'd rather cancel the order than talk to customers.”

If the cancelled order isn’t deemed fraudulent, the customer is invited to re-place the order.

Not with B&H.

“We call customers. Customers call us,” says Barry. “We're really the only company of our size that you actually get to call and speak with the verification department. That’s allowed us to increase the number of orders we approve while keeping our fraud rate down."

Mobile invites more orders and more fraud

While verifying more orders, Barry and his team have to detect more sophisticated fraudsters.

“They'll place an order using stolen credit card information and ship the order to the correct address (before changing the ship-to address while the order’s en route),” Barry explains. “They’ll even use an email address that’s nearly identical to that of the cardholder’s. For example, instead of ‘,’ they'll use ‘’ They’ll even make it look as if the order was placed online from the cardholder’s IP address.”

In the early days, B&H’s in-house fraud detection system could keep pace with fraudsters’ tactics. But fraudsters’ increasing sophistication made it nearly impossible to keep up. B&H would’ve had to hire a full-time developer just to add and manage their system’s rules.

iovation takes over from in-house fraud detection system

B&H looked to iovation for a proven cloud-based solution that could score the risk associated with the specific devices – smartphones, tablets and laptops – used to place orders online. iovation scores each transaction based on known information about the device’s transaction history, including whether it has been tied to reported fraudulent transactions and/or credit card fraud, and whether an extra device is being used as a proxy.

“iovation plays a huge role. Every web order goes through iovation.”

This has become a critical component of B&H’s fraud prevention and risk management efforts. Today, using tools that help identify the riskiest transactions while verifying the good ones, the retailer now catches 3x more fraud.

B&H’s experience in reducing online fraud through device identification matches the results of other online companies, according to Andras Cser, principal analyst for security and risk management at Forrester Research Inc. “If a company hasn’t had device fingerprinting and then installs it, it can expect to realize a 25-35% reduction in fraud losses,” Cser says.

New reshipment schemes detected and denied

Barry is quick with a story that illustrates the success he’s had with iovation.

Over the course of 11 orders, one “customer” had merchandise worth tens of thousands of dollars shipped to his U.S. address.

“As standard procedure, my team called him to confirm the orders,” Barry recounts. “Everything matched up: the credit card number, the ship-to-bill-to address, the phone number, even the email address on file. The only flag was the real IP revealed by iovation, from Russia.”

Download the B&H case study now. Find out what happened next, and how iovation helped B&H capitalize on 2016’s historical Black Friday.

Visit iovation at MRC Las Vegas 2017 on March 13th - 16th at booth #311 or book at meeting to learn how we can help your company reduce fraud while creating a seamless authentication experience.