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  • 29 January 2014
How Your Nonprofit Can Protect Donors From Online Fraud

How Your Nonprofit Can Protect Donors From Online Fraud

No one is a stranger to credit card fraud and online fraud but every time it happens, it almost always takes people by the utmost surprise. Take the recent Target and Neiman Marcus Point of Sale Credit Card hacks; almost 110 million Target customers’ personal data has been compromised and a security firm now says more retailers’ systems could have been hacked using the same malware. Every time a hack happens, regardless of its magnitude, we revisit the lessons in privacy which is why I thought it would be a good idea to have a post on how to protect your online donors and their donations from fraud. There is one caveat though; this list is not exhaustive so it would be wrong to assume that these 4 or so tips could prevent hacking altogether. On the plus side, these are fairly easy suggestions that your nonprofit should definitely have in place.

1. Invest in a secure online donations tool

Among the criteria you would use to evaluate a potential online donation tool, security should be on the top of your list and rest assured, most of the top tools enforce this. Some examples of popular tools are WePay*, PayPal, Amazon Simple Pay and Google Wallet.

Choosing the right donation tool is entirely up to one's personal choice. At WebServes, we use WePay. Our donors have the option to pay by credit card, bank account or by signing into a WePay account if they have one.

WePay Secure Fraud Prevention  

* If you are planning to use WePay, it will be worthwhile to note that WePay is shutting down  invoices, buttons, donations, events, and stores to focus on its API feature set. More details are available on WePay Support.

2. Set up a minimum donation amount

It might seem a little overbearing to dictate how much the donors should donate but it is a way to reduce fraud. For instance, if you set a minimum donation amount of $10, it would be easier for you to know that if you receive any amount less than that, then it is a sign of some fraud in the making.

3. Make the CVV and Address required fields

The CVV (Card Verification Value or Card Security Code, CSC) is a card security feature to protect against credit card fraud. According to Greg Hammermaster (President of Sage Payment Solutions), this code will ensure that the credit card used matches the given address.

CVV for fraud prevention

4. Inform your donors on how to transact safely online to prevent fraud

While it is apparent that we should monitor our online activity, it doesn't hurt to remind     your donors that they should check their statements and notify their financial institutions of any red flags.

John Breyault, vice president of the National Consumers League and head of its fraud-fighting efforts has the following suggestions that can come in handy for donors making online donations:

  • Make sure that the website's address begins with 'https' or has a seal indicating that the site is secure.

  • Avoid making online purchases (or in this case, donations) over free Wi-Fi networks. Since these networks aren't usually password protected, your card information can be easily intercepted by cyberthieves.

  • Keep your own computer software current and malware free to prevent hackers from accessing your online information.

Do you have other ways in which you keep your donors and their online donations protected from cyber criminals? Share them with us!

~Ramya