In August of 1996, former college wrestler and coach Darin Goodrum, along with his wife Tracy, created Sunflower Wrestling—a small retail supplier of athletic shoes and gear to youth and high school wrestling programs. Goodrum recognized a demand for high quality wrestling gear and apparel that could be delivered at reasonable prices and with outstanding customer service. In July of 2001, Sunflower Wrestling launched www.sunflowerwrestling.com, providing value and convenience to wrestlers, coaches, and officials worldwide.
As Sunflower Wrestling's online transactions increased, it became a target of Internet fraud. "We began seeing very large orders—and they were getting approved," reports Tracy Goodrum. "Some of these orders were ten to twenty times the size of our normal orders."
Concerned about the legitimacy of the orders, Darin and Tracy tried to call the customers but inevitably the phone numbers were disconnected. "Cards were being authorized, but we knew the transactions were not legitimate," remembers Tracy. The problem seemed to escalate quickly: "It started with one suspicious transaction. A week later we had three."
Experiencing fraudulent orders motivated Sunflower Wrestling to explore what Authorize.Net had to offer for fraud protection. "It was important to add some controls to the Web site. We didn't want these transactions to get to the authorization point," says Tracy.
Sunflower Wrestling implemented the Authorize.Net Fraud Detection Suite (FDS), a powerful set of customizable filters and tools that work together to evaluate transactions for indicators of fraud. FDS "flags" suspicious transactions and notifies the merchant— protecting them from potentially costly chargeback fees and inventory loss.
"FDS was pretty much painless to install—it just had to be switched on," Tracy reports. Sunflower Wrestling then customized FDS to detect unusual or suspicious transactions.
"When customizing the Amount filter, we set our threshold a little higher than our average order. If an order over that amount is placed, it is held for manual review, which is what we want." Sunflower Wrestling can then review the order to determine its legitimacy and approve or decline as appropriate.
"With FDS we have the peace of mind that when orders are approved, they are legitimate. We haven't processed a fraudulent transaction since we implemented FDS," adds Tracy.
In addition to providing Sunflower Wrestling with a more secure business, FDS has saved the Goodrums considerable time and expense in tracking orders to make sure they are authentic. Tracy notes: "Before FDS, I was spending 75% of my time [reviewing] orders— now it's about 10%."
As for the role FDS will play in the future of Sunflower Wrestling, Tracy confirms: "We will continue to use it, and, actually, as enhancements are added, we'll add those as well. It has eliminated 100% of our fraudulent orders, so it's a great product."