Merchants generally should be on alert whenever a buyer’s billing and shipping addresses don’t match. There are legitimate reasons for differing addresses (buyer is sending a gift, buyer has two residences, etc.), but non-matching addresses also could be an attempt at cyber shoplifting. This can create the issuance of chargebacks if the genuine cardholder never made the purchase or if the sale was legitimate, but the item was sent to the wrong address for whatever reason, including if the purchaser keyed in the shipping information incorrectly.
Merchants should investigate the purchase and attempt to validate the information through an address verification service, payment gateway data, purchase history, or by cross-checking customer information in the issuing bank’s records. If further information is needed, a merchant should contact the cardholder directly to verify the transaction.*