E-Commerce: When You Absolutely, Positively Don't Want It Stolen

Shippers and merchants fight back against credit-card and postal fraud

When the venerable outdoor-clothing maker Woolrich began selling online three years ago, it moved more of its signature red-and-black buffalo-plaid woolen hunting gear than ever before. Today its website is its fastest-growing sales channel, gaining rapidly on sales through catalogs and stores. But the firm, based in Woolrich, Pa., has stopped taking orders from abroad. Overseas online orders proved "nonprofitable," says Bruce Heggenstaller, vice president of operations and distribution. "We experienced credit-card fraud, mail fraud and hidden shipping and duty fees."

Merchants and credit-card companies report some progress in combating credit-card fraud in the U.S., but the problem appears to be...

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