While a lot of online credit card fraud happens for the purpose of buying hundreds and even thousands of dollars worth of merchandise under false pretenses, many fraudsters will first test stolen card numbers on nonprofit donation forms.
Many scammers choose to test these cards on donation forms, not because they are philanthropic individuals, but because it’s easier than testing the card on an online retailer’s payment form.
Many donation pages are meant to be easy for donors to use. They don’t have a lot of “required” fields, because nonprofits don’t want to prevent donors from filling out the form. Conversely, online retailers often require (or suggest) making an account, filling out billing and shipping addresses, and inputting an email address and a phone number.
Because online retailers create more hoops for consumers to jump through, credit card thieves turn to nonprofit donation pages to test those cards in small and often random amounts (think tiny donations, like $1.47).
If that small donation goes through without a hitch or a red flag, the fraudster knows that the card is good to use (at least for a little bit longer) and will go on to make large purchases using that stolen card.
A credit card refund scam typically goes like this: