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Set Up Fraudwatch Screening Rules

Shift4Shop users can create special "Screening rules" on their store which will automatically approve, reject, or flag orders for review, based on the information collected during the order process.

Fraudwatch Screening Rules apply before the order is allowed to proceed to the Credit Card validation process, thereby allowing you to reject orders automatically before the order gets to your payment gateway. You can also automatically approve orders or otherwise place them under review status which allows you to review the order before processing it fully.

This article will show you how to use the Fraudwatch Screening Rules.

Accessing Fraudwatch Screening Rules

To create, edit and manage your Fraudwatch Screening Rules, you will first need to access your store's Fraudwatch module. To do this, please use the following steps:

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager.

  2. Using the left navigation menu, go to Modules.

  3. Then, use the search bar at the top to search for "Fraudwatch" to view the module.

You will see the following settings and links within the module:

  • Enable
    This checkbox will enable the Fraudwatch module on your store. It must be enabled for the screening rules to work.

  • Settings Menu

    • Fraudwatch® Screening Rules
      This link will allow you to create, edit and manage your Fraudwatch screening rules

To access your Fraudwatch Screening Rules, click on the Screening Rules link indicated above.

Creating a Screening Rule

Once you click on the Screening Rules link, you can begin adding your rules by clicking on the +Add button at the top right.

You will be presented with the following options:

  • Rule Name
    Enter the name of the rule to make it easier to identify

  • Condition Types
    Here you will specify how the conditions of the rule will affect the triggering of the Rule's Action. Your choices are:

    • AND
      All conditions must be met for the action to trigger.

    • OR
      Any one of the conditions specified in the rule can be applicable to the order for the action to trigger.

  • Action
    Here you will specify the Action that will trigger when the previously set condition types are met. Your choices are:

    • Approve Order
      The order is approved and allowed to proceed to the credit card validation processes.

    • Reject Order
      Order is prevented from proceeding to the credit card validation process and, more importantly, from getting to your payment gateway. On the storefront, the customer will get a generic message advising them that their "Credit Card Cannot be processed at this time" and they are not allowed to proceed further.

    • *Review Order
      This action allows the order to proceed to Credit Card Validation, but rather than placing the order into your store's "New" order status, it is placed in a special "Review" order status, allowing you (as a merchant) to have a look at the order and its Fraudwatch information. From there, you can process the order or cancel/refund it as needed.

  • Stop Processing Other Rules
    Enabling this checkbox will prevent any other screening rules from applying if the conditions on this specific rule are met and actions triggered.

  • Enabled
    This checkbox activates/deactivates the specific screening Rule as needed.

After you're done with the Configuration section, save the Rule. Now, you will have the opportunity to create the specific Screening rule conditions that must be met for the Rule to apply its specified action.

To add a condition, click on the button labeled "Add" found in the bottom half of the page (Labeled "Screening Rules") This will give you three settings to configure.

  • The first drop-down setting is the Parameter of the order. These are 11 points of the order that can be used as the basis for the rule's conditions. (*See below)

  • The second drop-down is for the Qualifier of the order. You can specify if the previously set parameter is equal to, less than, or greater than a specified variable. Some qualifiers are preselected based on the Parameter that is chosen.

  • The third setting is the Variable. This is the variable used to determine if the Parameter/Qualifier condition is met. Some variables are open text boxes that can be filled in, while others have preset selections dependent on the Parameter selected

*The Parameter/Qualifier/Variable combinations make up the conditional aspects of the screening rule. Depending on the Parameter that is selected, you will have different choices for the Qualifier and Variables.

Here's a list of the selectable Parameters and the available choices for their respective Qualifiers and Variables:


Qualifier option(s)

Variable option(s)

Order Amount

  • is Equal to

  • is Less than

  • is Greater than

  • Open text box
    (enter an order amount value)

Quantity of Items

  • is Equal to

  • is Less than

  • is Greater than

  • Open text box
    (enter a number)

Billing Zip

  • is Equal to

  • is NOT Equal to

  • Pre-selected:
    Order's "Shipping Zip"

Billing State

  • is Equal to

  • is NOT Equal to

  • Pre-selected:
    Order's "Shipping State"

Billing Country

  • is Equal to

  • is NOT Equal to

  • Pre-selected:
    Order's "Shipping Country"

Shipping Method

  • is Equal to

  • is NOT Equal to

  • Dropdown menu
    Select from a list of your store's current shipping methods

Payment Method

  • is Equal to

  • is NOT Equal to

  • Dropdown menu
    Select from a list of your store's current shipping methods

AVS Response

  • is Equal to

  • Open text box
    (*see below)

Email Provider Domain Name

  • One of

  • Open text box
    (**see below)

Fraudwatch Score or
Fraud Score (Kount)

  • is Equal to

  • is Less than

  • is Greater than

  • Open text box
    (***see below)

Customer Account

  • is Equal to

  • Dropdown menu.
    Select from:
    First-time Customer
    Anonymous Customer
    Returning Customer

Failed Credit Card Transaction

  • is Equal to

  • is Less than

  • is Greater than

  • Open text box
    (enter a number)


*The variable for AVS Response is dependent on your payment gateway's specific Address Verification System return codes. Please check with your respective Payment Gateway for more info on these codes. Also, note that this is the only rule condition that is dependent on processing after Credit Card Validation

**The variable for Email Provider Domain Name is an open text box that can accept one or multiple domain names. This can be useful for filtering email addresses for free email services that are typically used for fraud. For example, if you want the condition used for HotMail email addresses, enter "" in the field. If you'd like to have the condition used for HotMail, Gmail, YahooMail, or other free email domains, enter each domain separated by a comma.

***Fraudwatch scoring is no longer available on Shift4Shop. The variable for the Fraudwatch Score in the screening rule is only applicable to legacy users who previously purchased Fraudwatch scoring subscriptions. The variable section for the score is an open text field that can accept number values based on the Fraudwatch scoring system. For this field, enter a number between 1 and 10.

However, Shift4Shop merchants with Kount will have a slightly different variable called "Fraud Score (Kount)" available. For Kount, the scoring system is scaled from 0 to 99.9.

Note: Fraudwatch scores on an ascending scale where 0 is a good score (low risk found) and 10 is a bad score (Highest risk)

Kount is different in the sense that the scoring is from 0 to 99.9, based on the order's Omniscore. The Omniscore itself is further used to provide ranges of possible fraud. For example, 0.1 to 69.9 are possible indicators of fraud. Please click here for more information.

You can add as many conditions to the rule as needed. Furthermore, you can add as many rules to your store as needed for your business' order filtering.

In the next section, we will provide some common situational rules and their conditions to help you see how to create your own.

Example Rules

Shipping Info does NOT match Billing Rule Example

This next example rule is for orders where the shipping info doesn't match the billing info and is set with the settings shown in Image 1.

With the settings shown in Image 1, this rule is set to place the order into the Review status if all of the following conditions apply:

  • Billing Zip Code does not match Shipping Zip Code

  • Payment Method equals Online Credit Card

  • Billing State does not match Shipping State

This rule also is not set to stop all other rules since there might be other conditions met to further approve or reject the order.

First-time HIGH priced Orders Rule Example

This next example rule will be for First-time customers placing orders on high-priced items. It will be set with the settings shown in Image 2.

With the settings shown in Image 2, this rule is set to place the order into the Review status if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Order is for an amount over $500

  • Order is for a first-time customer

  • Customer's email address is for either Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo's free email services.

The reasoning behind this rule is the fact that it's a large order for a first-time customer who is using a free email service on their order. Therefore, the order is being placed into the store's review status in order to allow the merchant the ability to look things over and perhaps verify the customer's information via a courtesy call before fulfilling the order.

Overseas Shipping Screening Rule Example

This last rule example is for higher-risk orders and is set with the settings shown in Image 3.

With the settings shown in Image 3, this rule is set to trigger when all of the following conditions are met:

  • Billing country is different than the Shipping country

  • Customer Account is a brand-new customer

Due to the suspicious nature of orders matching these criteria, the rule is set to not only cease processing all other rules but also reject the order outright. This way, it does not even get to the Credit Card Gateway in the first place.

On the storefront, the "customer" will get a generic "Your card cannot be used at this time" message and will not allow them to reach the checkout at all.

Rules Sorting

As you add Screening Rules to the store, they are added to the Screening Rules page of the Shift4Shop Online Store Manager. This page is the one you access when clicking on the "Fraudwatch Screening Rules" link inside the Fraudwatch module at the start of this article.

The page will list all of the Screening Rules created on your store. They will be displayed in a grid showing the rule's Name, Type, Action, Whether it has a stop to all other rules (stop rule), whether it is enabled, and what the rule's sorting value is.

The sorting of the rules determines the order in which the rules are run in the store. This is important to note because you may have some rules that are set to stop all other rules when their conditions are met.

Therefore, you may want to sort your rules so they follow a specific flow to ensure a "Stop Rule" doesn't run before a secondary rule that may always need to run.

For sorting purposes, lower numbers will be shown/processed before higher numbers.