The Minecraft server community is plagued with a problem. Chargeback fraud. Our payment processors and customers’ credit card companies many of the times take the side of the buyer, especially during false unauthorized purchase reports, no matter how much evidence you have and no matter how many ways you prove the chargeback is fraudulent. This is a serious issue damaging and destroying legitimate servers.
I have a solution! FraudGuard.
I am currently working on the details, and shortly the implementation, of a new service that will act as a chargeback prevention and recoupment service by enforcing ethical standards in how players and servers interact. Furthermore it will provide serious consequences to those who choose to defraud servers and their owners.
The system is simple.
Server owners download the plugin for free. The plugin will be compatible with Forge, Bukkit, Sponge, and Spigot to start but will hopefully be expanded to more server software in the future.
The plugin downloads a list of banned UUID’s when updates on the list are available. The plugin prevents these UUID’s from joining the server and notifies them on why and how they can rectify the issue.
Servers can than choose to sign-up for the website for FraudGuard for free. Server owners of course will be required to submit basic information and agree to the Terms of Service that outlines procedure and requirements. The website will allow them to open cases when they receive a chargeback. These cases will have strict evidence policies demanding they show all information relating to the chargeback including the payment processor case, receipts, proof of digital delivery, if applicable, and player information. They will also be required to follow standard fraud prevention techniques to ensure a healthy environment.
The FraudGuard staff will then review the case, and if deemed legitimate will approve the case and begin the process of restricting access to FraudGuard enabled servers for the player.
Upon opening the case the player will be notified via email that a case has been opened against them. They will have one opportunity with no time limit to address the case and contest it. If decided in favor of the player the case would be dismissed, if in favor of the server the player will remain on the banned list.
The website will also be a free resource for servers to explore methods in reducing chargeback fraud and how to win many types of chargebacks. The website will also provide an API capable of looking up the history of a player’s chargebacks cases and results. This will be a non-mandatory option for servers looking to add another layer of protection.
Servers will have a strict 3 strike rule when it comes to opening cases. If they are found to be abusing the system 3 times to harm players they will never be allowed to file another case. This system is to end fraud, not empower it!
As discussed before, players will be able to contest chargeback cases filed against them. When they win, the case will be dismissed, and when they lose they will remain banned.
Chargeback cases will not take into account whether or not the server wins the chargeback case with their processor. The reason for this is because the player still attempted to commit a crime and may very well do so again. They are a risk and a detriment to server owners.
Upon loss they still have an option though. They can repay what they had charged back including chargeback fees forced upon the server (whether or not the chargeback case was won with the payment processor, they won’t be made to pay twice), and a penalty. The penalty would be 25% of the total chargeback and is still due even if they lost the chargeback case with the processor. This is to discourage criminal behavior in the future and help pay for the service that protects the servers they play on. In short, if you can’t pay the penalty, don’t commit the crime.
Players will be expected to provide a valid state/federal ID, proof of address, a signed admittance of fraud, and signed contract stating that they are who they say they are and they accept all liability for their actions before, now, and moving forward. This is to protect FraudGuard from chargebacks as well as providing servers a future resource if the player chooses to defraud another server. After payment they will be sent a letter with a code they enter on the site to prove their address. Not entering the code in 30 days will result in a complete reversal of the funds and being re-added to the ban list.
After everything is situated the recovered funds are returned in full to the server owner who filed the chargeback. If there are multiple, they will all receive the amount that was filed in their cases.
For servers this would be an entirely FREE service. No financial reimbursement, percentages, or fees will be expected.
If widespread adoption occurs then servers will be heavily protected as committing chargeback fraud would incur serious lasting penalties. Furthermore it would allow my service to demand reimbursement for affected servers without costly legal proceedings, something servers have no way of doing on their own currently.
I am proposing this because I am personally tired of being stolen from. I am tired of putting so much effort into fighting these thieves just to have them get away with it and patted on the head no matter how many hoops I jump through or how much evidence I supply. Don’t you think it’s time we take this power away from these criminals and their facilitators? Shouldn’t we have someone fighting for us?
What do you guys think? Is this something you would use and support?