John Lewis security checks on orders?

So Santa was going to bring our family some iPads as belated presents with the xmas money we got. I placed an order, it was all ready to go when I get this email.

It doesn’t make sense to me? I’ve placed countless orders with them using the same details and I always use Apple Pay

Has anyone else got this message before? What could they mean by security checks?

I presume that actual transaction went through when you tried?

I wonder if it’s as simple as new account, multiple iPads?


Hm, it could be… I used Apple Pay and have the hold on my credit card. It was two iPads and a Magic Keyboard so hardly a huge purchase. Annoying as it’s now out of stock… which makes me suspicious that they just ran out of stock?

It’s quite common with some retailers because they’re very high value devices.

Were you using a VPN or anything else that could’ve raised a red flag when placing an order?

Only mention that because I use a VPN pretty much all the time and it has a fair few issues with account security checks / higher level authentication.


No, nothing like that. Just using my usual JL account through the JL app where I always shop.

What do these checks entail? It’s not like they can do a CRA search or anything

I’ve had this happen with a retailer that sells codes for things like gamepass, Xbox live, iTunes vouchers etc.

The issue was I purchased an abnormal amount. 4 3 month gamepass cards to total 12 months. They wanted me to send copies of my passport via email, so I noped out.

Never happened with John Lewis, but my guess is it’s something similar and was prompted by the quantity of iPads you ordered, which warranted stricter checks. Retailers do this if they suspect something like fraud or scalping.

I could be mistaken here, but credit reference agencies have been able to use your name, address, and debit card number (or just the digits unique to your bank), to match you to your credit file. I’m guessing John Lewis tried to do this, but due to Apple Pay were unable to, so couldn’t complete an AML check.

I wonder what sort of harm John Lewis are trying to mitigate here? If we (incorrectly) assume that @ndrw was up to mischief, what could that be?

The payment was with a credit card via Apple Pay, so JL was pretty much assured of payment (and should have been assured that strong customer authentication would have happened due to the payment mechanism) - so what are they worried about? :thinking:


I reckon they are using a third party fraud checking service, which often does checks after the transaction has gone through initially but before they ship to you. Unfortunately it’ll be impossible to get info on the reason why they declined, but it could be many things including things like your postcode recently had an uptick in fraud - just an example, of course I have no idea if this is the case.

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Are retailers liable for fraud? Or have they taken it on themselves to police it?

I’m not sure why they’d want to fraud check things. I’m not buying 10 iPads, I was buying two… and using the same email, phone number, name and address as always. Not to mention the same Apple Pay card

Very odd


Yep. When a customer submits a chargeback, the credit card reclaims the money from the retailer.

In a fraud, the credit card reclaims the money from the retailer to refund the victim. The retailer loses and the fraudster gains.

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This is what Apple states. The word ‘might’ is there.

Will I be liable for fraud on Apple Pay transactions?

In shops, Apple Pay transactions are treated in the same way as your current credit, debit or prepaid card transactions. You’ll have the same liability rules applied to Apple Pay transactions.

Within apps and on the web, Apple Pay transactions may be treated more favourably than standard transactions with a plastic card. Liability for transactions might shift to the issuer. Contact your payment provider to find out how you can benefit from liability shift for Apple Pay payments within your app and website.

Interestingly when Googling the topic, this very recent industry news article states that it is very hard for merchants to challenge Apple Pay fraud cases:

[…] Only 5% of merchants say they’ve had the most success challenging chargebacks from Google Pay and Apple Pay, compared with 48% who say they have the most success challenging credit cards — despite Google saying that its chargebacks are dealt with in the same way as credit cards. […]

I guess John Lewis are being preemptive.

Interestingly, I have just purchased two Homepod Mini’s yesterday with John Lewis via the website using my Monzo card and they have been fine.


I’ve had this before with John Lewis. in both instances I just rung them, confirmed the order details and they re-processed the order.

It’s a pain but normally simple to rectify. Where you trying to ship to a different address to the billing address of the card?


I’ve bought a few big items from them and haven’t had this, I also always use Apple Pay but usually on my Monzo card. But multiple iPads might be a red flag, they’re the kind of thing people might buy with stolen cards that can be resold easily for big profits. Is it a card you’ve used with them before?

Yup, it’s literally all the same details I’ve been using for the past 6 months, almost weekly.

Oh well, I have now got the iPads but had to order (and pay for delivery) separately