System updates

We’re experiencing issues that may affect your Square services. We’ll continue to update our status page with more information.

Back to Home

Use Risk Manager's Blocking Function to Protect Your Business

What can I block using Risk Manager?

You now have the option to block emails, payment cards, and IP addresses in Risk Manager. Keep in mind: blocking emails and IP addresses allow you to cast a wider net if you're noticing a pattern of fraud across multiple cards.

Blocking an Email Address on Risk Manager

Risk Manager Pop Up to Block Email Addresses

An email address is one option you can block on Risk Manager - you can block any email address that seems suspicious. Fraudulent email addresses sometimes contain a random string of letters and numbers. Blocking an email address will decline any subsequent payment that is associated with that email.

Blocking a Payment Card on Risk Manager

Risk Manager Pop Up to Block Payment Card

Blocking a payment card on Risk Manager will stop any payment from that card from processing a subsequent payment at your business. Fraudsters sometimes have several stolen payment cards they attempt, so blocking one card might not be enough if you’re seeing a large pattern of fraud. If you’re noticing a pattern, you may want to consider also blocking other identifiers: IP address and/or emails. However, blocking a card is an effective way to stop known fraudulent payment cards from processing at your business.

Blocking an IP address on Risk Manager

Risk Manager

An IP address is an alphanumeric label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. Blocking an IP address is a big deal - it can affect a large area and accidentally block potential good buyers.

  • Unlike phone numbers, IP addresses are not permanently assigned to specific user devices. Instead, most IP addresses are temporarily assigned to specific locations, such as apartment complexes, households, businesses, public parks, and restaurants where many unrelated people are logged on at the same time.

  • For example, blocking the IP address assigned to a coffee shop or apartment complex would block everyone in that coffee shop or apartment complex. This would potentially block good buyers.

  • Public internet access in libraries or parks can use a shared IP over several devices. Blocking a shared IP address can block multiple devices, and potentially good buyers.

  • IP addresses are often recycled. Because they are frequently reassigned, an IP address used by a household today may be reassigned to another household tomorrow.

Why would you want to block an IP address?

If you take payments online with Square, IP address blocks can be good for blocking large-scale fraud or repeated attempts. Blocking an IP address can prevent fraudsters from targeting your business with a large number of stolen cards and fake email addresses.

For example: a fraudster could visit your site and make purchases with a large number of stolen cards and fake email addresses in a single session. In this case, you'd see lots of fraudulent transactions coming from a single IP address.

Blocking an IP address may have a disproportionate impact on your business/revenue by affecting innocent customers.

Here are some best practices:

  • Try blocking an email address and/or credit/debit card first before blocking the IP address.

  • After blocking an IP address, check your Risk Manager analytics and blocked payments to make sure you aren't blocking payments that appear legitimate.

Anything else I should know about blocking IP addresses?

  • IP addresses can only be blocked for 30 days on Risk Manager. If you want to block for longer, you’ll have to go back every 30 days and block the IP address again.

  • Usually an IP address is only valid for about 30 days. We recommend re-blocking IP addresses only when additional fraud attempts are detected.

Best practices for using Risk Manager’s blocking feature

  • Try blocking an email address and/or payment card first before blocking the IP address.

  • After blocking an IP address, check your Risk Manager analytics and blocked payments to make sure you aren't blocking payments that appear legitimate.

  • If you get an error telling you that something you’re trying to add to your Block List is not available, it's usually because:

    • You’ve already blocked all possible identifiers. 

    • The item you’re trying to block is already in your Allow List. You must remove an item from your Allow List before it can be blocked. 

Can't find what you need?