A lot has been written about how consumers can fight credit card fraud, and rightly so. But we can’t forget that it takes two to make a transaction! In other words, what about if you run your own business? What steps can you take?
Whether you’re the owner/partner of an actual company, or you’re simply in business for yourself, equipping yourself with a tablet and card reader attachment, it’s important to know how you can protect yourself from credit card fraud. The benefits, in fact, do trickle down to the consumer.
Let’s look at some concrete ways that people on the business end can foil fraud before it does you any damage.
Dealing With Paying In Person
We begin with the scenario where it’s easiest to detect credit card fraud. If someone walks in with a stolen credit card and offers it for payment, something as simple as comparing signatures makes for an effective deterrent. Additionally, there are security features such as holograms, matching print and embossing, and expiration dates, things pointed out in the article “Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud at Your Practice”.
Additionally, businesses should be suspicious of accepting a credit card that hasn’t been signed on the back. It’s not unreasonable to ask for more identification in this case. If the customer complains, point out that it’s being done for their benefit, because if a thief had the card and was trying to use it, the customer would certainly want their identity challenged!
Transactions By Phone
If a thief has physically stolen a credit card and is trying to use it to make a purchase by phone, then asking them for the security code on the back of the card will be rather useless. However, having them give the cardholder’s zip code is a different story; it can serve as a good roadblock.
If the thief simply has the credit card number, then asking for the expiration date AND the security code is usually sufficient to bring the fraudulent purchase to a screeching halt.
Handling Online Purchases
Now here’s the big bugaboo! So many purchases are done online these days since the convenience is a big draw. However, there’s also the added feature of anonymity to consider, that makes it an attractive option for perpetrators of fraud.
Think about it. If you’re a hacker who’s managed to get a handful of credit card account numbers, it’s easy just to log on to various sites, make purchases, plug in the stolen information, and voila! The fraud has been perpetrated, and everyone loses except for the crook.
Of course, requiring the security code is a must. If you’ve noticed, that little number comes in handy when it comes to stopping fraud, with the actual theft of the physical card being the only means of defeating it.
But there are other tell-tale signs that you’re dealing with fraud. For instance, a lot of fraud perpetrators will choose expedited shipping and have it sent to a different address. Using expedited shipping reduces the odds of the premature discovery of the fraud in progress; by the time someone realizes something’s amiss, the goods have already been shipped.
Also, make it a policy to deliver only to a physical address, and require a signature upon receipt. Many scammers try to use PO boxes or drop-ship locations to protect their anonymity.
It’s a fact of life that the Internet brings with it many more opportunities to conduct fraud. Keep alert, and you’ll reduce the risk of loss. For more general information on the subject of fraud and scams, check out the “Top Five Social Media Scams”, and get wise!