Tis the Season for Fraud – How Is Your Business Helping – Part 2

Part 2 Helping Your Business

The sales associates at retail outlets following proper security guidelines is a good start to protecting against fraud this holiday season. But what if you are an online business, or the magnetic strip on a card does not work? In Part 1 of this topic, we talked about proper procedure for accepting cards in a card present environment. Transactions that don’t involve swiping a card are considered “hand-keyed” transactions.

With hand-keyed transactions you run a greater risk of fraud because the magnetic strip information is not available. If you are in a retail environment, you can do the following:

  1. Check your terminal and make sure it is working properly. You can try to swipe your own card to ensure the issue is not with your equipment.
  2. You can also check to see if the number embossed on the front of the card is the same as the number indented on the back. There are scams where thieves will shave the numbers to alter the embossed numbers on the front of a card.
  3. Look at the expiration date and make sure it is valid.
  4. It is important to get an imprint of the card and have the customer sign the imprint slip. This way you can confirm the signature matches the back of the card.

If you take cards over the internet, make sure you are following Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Seeking out proper fraud control software is a key element to keeping your transactions safe and keeping site secure.

Most people that are going to use fraudulent stolen cards follow the same patterns. Some key things to look out for are people making large purchases without any regard for size, color, or price. Some will try to distract you or rush the sale by asking questions about other items while they are at the register being rung up. Many will make a purchase then return to the store to make another purchase shortly after.

Visa and MasterCard both have security features in place on their cards that I believe all retail sales people should be trained on. For example, all Visa Cards have a Dove or Flag Hologram on the front, or a mini Dove on the back.  It is important to become familiar with the items (or lack thereof) that can easily signal an instance of fraud.

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