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Safeguard your Business with Fraud Prevention Tips!

ccIn the busy world of business, one thing all business owners count on is payments. Regardless of the service or product you are providing, there are usually many forms of acceptable payments. While running a business is hard work and fraud is often the last thing on your mind, there are some important steps you should be aware of to avoid fraudulent purchases and the headache that goes along with them. This is especially important for online payment processing.

When the Stripe Won?t Swipe

  • Check the card terminal to be sure it?s working properly. If the terminal is okay and the problem appears to be with the magnetic stripe, follow procedures for a key-entered transaction.
  • Be sure to check the card security features and match signatures.
  • Check the card?s ?good thru? date to be sure the card hasn?t expired.
  • Get a manual imprint of the card and ask the customer to sign the imprinted sales draft.
  • Compare the signature on the card with the signature of the sales draft to be sure they match. Do not accept an unsigned card.

If the care isn?t there, be more aware!? Avoid fraud on mail order, telephone and internet transactions.

  • Ask the customer for the card expiration date and include it in your authorization request. An invalid or missing expiration date can be an indicator that the person on the other end does not have the actual card in hand.
  • Use fraud detection tools like the Address Verification Service (AVS) and Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) as part of the authorization process.? To order the Merchant Guide to AVS or the Merchant Guide to CVV2, call 1.800.VISA.311 or visit www.visa.com/merchant
  • Be on the lookout for questionable transaction data or other signs indicating ?out of pattern? orders.


If you suspect fraud:

  • Ask the customer for day/evening phone numbers then call the customer with any questions
  • Ask for additional information (e.g. bank name on the card)
  • Separately confirm the order by sending a note via the customer?s billing address rather than the ?ship to? address.

Take the Order, but Don?t be Taken

Never ship a valuable order unless it checks out and has been authorized. Know the signs of possible fraud when the card is not present.

Be alert for transactions with several of the following characteristics:

  • First time shopper
  • Larger than normal orders
  • Orders consisting of several of the same item
  • Orders made up of ?big ticket? items
  • Orders shipped ?rush? or ?overnight?
  • Orders shipped to an international address.


Maintain a customer database or account history to track buying patterns and compare individual sales for indicators of possible fraud:

  • Orders shipped to a single address but made on multiple cards
  • Multiple transactions on one card or similar cards with a single billing address, but multiple shipping addresses
  • Multiple cards used from a single IP address
  • Never ship a valuable order unless everything checks out and you?ve received valid authorization.

Other Warning Signs of Fraud

Certain customer behavior could point to bankcard fraud, but remember, it?s doesn?t always indicate criminal activity. You know your customers, so let your instincts steer you in the right direction.

Watch out for customers who:

  • Purchase al lot of merchandise without regards to size, color, style or price.
  • Ask no questions on major purchases
  • Try to distract you during the sale
  • Make purchases, leave the store, and return to make more purchases
  • Make large purchases right at opening or just before closing
  • Refuse delivery for large items


As always, if you see signs that make you suspicious:

  • Hold on to the customers card if you think you can do so safely.
  • Follow your company?s procedures and notify your supervisor
  • Call your voice authorization center and request a ?Code 10? authorization, using a normal tone of voice. An operator will tell you what to do.

If something makes you suspicious, always trust your instincts. Be polite to the customer but decline their sale or ask for another form of payment while apologizing for the inconvenience. It?s always better to be safe than sorry, especially on large purchases! For more information on how to get low cost merchant account services for your business and begin card payment processing, contact Aliant Payments today at 888-638-6103 or online at https://aliantpayments.com

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