Dealing With Credit Card Fraud in Your Retail Store

by John Burke

2 min read

Debit and credit card fraud are more common than ever, and they can cost your business a significant amount of money. Card issuers typically perform chargebacks when customers report fraudulent transactions, which means your business loses the merchandise it sold and the money it made on the transaction. To avoid heavy losses, you must take steps to prevent payment fraud in your store.

Making Your Business More Secure

Improving your business’s fraud prevention requires two things: secure payment methods and training employees to recognize signs of fraud. Chip credit card security is far more effective than magnetic strip security because chips are more difficult and expensive to clone. Purchasing chip card readers for your business is a wise investment that reduces the likelihood of fraud. Your employees are also an important part of fraud prevention at your business. There are several potential signs of fraud that you should mention when training employees who are going to handle transactions.

Signs of a Stolen Credit Card

When criminals clone credit cards, they often miss key details that your employees can spot in seconds. Since criminals typically use embossing machines to make these cards, the numbers may appear a bit off. They may also use the wrong number for the type of card that they’re using. American Express cards always start with a 3. Visa cards start with 4, MasterCard cards start with 5, and Discover start with 6. If you see a Visa card that starts with a 6, it’s a fake. Each card issuer also has its own hologram design. Visa has a dove, Discover has a globe, MasterCard has a world map, and American Express has a centurion. Other potential areas where criminals can get careless include the signature strip, which is made from a different material than the rest of the card, and the magnetic strip.

Suspicious Behaviours

An experienced criminal could act naturally while using a stolen credit card, but many act suspiciously. If a customer seems anxious or in a hurry to get out of the store, your employee should quickly double-check his identification and the credit card he’s using.

Handling Fraudulent Transactions

It’s important that your business’s fraud prevention doesn’t negatively affect the purchasing process for legitimate customers. To avoid inconveniencing customers with transactions that take too long, your employees need to be able to identify suspicious activity quickly. In training, explain exactly what they’re looking for, and tell them to use their best judgment while erring on the side of trusting your customers. Even with your best efforts, fraudulent transactions can still occur. To minimize the damage, resolve the issue by getting in touch with your payment network and the card issuer immediately. Credit card fraud costs your business money and can damage your business’s reputation. Use secure payment methods and make fraud prevention a part of your employee training to minimize its impact on your business.

References & Resources

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