If you own a small business, whether its brick and mortar or internet based, preventing credit card fraud should be an utmost priority for you. Although many consider credit card fraud something that happens to the consumer, it actually is something that can be very costly to the small business owner. Having your business involved in just one fraudulent credit card transaction can be costly enough to result in your business closing down forever. Although it cannot be totally prevented, small business owners can take safeguards to protect both their customers and their businesses from it happening.
Here are 9 safeguards your business can take to prevent credit card fraud while not making it difficult for your customers to use credit cards for purchases at your business:
If the Credit Card is Present
- Check the Credit Card Security Features:
Visa:The embossed or printed 16 digit account number begins with a ‘4’ with the first 4 digits of the credit card number appearing directly under the embossed number. These first 4 digits must match exactly.
The Visa Brand Mark must appear on the bottom right, top left or top right corner.
MasterCard:The embossed or printed 16 digit account number begins with a ‘5’ with the first 4 digits of the credit card number appearing directly under the embossed number. These first 4 digits must match exactly.
The global hologram is three dimensional with a repeat ‘MasterCard’ printed in the background. If you move the card the hologram will reflect light and appear to move.
Discover:The embossed or 16 digit account number begins with a ‘6’ and the last 4 digits of the credit card number will appear on the back of the card on the signature line.
The Discover Acceptance Mark will appear on the front AND/OR back of the credit card.
If you put the card under an ultraviolet light, DISCOVER or DISCOVER NETWORK will appear.
American Express:The 15 digit number is embossed on the credit card and starts with either 37 or 34.
There should be a 4 digit Card Identification Number (CID) printed above to the right or left of the embossed number. This number should not be able to be scratched off.
You can also check these websites for additional security feature information:
- Watch the Customers Behavior:
Does the customer make repeated purchases in a short period of time?
Is the customer causing a distraction while the transaction is being processed, especially if it is a big ticket item?
Is the customer attempting to use multiple credit cards to make a large transaction?
Does the customer appear to be nervous, anxious or impatient?
- Check that the signature on the back of the card matches the signature on the sales receipt.
- Inspect the Valid Thru or Expiration Date. If the current date is after that date the card is expired and should not be accepted
- If you are unable to swipe the card, get an imprint of the card.
- Physically look at the front and back of the card to see if it has been altered.
If you should become suspicious of the cardholder at anytime during the transaction you should contact the Voice Authorization Center of your credit card processor and request a Code 10 Authorization
If the Credit Card is Not Present (Internet or Mail/Telephone Orders –
- Obtain the CVV2 (MasterCard), CVC2 (Visa) or CID (Discover) from the back of the customer’s card. American Express also uses a CID number which is located on the front of the credit card above the embossed number.
- Subscribe to checking systems from your credit card processor to verify customers address such as AVS. It may not guarantee complete fraud protection but it does require the customer to know the address on file.
- If you do not recognize the domain of an email address do an internet search to verify validity of the email address.
The above are just some safeguards your business can take to prevent credit card fraud. By becoming more vigilant when it comes to accepting credit cards you can help reduce the potential for credit card fraud in your business.
Does your business have credit card fraud prevention procedures? If not, contact us to help you put procedures in place to help your business take a bite out of credit card fraud.
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