Frequently Asked Questions
Losing any amount of money to fraud is too much. From merchant chargebacks to higher operating costs, fraud affects us all. The most efficient place to prevent fraud is at the point of sale, by making sure your employees follow these simple guidelines for every credit card transaction:
If you are suspicious for any reason, call for a Code 10 authorization. If you have an electronic POS terminal, always swipe every card, even if the customer says the magnetic stripe is damaged. If there is no response, or the message is garbled, call for an authorization and take an imprint of the card.
- If the card looks deliberately damaged, call for a Code 10 authorization.
- If the magnetic stripe is not reading, key in the number manually, and take an imprint with the cardholder’s signature.
- Always call for authorization at the time of sale. If suspicious, call for a Code 10 authorization.
- Ensure there's a paper trail. With signed receipts and credit card slips, there's a good chance you can prove that the merchandise was delivered to the cardholder.
Check the Card
- Check the signature on the draft against the signature on the back of the card. If the signatures do not match up, have the customer sign again or ask for a piece of I.D. If you are still not satisfied, call for authorization to confirm the validity of the card.
- Check the expiration date. Cards are often mistakenly used before their initiation date or after their expiration date.
- Pay particular attention to the 4-digit printed number (BIN) to the left of the embossed account number, above or below. It should match the first digits of the embossed account number. If the printed BIN is not there, the card is most likely counterfeit.
- Be especially vigilant with gold cards. Because of their higher spending limits, gold cards are favorite targets of fraud artists.
- Make sure the customer's address and phone number match up. Be particularly cautious with orders when cardholders live out of the country and/or merchandise is being shipped out of the country.
Learn Fraud Signals
- Train your staff to recognize suspicious transactions, such as orders that are much higher than usual and multiple orders on the same card in a short period of time.
- Be wary of customers who buy many items without regard for the price, size or color. They are often using a counterfeit card to load up on merchandise before the card is detected.
- Watch out for "the check-out bully." The bully's objective is to make such a commotion that the cashier becomes intimidated and rushes the purchase through without following proper authorization procedures.
- Be suspicious of phone order requests for delivery to hotels, office complexes, and post office boxes. Items delivered to a non-residential address may be impossible to trace and could be charged back to you if the transaction is questioned.
- Thieves often purchase big-ticket items shortly before closing in an attempt to rush the sale and avoid authorization procedures.