Unless you are running a really obscure ‘mom and pop’ shop in some remote county, it is very likely that you accept credit cards as a mode of payment in your business.
Credit cards are ubiquitous. Consumers and businesses rely on them for their convenience and wide acceptance. But along with the benefits that credit cards bring is the risk of fraud, and most often than not, it’s the business owners that are left having to deal with the losses.
Credit card fraud is a problem that is not exclusive to big businesses. Small and medium enterprises are likewise targeted. In fact, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners says that companies with less than 100 employees lose approximately $155,000 each year as a result of fraudulent transactions, with a considerable percentage of the cases attributed to credit card fraud.
It is critical for your business that you and your employees have a good understanding of what credit card fraud is, how it can be detected and how it can be avoided.
So what exactly is credit card fraud? Simply put, it is a form of identity theft that involves someone using another person’s credit card or credit card information and using the same for unauthorized transactions.
Preventing credit card fraud starts with educating yourself and your employees. Here are potential indicators of credit card fraud:
Unusually large orders – If you receive orders that are larger than your typical transactions, it wouldn’t hurt to be extra cautious. Verify the order before shipping it out.
Urgent or next-day delivery orders – Oftentimes, fraudulent users mark their transactions as urgent to ensure their order gets delivered before the fraud is discovered.
International or foreign orders – While overseas orders can be legitimate, be on the lookout for orders originating abroad especially when the transaction is from a country that you don’t usually receive orders from. Another red flag is when the items ordered are readily available locally.
Inconsistent “bill to” and “ship to” addresses – An order billed to a California address but is to be shipped to a Nigerian address should always be scrutinized before being fulfilled.
The presence of one or more of these indicators does not necessarily mean that a transaction is fraudulent but it does make it suspicious, and when in doubt, experts recommended that you do not fulfill the order until you validate its legitimacy. It is better to lose a potential sale than lose actual products or money in a fraudulent transaction.
For more practical tips on business security, explore our Learning Center today.
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