Saturday, May 30, 2009

Protecting From Credit Card Fraud

Credit cards are used as forms of payments now more than ever. There are also more online businesses and most of these businesses accept credit card payments. Therefore, protecting your online business from credit card fraud is vital. For businesses that are offline, the challenges of accepting credit cards as payment can be the same. Fraud is such an ugly word and we want to avoid it at all costs. Thankfully, there are steps you can take, whether your business is online or offline, that will help to eliminate your risk of being a victim.

Steps For Online Business Owners

Although most consumers think being a victim of credit card fraud, particularly when purchasing a product online, it is actually much more likely that the merchant will be the victim rather than the consumer. Here are some tips to help you avoid this.

First, always verify that the address the consumer has given you is correct. Your merchant account probably offers an Address Verification System that will verify that the address you have been given matches the billing address of the cardholder.

If you're shipping a product to a consumer, make sure the shipping address matches the billing address. If it does not, you probably should investigate the transaction.

Be leery of unusual orders. Since a thief would have no idea of the consumers purchasing history with you, if something gets ordered that is completely out of the ordinary check it out. Phone the customer if you can. Even if it's legitimate, they should be grateful that you called.

Take as much information from the buyer as you can when they are filling out the order form. In addition to their name, address, and telephone number, ask for the name of the bank that the card is issued from as well as the 3 or 4 security digits that all cards have now.

State on your web site that you have anti fraud devices in place and operating at all times. This will give the thief pause before entering your web page.

Steps For Offline Business Owners

Since you are actually going to see the person that is trying to use the credit card, your chances of being a victim of fraud are diminished, but problems can still happen. Here are some tips to help protect you and your business from credit card fraud.

Never take a credit card without getting identification. Check the name and signature to see if they match. This will not offend most customers who are on the up and up. Most will even be grateful.

Check the credit card for forgery by knowing what characteristics are found on legitimate cards. Many cards now contain a hologram that changes color in the light. Check the signature panel to make sure the signature cannot be erased. If it can, it's fake. Look for the magnetic strip and make sure it is intact.

You should also use the Address Verification Service. This will help you as well.

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