Avoiding Credit Card Scam/Fraud (by Jeff Short)

This isn’t really news to anyone. Low-lifes call businesses and pull scams. They use the relative safety of hiding behind a telephone to do their dirty work. Often the weapon of choice is stolen credit card information. Obviously, day in and day out you process cards with hardly a thought and then one day you get surprised. The bad news is that even when you run a credit card, or key in the account info and you get an “approved” message and an approval code, you can still be left holding the bag for the entire transaction amount, if the card later turns out to be stolen. The good news is that by following some procedures you can protect yourself. We reached out to our bank and they were nice enough to come in for a meeting where they laid out some processes and procedures that were new to us. You should know that the banks consider “card present” and “card not present” to be two totally different scenarios. With card not present you are at much greater risk of a chargeback if the card is reported stolen. With card present you are still at risk and you should be following a checklist. One point that was stressed by the bank reps: If one of your transactions involves something out of the ordinary for your normal day to day business and the credit card turns out to be stolen, you will be held to stricter standards. In other words, if your normal transactions consist of billing customers for sets of tires and run of the mill auto services and then one day you run a charge through the system for 6 sets of 20” tires for a guy from Toledo, who’s not at your shop, the bank’s not going to show you much compassion if the card is reported stolen a few weeks later.

Please click HERE to read our bank’s recommendations. Please don’t take them as the final word. You should talk to your bank to see what they say. And finally, I’m including the guidelines we have provided to our employees.

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