Avoiding credit card fraud


EMV authentication may have reduced duplication fraud but it hasn’t eliminated the risks of stolen cards or online fraud.  

The credit card industry had been touting the success of its EMV authentication system in reducing fraud. The chip system has all but eliminated POS duplication fraud in which the card info contained in magnetic strips is stolen and then applied to a blank card by a criminal. 

However EMV does nothing to reduce the risks from the use of stolen cards, or the risks associated with “card not present” shopping. To do that, you and your staff will need to be observant and vigilant about both in-person and online purchases.

  • Be wary of someone who pulls a credit card out of their pocket rather than from a wallet or purse. It could have been found or stolen just before the attempted purchase.
  • It’s odd for someone to make an unusually large number of big ticket items at the same time. Who buys four big screen televisions on one shopping trip?
  • Similarly, watch out for someone buying an unusual mixture of items, like clothing in a variety of sizes. They could be stocking up to resell it for cash.
  • Don’t short cut on protocol when someone rushes to make a big purchase right before closing time, especially if they came in only moments before.
  • If a customer tells you not to insert or swipe a card because it won’t work, offer to try it anyway and if they object, politely ask for another card.
  • Finally, don’t agree to talk to a customer’s bank for approval if they are the one who placed the call. You’re probably talking to the First National Bank of Fraud.
  • International orders from countries which you don’t usually do business are red flags. Big orders from the Nigerian royal family are too good to be true.
  • Look out for multiple orders coming from the same IP address. It’s unlikely everyone in a family is taking turns buying from you.
  • Online orders all being shipped to the same address, but using different cards and billing addresses are suspicious. Is an entire apartment building having a shopping spree?
  • Watch out for online orders containing multiples of items that aren’t usually bought in multiples. Who needs five Galaxy 8 cases?