If you are taking payments card-not-present transactions in your business, either over the phone or through your online shopping cart, you have likely experience credit card fraud. Over 80% of fraud happen in card-not-present situations. In some business models, this is the only way to take payments, so how do you protect yourself?
As a business owner you are expected to know your customer. When accepting credit card information we need to collect certain data from our customers and then we can say we reasonably know them. In this collection of data, we need to keep our guard up and keep on the lookout for red flags for fraud.
Here are 5 tips for spotting fraud:
- Unusually Large Orders - We had a merchant get terminated after accepting a $17000 transaction when the average ticket on the account was $100. The merchant was advised to not take the payment and not ship the product. Our advice was not taken and the money and product were lost. The merchant also found themselves on the MATCH list.
- Different “Bill to” and “Ship to” addresses - This does not always mean fraud but it does mean that questions should be asked. This should be a red flag to ask more questions. Is the order unusual in any other way? Is it a repeat customer or new customer? If it is a new customer, is it an unusually large order?See article here for more information about validating credit card information: Use the Address Verification System (AVS) to Help Prevent Fraud
- Numerous Orders with Different Credit Card Numbers – Most Americans own just 6 credit cards, so be wary of a customer account significantly greater number of credit cards
- Suspicious Acting Customer - If a customer cannot quickly provide basic information or the customer has a suspicious email. This is again a sign to find out more about the customer and that customer may be committing fraud
- Unusual Shipping Requests - Is the customer asking for expedited shipping on high-value items but unable to provide a reason why? Fraudsters want the high value items fast before a merchant knows that there is an issue with the transaction. Is the transaction being shipped overseas? Shipping overseas is expensive for merchants, and fraudsters know it. Be wary of customers who offer to “help” defray shipping costs by recommending reshippers as these are often nothing more than a laundering operation.
Using a Certified Payments Professional (ETA CPP) when setting up your merchant account is a way for you to know that you are working with an expert in the Payments Industry. These individuals are certified through the Electronic Transaction Association (ETA).
The ETA CPP program sets the standard for professional performance in the payments industry and is a symbol of excellence. It signifies that an individual has demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to perform competently in today’s complex electronic payments environment.
Discovering whether or not your sales agent is certified is as simple as vising ETA CPP Registry and inserting the sales agent’s name (I did find that some names needed to be entered in all caps).
Electronic Merchant Services is structured so that all accounts are managed by a Certified Payments Professional. If you are looking for a new merchant account or would like to have someone help you navigate the complexities of what you currently have in place you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-273-5575.