Home » Finance

Credit Card Fraud Hurts Businesses, Too

Sep 5, 2008
When we think of credit card fraud, we often think of individuals who have had their wallets or purses stolen and their credit cards used to finance unauthorized purchases. Or the victims of identity thieves who learn that they owe thousands of dollars in debts that they never incurred. But credit card fraud hurts merchants and businesses, too. And fraudsters are getting bolder every day.

Consider the case of Paul Thibodeau, the owner of Paul's Outdoor Kitchens in Parrish, FL. He took a relay phone call that he assumed was being made on behalf of a deaf customer. The caller ordered thousands of dollars worth of kitchen materials. Though he listed his address as Fort Meyers, FL, he requested that the items be shipped to Athens, Greece. Thibodeau became suspicious when the caller gave him several credit card numbers, all of which were declined. Thibodeau's suspicions were correct; his caller wasn't deaf at all, but an identity thief who was giving out stolen credit card numbers. His plan was to convince Thibodeau to wire money to a fictitious shipping company. Then the thief would pocket the proceeds, and Thibodeau would be at a loss.

This situation was mirrored in the case of an Idaho florist who took an order for hundreds of single roses.
The caller wanted the roses shipped to an orphanage in Ghana. They, too, tried to convince the florist to wire money to their shipping company of choice. Unfortunately, the rose orders were filled before things fell apart. The florist was left with hundreds of unwanted roses and valuable lesson: never wire money and expect the customer to pay for the expense with their credit card. The card might not be legitimate. And if the actual owner of the account disputes the charges, businesses have to refund the money from their own account.

The groups responsible for credit card fraud are getting more slick and organized. Some have even likened their tactics to a sort of modern-day mafia. If you're a business owner, what can you do to avoid losing both your money and your inventory?

First, go with your gut. Legitimate customers do sometimes max out their credit cards without realizing it. In that situation, they'd have to provide a second number to complete the transaction. But if they give you number after number, you should beware. There's no telling who the numbers really belong to, and whether you'll keep the money you make off of the sale. Report suspicious activity to your merchant services provider.

It's also advisable to require the customer to provide their billing zip code. Thieves, especially international ones, might not have this information. Legitimate card holders will. Finally, never wire money to a shipping company on behalf of a credit card customer. There are other ways to help out with up-front shipping costs if necessary.

Identity thieves who commit credit card fraud aren't just victimizing card holders. Money lost due to fraudulent purchases can be reimbursed by the victim's bank or card issuer. But businesses that face charge reversals after a sale has been made lose money and stock. The Better Business Bureau advises business owners and employees to beware any deal that sounds a bit shady.
About the Author
This article is courtesy of CreditorWeb.com, where you can compare business credit card offers and apply for credit cards online.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 166
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources