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How to Protect Your Business from Credit Card Fraud

Feb 6, 2008
Everywhere you look there is information on how individuals can protect themselves from credit card fraud. This information can be found at banking institutions, libraries, on TV, on the Internet, its everywhere. However, that isn't the case for businesses. How can your business protect itself from these fraudulent individuals who make purchases for products or service online or over the phone? Like most business, you may ship the products before discovering that the credit card is stolen. In this case, your company suffers the bill and the true owner of the credit card cannot be held reliable.

Nevertheless, these are the steps to protect your business from fraudulent individuals and avoid this terrifying situation.

1. It is important that you gather all the information associated with the credit card. This can be done by requesting all of the information exactly as it is shown on the card. This information includes: The cardholder's name (Exactly as shown on the card, including middle name or middle name initial). Request all 16 digits on the credit card. Request the credit card verification number. This number is the last 3 or digits located on the back of the card after the account number. Request the expiration date on the card. Request the billing address for the card which in most cases should not be a P.O. Box. Requesting this information is very important. The fact is that most card thieves only have the card number. They will not have any other information associated with the card. By having all of this information you will be able to utilize address verification services. Address verification service compare the billing address given by the customer to the banks database and alerts the user if the addresses are different.

2. Pay particular attention to customers who list a different billing address and mailing address. In some cases, card thieves may also have the cardholders ID. In this case they will be able to supply the billing address; however, request for the product to be sent to a different address. You may opt to call the bank of the credit card and ask them to call the cardholder to verify the purchase.
It is definitely advised not to ship orders internationally with a different billing and mailing address.

3. In most fraudulent cases, the card thief will request a next day delivery. They want to get the product fast and without being caught. This is a red flag and should be carefully observed. If the order is larger than your typical orders, most definitely question it. Remember, the card thief is not concerned about how much he/she is spending; it is not their money. Most likely, he/she needs a large quantity for resale.

4. As a business owner, you want to do everything it takes to protect your business from fraudulent activity. It may be resourceful to have all the information collected validated by the customer. Since you are not meeting with the customer directly, it is wise to request that the customer fax you a copy of the credit card and photo id. This may seem extreme, but not as extreme as been taken for thousands of dollars in products. This precaution should most definitely be exercised for large orders involving heavy sums of money.

5. If you do find yourself a victim of this fraudulent activity, take immediate action to reduce loss.
a. Immediately inform your local police department. Make sure to answer all the questions the police may ask and give them all the information that you have.
b. Contact the bank of the credit card. Request that the issuing bank calls the customer to inform them of the situation. Make sure to give the issuing bank all the information that you have. Including, the billing and mailing address the card thief submitted. When the cardholder calls your company, explain the importance of the situation and why it is vital that he or she also reports the incident to the police.

By following these steps you are taking the necessary action to protect your business from credit card fraud.
About the Author
William King is the director of UK Wholesale Suppliers, Wholesale Suppliers and Dropshipping Directory. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.
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