Credit card fraud is on the rise, and, unfortunately, small businesses are top targets. No matter the type of product or service your business sells, it’s potentially susceptible to fraud. That’s why it’s important to recognize and avoid today’s common scams.
3 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud
1. Be Vigilant
Training and vigilance are the most important preventative measures any business can take in combating both credit card fraud and cybersecurity attacks.
Familiarize yourself with signs of fraudulent activity by customers, including:
- Declined purchases followed by smaller ones on the same card
- Unusual number of spelling errors in the order information
- Multiple orders to the same address or from the same IP address using different credit cards
- Multiple orders with similar card numbers
Make sure your staff is trained to identify these red flags as well. Your employees can either be your company’s largest vulnerability or its greatest defense. It all comes down to awareness.
2. Have a Secure Website
Ecommerce businesses must have secure websites because the internet adds a layer of obscurity for criminals to hide behind when attempting credit card fraud.
Be sure to conduct regular website maintenance to ensure that all security standards are up to par. Also, consider hiring a security consultant to check for any weaknesses. It’s a worthwhile investment because it protects you not only from fraud, but from other cyberattacks such as ransomware.
3. Be EMV Ready
Chip-enabled, EMV credit cards came out in 2015, but not all retailers have adopted them yet. If your business conducts in-store transactions, get a chip-reading machine. They’re not impervious to fraudulent transactions, but they make it much more difficult.
What to do if Someone Conducts a Fraudulent Transaction at your Business
No matter how thorough of preventative measures you take, it’s possible that your business falls victim to fraud anyway. Be prepared for that.
Here’s what you can do if someone uses a stolen credit card at your business:
- Report the incident to the police
- Contact the cardholder’s issuing bank and ask them to notify the cardholder
- Ask the issuing bank to ask the cardholder to get in contact with you
- If and when the cardholder gets in touch with you, ask them to report the crime to the police in the city where the order was placed
Taking the correct measures after fraud has occurred may allow you to recover the merchandise or funds the fraudster stole, though it’s not guaranteed.
Prevent your Credit Card from Being Stolen, too
Phishing scams are notorious for stealing credit card numbers that businesses have on file. Avoid them by taking the following actions:
- Learn the difference between a real email and a spoof email
- Use a firewall
- Use antivirus software
- Keep your browser up-to-date
Fighting credit card fraud after it has occurred can be time-consuming and expensive. The best way to beat it is to prevent it from happening in the first place.