With e-commerce fast becoming how Americans do a large portion of their shopping, small businesses are finding themselves at a higher risk of becoming victims of credit card fraud. In typical cases, an order is placed, payment is processed, and the goods are shipped out to the buyer. But it is only after this occurs that the business is notified that the credit card used was stolen. The individual who had their credit card stolen is usually not liable for the bill, so this can leave the business suffering the loss.
What can today’s businesses do to help reduce the risk of falling victim to such a costly crime? Here are five ways you can help protect your small business from credit card fraud.
Collect All of the Information Relating to the Credit Card
Businesses that take credit card orders over the phone can be especially prone to being victims of credit card fraud.
In order to help prevent this, you may want to require all of the credit card’s information when taking an order, including the card’s 16 account digits, the three-digit card verification number, the card’s expiration date, and the complete name, address, and phone number associated with the account holder.
Since the easiest to obtain (and the most commonly stolen) information includes the credit card number and its expiration date, asking for all of this information could help stop thieves who do not possess the physical card.
Be Wary of Large Next-Day Orders
If your customers tend to place certain sized orders, then a large order may be a red flag that someone is using a stolen credit card. Likewise, when large orders are placed with next-day delivery, the risk can be even higher. Credit card thieves usually want to complete the transaction and get their items as fast as possible, before the card’s owner finds out his or her card has been stolen.
Be Wary of Orders With Different “Bill To” and “Ship To” Addresses
A credit card’s “bill to” address is usually the card holder’s physical address. If an order comes through with a “ship to” address that doesn’t match the card’s billing address, then this could be a sign of a potential credit card fraud attempt. Before processing the order, request phone numbers for both addresses and then visit www.anywho.com, a website that integrates telephone numbers, maps, and e-mail addresses to check for fraudulent billing addresses.
Act Immediately to Reduce the Damage in Cases of Fraud
If your business is a victim of credit card fraud, then taking immediate action could help you reduce the damage. Call the police as soon as you identify the fraud, and report the crime. Next, contact the card holder’s bank and request that it place a courtesy call to the account holder, who should also be asked to report the crime to the police. If you have the shipping address, then contact the police in that jurisdiction, and notify them of the crime; give them the address that was used in the incident. In some cases, acting quickly may even help you to recover the stolen merchandise.