Credit card fraud is not an issue many businesses concern themselves with, however, it is a very common problem. A recent Global Fraud Study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners revealed that the average organization suffered a median of 5% of their revenue to credit card fraud. This means businesses lose about $3.7 million in lost revenue overall. The study also found that while large companies are affected, small companies are most likely to become victimized. Better Business Bureau advises business owners to become familiar with the signs of shady orders as well as to employ processes and systems to safeguard against credit card fraud.
“Only 58% of money stolen by perpetrators is recovered”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “: So it is in a business’ best interest to do whatever is necessary to prevent fraud from happening in the first place.”
BBB advises business owners to be watchful for the following characteristics of fraudulent orders:
- Unusually large orders placed through the Internet without any contact from the customer.
- Rush orders for large quantities or high-priced goods. Crooks may ask to have an order shipped overnight so they know exactly what day the order will arrive and they can be waiting to pick it up.
- Missing information, or information the customer refuses to give such as a day-time phone number.
- Orders that are shipped to a different address than the billing address.
- Orders from foreign countries.
- Orders on US cards shipped to foreign countries.
- Billing addresses that don’t match the information on file with the credit card company.
BBB advises the following best practices:
- Get the complete name, address, ZIP code and phone number for the cardholder. People who use stolen credit cards don’t often give out their real phone numbers, so if a sale looks suspicious, find an excuse to call the customer back, using the phone number he or she gave you, and ask to speak to the cardholder. If you can’t reach the cardholder, don’t process the order.
- Make sure your transactions are as secure as possible. If most of your sales are conducted online or over the phone, one way to minimize the occurrence of fraud is to implement is to use address verification (AVS) and card code verification (CCV) or CVC (Card Verification Code) for all card-not present sales (i.e., online and mail order sales).
- If you accept checks or money orders, wait until they clear to ship. Just remember you are required to make sure they have their order by the date you set or within 30 days, whichever is earlier.
To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please go to BBB Scam Tracker. For more information on how to be a savvy business owner, go to bbb.org. To network with BBB Accredited Businesses and other professionals, join our LinkedIn group or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Mechele Mills is the President|CEO for the Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas. Prior to her role at BBB, she led and consulted organizations of all sizes managing operations, sales marketing, and personnel for both the public and private sector. She holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism/PR from the University of Texas at Tyler and a Master’s in Business Administration from Baylor University.