5 Steps to A Bulletproof Business: Preventing Credit Card Fraud Online

All businesses that accept credit card transactions worry about fraud, but if you’re one of the many businesses that sells its goods and services online, you’ll want to pay extra attention – we’re talking to you. Credit card fraud is certainly no joke for the victim, but it can also cause a series of significant headaches for you, the business that allowed the stolen data to be used. Check out 360 Payments’ top five transaction elements you should review if you suspect foul play.


1. Fishy Email Addresses


Your first clue that a transaction might not be on the up and up can be found in the email address used by the customer. Free email accounts from Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail are easy to set up in minutes and can hide almost all traces of the sender. Of course, plenty of legitimate consumers use these free accounts as well, so you shouldn’t automatically flag or reject any transaction from one of these accounts. However, especially if you sell mostly to other businesses, you’re probably used to seeing company email addresses with their own domain names. If the transaction claims to be coming from a business but uses a freebie email address, take a closer look.


2. Vague or Anonymous Mailing Addresses


Next, check the shipping address (if there is one). A scammer trying to hide in plain sight will likely not give his or her real physical address but will instead purchase a post office box or sign on with a mail forwarding service. If it’s not immediately obvious, a quick Google search of the address should tell you if it’s something to be suspicious of. Again, many honest customers will also use these types of services so don’t panic every time a PO box shows up. Take a look at the other elements on this list to assess whether or not it’s a concern.


3. International Orders


Is the order being placed from outside the United States? Check the country of origin against this list. Countries appearing on this list are known for being hotspots for credit card fraud and should raise a red flag – especially if your business typically doesn’t have a lot of international customers. Take extra steps to ensure an order placed from one of the high-risk countries is legitimate before processing it.


4. Shipping and Billing Addresses That Don’t Match


Isn’t it amazing what an address can tell you? Now you’re checking to see if the shipping and billing addresses for the transaction are the same. While there are many perfectly legitimate reasons why an honest customer would ship something to an address that isn’t their home, a fraudulent transaction would most certainly send their loot somewhere else. Your credit card provider can assist you by using their address verification system to check the address on file for the card. Mismatched addresses should raise a red flag and warrant further scrutiny.


5. Call the Bank


If you’ve made it this far and have found multiple red flags that give you an uneasy feeling, it’s time to take the next step and call the bank who issued the card. The call is usually toll-free and can help either set your mind at ease or confirm your suspicions. Plus, you’ll be on record with the bank as having done your due diligence, which will reflect favorably on you if despite your best efforts the card does still turn out to be stolen. To figure out which bank issued the card, plug the first six digits of the credit card number (called the Issuer Identification Number or IIN) into this tool.  You can then place a call to the bank’s customer service department and find out once and for all whether you should be concerned about this transaction.


Call Us to Learn More – We’re Here to Help


It’s important to be savvy about credit card fraud whether you do business on or offline, especially as scamming technology improves. Fortunately, credit card technology is working hard to keep pace, and your payment processor should be able to provide you with a detailed description of what they’re doing to help keep your data secure. Get in touch with us if you have any questions at all. We take your security very seriously and we’d love to help you any way we can.


PS – If you’re a developer looking to get ahead of fraud, check out our Velox brand.


PPS – We’re hiring! Send us your resume and cover letter today.

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