Category Archives: Preventing Fraud
If your machine is working properly and your customer’s credit card will not swipe chances are it is a de-magnetized card. You will have to key-in the transaction. Problem solved right? Yes, but be aware that it could be a fraudulent card.
Reduce your risk by taking a few preventive steps.
1. Look at the card closely for card security features (holograms and brand marks).
There are some cards that are not embossed. If you cannot swipe a unembossed card-do not key in. The flat surface makes it impossible to take a manual imprint of the card.
2. Check the “good thru” date on the card. Make sure the card is not expired.
3. Get a manual imprint of the credit or debit card.
4. Obtain customer’s signature on the imprinted sales draft.
5. Compare the signature on the imprinted sales draft to the signature located on the back of the card. If they do not match, ask the customer for I.D.
6. Never accept an unsigned card. If the card is not signed ask the customer to sign the card, and provide I.D. Compare the signatures.
7. If you suspect fraud, contact the card association listed on the card (if it is safe to do so).
By following a few preventive steps, merchants can lower their risk of accepting a counterfeit card. For more information on merchant accounts, PaymentMax, next day funding, or reducing credit card fraud visit www.paymentmax.com
ROAMpay security password requirements have to be different than your typical desktop because mobile phone users have to go through many more steps to obtain special characters. Requiring special characters renders most devices unusable and is not allowed to be configured.
With that said, ROAMpay passwords are allowed to be all alpha-single case or all numeric, but are required to be longer than your desktop passwords.
Here are ROAMpay password requirements.
- Passwords may be 8 to 30 characters long.
- Passwords may be all upper or lower case.
- Passwords may be all numeric or alpha.
- Passwords may not contain special characters, including dashes, underscores, and spaces.
- Passwords may not have a single character repeating, or be sequential numbers.
- Passwords may not be the same as the username, contain users first name or last name, or any combination of users first or last name.
- Passwords may not be the same as the enterprise name.
- Passwords may not contain a word in the enterprise-supplied list of prohibited passwords.
- Passwords may not be any of the users telephone numbers.
- Users cannot have a password that is used by more than MAX_SHARED_PASSWORD of other users in an enterprise.
For more information on ROAMpay security features like password protection, changing your password, ROAMpay Bluetooth Swiper, or ROAMpay mobile phone compatibility visit www.paymentmax.com
*ROAMpay mobile is the perfect credit card processing application for your Droid X, iphone 4, iphone 3G, HTC, and Blackberry smartphone devices.
Unfortunately, employee theft is a concern that all business owners have, whether big or small. According to the National Retail Federation, employee theft contributed to a sales loss of over 35 billion dollars in 2008. Employee theft ranked #4 in major sources of shrink, coming behind vendor fraud, administrative errors, and shoplifting. With so many dollars being lost to employees with sticky fingers, it is no wonder business owners are watching them carefully.
Here are some tips to help reduce employee theft in your business.
1. Be on the look out for employees that have a calculator, or receipt books at the point-of-sale. These employees might be using these tools to deceive customers into paying more, while they pocket the money.
2. Look at cash vs. credit ratios. The typical cash to credit ratio is 30% cash to 70% credit. If cash ratios drop below 30% start asking questions.
3. Business owners and managers must stop by often, and make those appearances unannounced. Research shows that frequent, surprise visits by the boss, reduce employee theft.
4. Encourage employees to report incidences of theft by fellow employees. Callers should always have the right to do so anonymously. If they do reveal themselves, consider offering a reward.
5. A high amount of no sales can be an indicator of theft. If the cash drawer is opened frequently, without a corresponding sale, someone might be helping themselves to the contents.
6. Inventory tracking system. Businesses must have a way to precisely track their inventory, before they can get a handle on employee theft. Tracking must also include loss to other factors, like damage or spoilage.
7. Train employees. Train employees. Train employees. This cannot be stressed enough. Train them on the companies anti-theft measures. Let them know they are being watched.
8. Post signs. Post employee theft hotline signs where employees take breaks and clock-in. Remind them that your company has a zero% tolerance on employee theft, even if it is just a soda!
9. Spot check. Business owners and managers must make spot checks of cash register drawers and inventory on a routine basis.
10. Z tape. Follow the control number on the z tape to insure that all tapes are accounted for. One franchisee found that an opening employee would close out the register 2 hours into his shift, and then pocket the money. Missing z numbers is what led them to the thief.
and last but not least…keep an eye on your returns. Employees with a higher than average return rate, may be ringing false returns and pocketing the money.
Illegible transaction copies can be a source of lost chargebacks disputes, simply because the original transaction receipt can not produce a legible copy.
When a copy request is initiated by a customer, the merchant must make a copy of the original transaction receipt. This copy must be mailed, or electronically sent to the acquirer. If the copy is to light, small, or on colored paper the copy may not be readable, defeating the purpose of the copy request. Illegible receipt copies could be returned as a chargeback.
Here are some tips for avoiding illegible receipts.
1. Change point-of-sale printer cartridges routinely. Ensure staff are properly trained on how (and when) to change POS printer cartridges. Faded, barely visible ink on sales receipts is the #1 cause of illegible receipt copies.
2. Change printer paper at the right time. Printer paper should be changed once the colored streak appears on the corners of the paper. This streak indicates the end of the paper roll, and can diminish the legibility of the receipt. Train employees on the proper time to change printer paper.
3. Merchants keep the white copy. Always give customers the yellow copy of the sales receipt, it does not copy as well.
4. Carbonless paper must be handled carefully. Carbonless paper that is not stored, or handled carefully can result in blotches, marks, and scratches on the paper. These marks appear black when photocopied, and could result in an illegible copy.
5. Ensure company information at the top the sales receipt does not interfere with the transaction information. Position company logos, and other information away from sales information.
6. Microfilm reduces the size of the original receipt. Reduced images can result in blurred, unreadable copies. Original receipts should be copied at the same time microfilm is taken.
Reduce copy requests and lost charge back disputes by maintaining point-of-sale equipment properly, and ensuring that all employees are trained on POS maintenance.
Globally, July 1st, 2010 marked the deadline for all transactions originating at the point-of-sale (POS), Pin-entry device (PED) must be encrypting PIN’s using Triple Data Encryption Standard (TDES) from the point of transaction to the issuer (end-to-end).
Questions? Call PaymentMax (800) 979-0210
The Android Smartphone equipped with the ROAMpay application processes payment cards securely. According to ROAMdata, ROAM is PCI certified, and highly secure like a point-of-sale device.
Credit card information is double-encrypted and never stored on the phone, keeping sensitive data out of the wrong hands.
PAYware Mobile Security Features
By Emily Shap
Protecting customer’s sensitive cardholder data is of paramount concern to merchants today. Recent data breeches have made everyone handling credit card information start to question their own security measures. Mobile merchants looking at accepting credit cards through their iPhone equipped with the PAYware mobile application can rest assured. VeriFone states that their PAYware application will protect cardholder data and lower liability of risk from fraud. Here are PAYware mobile security features.
Card Encryption Sleeve
PAYware mobile card encryption sleeve provides, “end-to-end” security. Security begins the moment the credit or debit card is swiped into the reader. Cardholder data is instantly encrypted preventing sensitive information from ever entering the iPhone, or being intercepted in transit. Credit card data remains secure through the whole transaction process.
No Data Storage
PAYware mobile security conforms to the same stringent encryption protection used in ATM’s and retail point-of-sale devices. This ensures that sensitive data is never stored on the iPhone, where it could possibly be stolen. Customer’s account information is truncated on all data fields and reports.
PAYware mobile application is PA DSS 1.2 approved by the PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council). All VeriFone products are 3rd party tested and validated against PCI SSC’s strict regulations.
Protecting cardholder’s sensitive data in the mobile credit card processing arena is easy with the PCI compliant PAYware mobile application and card encryption sleeve. Credit and debit card information is protected from the moment the card is swiped, all the way to the processor, and back. Important data is never stored on the iPhone, where it could be compromised, lowering the liability of risk from fraud. For more information on iPhone processing visit: http://www.paymentmax.com/my-business/mobile/iphone-credit-card-processing.aspx
How to Identify a Counterfeit Check
By Emily Shap
Counterfeit check scams are on the rise. Counterfeit checks have become harder to detect with criminals producing high quality “look-alikes,” equipped with authentic watermarks and real bank account numbers. Some look so real that bank tellers have reported being fooled. Counterfeits make up the largest amount of bad checks passed each year, around 27%, followed by forged at 24%. Federal law requires banks to make funds available to their customers within a few days, whether the check has been authenticated, or not. This leaves unsuspecting merchants responsible for a counterfeit long after the check has been cashed.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Under Federal Law, banks must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, official bank checks (cashier checks, certified checks, and teller checks), and checks paid by governmental agencies at the opening of business the day after you deposit the check. For other checks, banks must similarly make $100 available the day after you deposit the check. Remaining funds must be made available on the second day, after the deposit, if payable by a local bank, and 5 days if drawn on distant banks.”
Forged checks can take weeks to be discovered. Merchants must remember that they are responsible for any funds withdrawn against counterfeits. Just because the funds are available, does not mean the check is good. Business owners can protect themselves against scams by following some check cashing guidelines.
Ask for Identification
Before accepting a check for payment, ask for proper identification. Compare the name and address imprinted on the check to the name and address on the I.D; they should match. Ensure that the driver’s license has not expired. 50% of forged checks are passed with an expired driver’s license. Make sure the check is signed, and the signature name matches the name on the I.D.
Establish Check Dollar Limits
Determine the largest dollar amount you will accept via check, and stick with it. Criminals passing a bad check will try to write it for as much as they can. Having a set check dollar amount reduces your risk. Always compare the written and numerical amounts on a check. The written amount always overrides the numerical amount.
Personal Checks Only
Limit your exposure to counterfeit checks by refusing to accept 2nd or 3rd party checks. Personal checks should come from a local bank, or a bank with a local branch. Call the bank directly if you have any questions about the validity of a check. Counterfeit payroll checks continue to be a favorite among criminals.
Look at the Check Numbers
Only accept checks with check numbers greater than 500. Even though banks can assign higher check numbers, 90% of all bad checks have check numbers less than 500.
Familiarize yourself with check routing numbers. The first two digits represent Federal Reserve Bank locations; take note of the numbers you see frequently. Many times, counterfeiters will change these first two routing numbers to elude banks. The alteration buys them additional time before the counterfeit is revealed.
Be Aware of Overpayment Scams
Never accept a check that is written for more than the purchase amount. Overpayment scams have become popular where merchandise is being sold on online auction sites and classified ads.
Take a close look at the check being presented. Never accept a check that appears to have been altered. Counterfeit checks may seem different, a little off, in their color, feel, perforation, and MICR line ink.
· Color: Counterfeit checks may have a slightly different color than the other checks in your drawer. Checks that have had original information removed, or “washed,” may have faded areas.
· Feel: Fake checks may have a lower-quality feel than authentic checks.
· Perforation: Checks should have at least 1 rough, or perforated edge.
· MICR line ink: The account and bank numbers printed on the bottom of the check should appear shiny or glossy. A glossy look is characteristic of the magnetic ink banks use. Many forgers lack the ability to encode with magnetic ink, substituting regular ink instead. Account and bank numbers printed in non-magnetic ink will appear dull and reflective.
Bad checks cost business owners and consumers approximately 12 billion dollars a year. Half of this is directly linked to fraud. Protect yourself and your business by following some check cashing guidelines: check appearance, overpayment amounts, check numbers, type of check, creating dollar limits, and requiring proper identification. Remember that you are always responsible for any funds you withdraw against a check, no matter what. Just because a check has cleared does not mean it is valid. It can take weeks for certain counterfeit or forged checks to be revealed. The bank will hold the person who deposited the counterfeit check accountable. If you suspect a check scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-Help.
I watched a program about counterfeit money last night. Did you know that counterfeit money sprayed with Aqua Net hairspray will make a Counterfeit detecting pen give a false reading?
Merchants should not rely on counterfeit pens to determine a bills authenticity, instead teach employees how to identify a fake.