How to Handle Fraud While it’s Happening

For one reason or another, red flags are waving and your senses are telling you that the customer at your store counter is trying to purchase goods with a stolen credit card.

Maybe his name or signature are glaringly nothing like those on the ID. Maybe he’s quickly buying thousands of dollars’ worth of your most expensive items. Maybe he’s suspiciously trying to buy one hundred of the same kind of high-end camera.

Now what?

Merchants must prepare their in-store employees of what to do if and when they’re ever faced with such a situation of a suspicious transaction taking place. The correct procedure is as follows:

  1. First and foremost, stay calm.  Avoid alarming the person who presented the card.
  2. Hold onto the card in question.
  3. Call the universal “Voice Authorization Center” and calmly state that you have a “CODE 10 Authorization request.” This phone number for your processing bank should be provided by your Merchant Services Provider.  Keep this number easily accessible at all terminals in case of emergency. Your processing bank will transfer to you to the card-issuing bank’s fraud desk.
  4. Answer the operator’s questions in a normal tone. Use discreet “yes” or “no” responses and follow the instructions given for all necessary actions to take.
  5. For the safety of your staff and customers, do not confront or try to apprehend the suspect. If it becomes necessary to notify the police, the operator will do so while your employee waits on line.

By following these steps, the situation reach a resolution without incident and your establishment will not experience any setbacks, chargebacks or losses.