Credit card fraud is a major problem for businesses of all kinds and sizes, but it’s especially devastating for smaller ones that don’t have the budget or resources to fight back. It can come in many forms, from unauthorized charges to unauthorized cash withdrawals. Even if a transaction seems perfectly fine on the surface, it may not be legitimate. If you’re a business owner, you should stay away from credit card fraud as much as possible. The more secure your payment system is and the less likely a customer is to use a false form of identification to purchase something from you, the less risk you pose to card fraudsters. However, even if you follow these tips to stay safe, it’s still possible for someone to try their best — and sometimes succeed — at getting their hands on some of your money. If you see any of these red flags, it’s time to double-check your credit card transactions with another human being instead of trusting them online or on social media.
Don’t let fraud into your credit card system!
There are many different types of identity theft, and card fraud is the least serious of them. The vast majority of identity thieves go by someone else’s credit card number, and get their hands on your credit card bills and charges by signing them with that person’s name. Fraudsters use all kinds of tricks to get away with their crimes: They may use a stolen credit card number to make a purchase in an emergency, or they may use a false address to give you a charge for something you didn’t buy. If you think you’ve fallen victim to card fraud, the first thing you should do is contact your card company right away. They will investigate the charge and get it removed from your account.
Always ask for a receipt before making a purchase
When you make a purchase, always ask for a receipt so you can check the authenticity of the transaction. If it appears to be a legitimate transaction, write it down on paper because you may need to show it to a customer service representative if you have to make a claim with the company or if you’re in an unusual situation where you want to be absolutely sure the purchase was made by someone else. Similarly, when you get a cash withdrawal request in an emergency, always write down the details. Then, if you have to call the number on the receipt and the person who appears to be making the purchase asks for it back, you can be sure it was a scam. If you have to make a quick purchase and don’t have time to go to the grocery store or stop by the gas station, you should always take out a paper trail to avoid falling for repeated scams.
Check your credit card statements regularly
Credit card companies try their best to keep your credit card information safe, but sometimes a scammer will get lucky and steal your card number along with some of the data from your credit card account. It’s a good idea to check your credit card statements regularly to make sure you haven’t missed any charges. If you notice any unusual activity, call your card company right away so they can investigate.
Fraudsters use fake accounts to make purchases
Some fraudsters will create an email account and corresponding username and password Real Identity has developed over the years. A good indication that someone is trying to use your identity is if they are able to make purchases with your credit card without your knowledge or assistance. If you receive an email like this, double-check that the account is not real and has no money in it. Then, if you see any suspicious activity, report it to the appropriate authority — both your card company and the authorities in your region.
Don’t share personal or identifiable information (think phone numbers)
As tempting as it is to give out personal information when you don’t have to, remember that it could lead to disaster. Credit card scammers have been known to call you constantly, even when you don’t have a payment to send or a purchase to make. In one incident, a crook called a woman multiple times a day, usually just after work, looking for a few minutes of her time. If you get calls like this, assume the person on the other end is trying to scam you. If you get a chance to calm down, remember that you don’t have to share any information with anyone, even if they are trying to scam you.
Don’t do anything that looks like a payment method change up immediately. It may be a scam
When you see a charge that looks suspicious, don’t assume it’s a mistake or that the company has finally caught on to a pattern. Call the company and try to get it corrected. If that doesn’t work, report the incident to the authorities. Some companies will change their payment methods unexpectedly. If this happens, check the bottom of the screen on your credit card statements to see what type of charge it is. If you’re unsure, call your card company right away so they can investigate.
If you see any of these red flags, it’s time to double-check your credit card transactions with another human being instead of trusting them online or on social media. Even if a transaction seems perfectly fine on the surface, it may not be legitimate. If you’re a business owner, you should stay away from credit card fraud as much as possible. The more secure your payment system is and the less likely a customer is to use a false form of identification to purchase something from you, the less risk you pose to card fraudsters.