Business owners should start by learning more about credit card fraud and how it occurs. Stealing a credit card is a very serious form of identity theft. Unauthorized possession of an individual’s credit or debit card information normally occurs in order to charge purchases to someone else’s bank or credit card account. When accepting credit card payments, merchants and their staff should understand how to recognize counterfeit cards.
5 tips to identify counterfeit or cloned cards:
- Ensure the card numbers are well aligned and evenly spaced.
- American Express® Cards will start with a 3, Visa® with a 4, MasterCard® a 5 or a 2 and Discover® with a 6
- Data on the front of the card should match the magnetic stripe data. If the stripe is scratched or demagnetized you should not accept the card.
- Beware of payment cards having holograms with a dull, two-dimensional appearance.
- Pay attention to the card holder’s disposition and actions. Thieves often try to distract or confuse the sales clerk to try to take attention away from the counterfeit card.
You can protect your business by accepting EMV chip cards:
EMV cards use a smart chip instead of a magnetic stripe to hold the data that is required to process a payment transaction. The powerful smart chip is comparable to a mini-computer with the ability to perform advanced authentication, and store more information than a magnetic stripe. EMV cards hold encrypted data, perform cryptography, and generate a unique code assigned to each transaction. This is a key fraud-busting feature, since the unique transaction code must be generated by the chip and cannot be used for more than one transaction.
Because it is virtually impossible to create a counterfeit EMV card due to the tamper-proof chip, counterfeit fraud has been reduced wherever EMV has been implemented. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover have announced plans to accelerate the adoption of EMV in the United States. These major card brands all announced similar Fraud Liability Shift plans designed to incentivize both issuers and merchants to implement EMV technology.
On October 1, 2015, a liability shift took place in the U.S. that made merchants who had not upgraded their point-of-sale (POS) credit card processing equipment to support EMV transactions financially responsible if a counterfeit or fraudulent transaction occurred on a card. Have you made the shift to EMV? GoEmerchant provides chip card processing with our cutting edge point-of-sale terminals and secure EMV card readers. Visit www.goemerchant.com/emv and get started today.