Credit Card Scams

credit card scams

Credit card Scams can affect cardholders as well as merchants. Whether you belong to one category or the other, we would like you to protect yourself. 

When a merchant or a business accepts a credit card, it is something vitally essential rather than mere courtesy. Credit card scams should be preventable – and they most definitely are. 

Credit card crisis prevention 

Credit cards are part and parcel of contemporary economies. Any good piece of machinery requires good care-taking and knowledge of what makes the machinery tick. Where would credit cards be, if we were not -consciously – alert against skulduggery? For all purveyors of chicanery out there, you have your own arsenal of surefire antidotes against frauds and scams. 

The unwritten charter of Freedom that permits a credit card economy, raises customer expectations to the extent that everyone fully expects plastic money-enabled transactions. When you, the merchant, accept credit cards, you not only meet customer needs, you also streamline your business as well. 

Scams are a fact of life for cardholders as well as business owners. In the last few years, more than a quarter of cardholders worldwide have been exposed to fraud. The US is, unfortunately, in the top 5 of any compiled list of countries so afflicted. As per the discoveries of an online scam survey, fraud has got cleaner. In other words, fraudsters have evolved and use increasingly sophisticated methods, reflecting a complex approach to fleecing the unsuspecting. 

Astonishingly, it takes near about 6 weeks for a business owner or merchant to know about the fraudulent character of an order. By that time, it has gotten way too late for attempts at a recoupment of losses. 

‘Security’ should be the motto 

Our USP and watchword here at Fast Action Report (FAR) is security. We would like you to avail of the tips below in order to forestall any criminal planning to take advantage of your good nature. Merchants will be able to avoid painful chargebacks, apart from safeguarding their business. Cardholders, too, gain insight into the modus operandi of criminals, thus shielding themselves against credit card scams. 

Card Present Transactions 

  • All business transactions these days, when you are present in person, are card-present transactions. Put another way, in this kind of transaction both the cardholder and the card are physically present. A good thing about face-to-face transactions is that these make it all the easier to identify credit card fraud associated behaviour. Business owners and merchants ought to be circumspect with customers showing the following attributes: 
  • Customers buying a number of or the same type of (expensive) merchandise, particularly if they are apparently less fussy/enquiring than is the wont; 
  • Buy a lot of merchandise, apparently without concern as regards colour, size, or price; 
  • A strong interest in a particular type of merchandise in large amounts ; 
  • (Specifically, if customers are in pairs or a group) trying to bamboozle you by rushing through the transaction; 
  • If they wish to conduct a transaction just at opening/closing time. 

Besides just being peel-eyed regarding suspect behaviour, we advise you to take a number of specific measures while face-to-face transactions are ongoing. 

  • Do not on any account accept an expired credit card; 
  • Do not ever accept a credit that has been clearly modified; 
  • Ascertain that the client’s card is signed. In the event of that not being the case, request the customer to sign her card. Immediately after, verify the signature against an ID with the customer’s photo;
  •  Make sure to inspect the card carefully while the transaction is ongoing. Do not miss the embossing and the hologram. The latter should look on with the card’s surface, and not something that was recently pasted over. Do not forget to see if the signature panel looks less than pristine; 
  • Regardless of whether the card is swiped, mobile pay, or dipped, kindly ensure that the account number on the card tallies with the account number displayed on the terminal; 
  • Also, compare the name on the card with the name that is on the electronic receipt; 
  • Compare the signature on the back of the card with the signature on the sales draft – in the event of their not tallying, discontinue the sale; 
  • Tally the number on the sales receipt with the first four and last four digits on the card. This would make sure that the same number appears in both places. Upon their not tallying, notify the authorisation centre and, of course, discontinue the sale; 
  • When you have to manually key the card number into the terminal, the card not registering – use a flatbed printer for a card imprint. Immediately, have the customer sign the carbon receipt; 
  • Call the authorisation centre and follow their instructions when you get a ‘pick up card’ or ‘call centre’ message via your terminal; 
  • Do not process the transaction upon getting a ‘decline’ or ‘do not honour’ message via your terminal;
  •  Do not rely all that much on authorisation codes, as these imply there’s credit in the account and the latter’s still open. A code does not signify actual payment. 

Cardholders’ tips for sidestepping credit card scams

  • Keep the card secure – keep the PIN personal; 
  • Give your statement a quick read thru periodically; 
  • Check your credit report – all financial history is there; 
  • Avoid unsafe websites like the plague; 
  • Be cautious with unsolicited requests for your attention through email, phone calls, or text messages; 
  • Update your KYC  info with your bank in the event of an address change. 

Fast action Refund (FAR) has more information and would like to be able to render guidance in case you feel the need to contact fraud prevention specialists. 


Prevention is better than cure. When a credit card scams forces you to file a complaint so that an investigation can be opened, in hindsight it hits us that we could have been wiser. Tracing scammers, too, is an onerous task. You should hardwire changes in your own behaviour so that you could, from this moment on, spot a fraudster from a mile away. Sharing information about fraud prevention on social media also helps, as it contains any festering schemes that might be bubbling in a conman’s head. Business owners/merchants, as well as cardholders, might be at risk, but a few steps judiciously executed, ensure your business remains fraud-free. 

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