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Dealing with suspected fraud

Card Present transactions

The best way to avoid fraud in a Card Present situation is to ask the Cardholder to enter their PIN on the terminal. If your terminal directs you to process a Chip and PIN card as either a swiped transaction, or a keyed transaction, then check the following:

Check the signatures. Do they look the same?
Do the signatures match? Does the signature panel look as if it has been tampered with?

Check that the number on the card matches the number on the terminal print-out.
Check that the last four digits of the embossed number on the card match the last four digits on the terminal print-out. If they don’t match, the card is probably counterfeit.

Check the customer. Does the customer’s gender match the card details?
Are they acting suspiciously in any way or trying to distract you from following procedures?

If you are suspicious of a card or a customer, do not hand the card back. Call the Authorisation Centre and let the operator know you are suspicious by simply saying that you are making a Code 10 call. We won’t mind if it’s a false alarm – it is better to be cautious than to let a fraudster deceive you.

Above all, never put your colleagues, customers or property at risk.

Do not key a card number into your terminal for a transaction where the card and cardholder are present, as this would leave you open to risk of a chargeback.


Card Not Present transactions

  • You may accept Card Not Present transactions ONLY if it has been agreed in your Merchant Services Agreement.
  • Card Not Present transactions are done entirely at your own risk and we offer no guarantee of payment, actual or implied, for that type of transaction, even if you have obtained Authorisation.

The following are all acceptable as Card Not Present transactions:

Mail orders: written authority from the cardholder with the cardholder’s signature including:

  • Completed order forms
  • Facsimile transmissions

Telephone orders: authority from the cardholder by telephone.

Internet orders: card details provided by the cardholder.

When accepting a Card Not Present transaction, take extra care to ensure it is the genuine cardholder who placed the order.

Record all details of the transaction in writing. If conducted by telephone, record the time and date of the conversation. If the transaction is subsequently disputed, you may be asked to produce these details or the cardholder’s authority. If feasible, you should obtain a copy of the Cardholder’s signature authorising the transaction and keep this on file.

If a customer wishes to collect the goods, they must attend your premises in person and produce the card. In this case, destroy any sales voucher that was previously prepared and process an over-the-counter transaction.

Note: Remain vigilant at all times and remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list so please refer to the Merchant Procedure Guide for more detailed information on Fraud.


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