AVOIDING FRAUD, on the Internet, or Retail!

The best way to prevent fraud is caution and common sense. With careful assessment of the cardholder or transaction, you can minimize the risks of fraudulent credit card sales.
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NEW: Come visit our new Fraud Alert center:

WARNING:  There is a new scam on the net that can BEAT AVS! 

  Fraud Warning! We have been alerted that there is a new scam we should all be aware of, as it can fool the AVS (Address Verification System), and allow a shipment to a fraudulent address!  It works on 3 facts:  1) The cardholder name is not verified by the processors.  2) AVS checks only the Numeric portion of the address (Street misspellings are too common), and the ZIP.  3) Web site order pages have an "Address 2" line for suite or apartment numbers.  

  Here is how it works:
Assume that the VALID (Stolen) cardholder data is:

Name Jim Shoes
Address 1234 Main Street
CSZ Irvine, CA 92301

The Fraudster enters the order this way:

Name Fred Fraudster
Address 1234 Purchase Order
Address2 4534 West Carlisle Way
CSZ Irvine, CA 92301

Wow, AVS says the numeric portion of the address matches, as does the Zip code.  The delivery company will assume the first line is just a purchase order number, and will deliver to the address on line 2!  The fraudster could even enter a city and state in a different zip code, knowing most delivery services will "correct" the zip code if the delivery address is in the specified city and state!

  What can I do to protect myself?  First, be glad you know about it, and then make sure you look at the "Address2" line of each and every order!  If it appears to be a deliverable address, beware!


On the Internet... Face to Face..
  1. Always verify the customer's billing address. This can be done automatically with our Address Verification System ("AVS"). The AVS system compares the statement billing address on file with the credit card issuer with a customer's billing address provided with each order. It gives added assurance that customer is the legitimate cardholder. The shipping address & billing address should match. More and more merchants don't accept orders where the "ship to" address differs from the "bill to" address. A domestic “bill to” with a foreign “ship to” definitely is a red flag! 
  2. Be wary of orders from free e-mail addresses. Once a thief has a stolen credit card number and a stolen address they need one more thing to complete their fraud portfolio - an untraceable e-mail address to hide behind. That's why a high proportion of fraudulent orders come from free e-mail addresses.
  3. Check out the customer's Web site, where it is possible. It is often possible to determine the URL of a customer's Web site by simply putting "www" in front of the second part of their e-mail address. For example, if a customer provides an e-mail address of "john.doe@anydomain.com" then typing www.anydomain.com into a Web browser usually leads to their Web site.
  4. Things to look out for include empty or "under construction" Web sites or sites where the contact information differs significantly from the order information. For example, the Web site might display a U.S. business address but the order requests delivery to be made to Eastern Europe.
  5. Watch out for unusual orders. Thieves tend to place orders that differ significantly from what legitimate customers typically order. Things to look out for include orders for "big ticket" items, orders for unusually high quantities and orders where the customer is prepared to pay a lot for expedited delivery.
  6. Phone the customer if you have doubt. A quick telephone call can often be enough to establish whether an order is legitimate or not.
  7. Collect all possible order data: When trying to detect fraudulent orders or trying to recover money lost through fraud, the more data you have available the better. This includes the customer's address and telephone number, the name of bank that issued the credit card, and the IP address of the computer from which the order was placed. 
  8. Warn visitors of anti-fraud devices and consequences of fraud. Stating clearly on a Web site that the merchant has anti-fraud safeguards in place and will pursue prosecution for all fraudulent orders can be enough to scare of some would-be thieves.


  1. Make sure the card is signed.   
  2. When taking a credit card in person, always check the cardholder's identification.  if the ID does not match the cardholder, or the signature given is different from the one on the ID, you may be a victim of fraud.  If the ID matches the person, and the signatures are radically different, take down the cardholder's license number.  The optional Invoice Number field in Pocket Verifier Professional is a great place to put this, as it is saved right along with the transaction, and stored on the secure transaction servers.  (personal note: If a customer has no ID, or tells me "You don't need an ID for a credit card" I tell them to take a long hike...)
  3. Has the signature panel on the card been altered?
  4. Does the hologram on the card look altered or fake?
  5. When swiping, check that the number on the card matches the swiped display (Palm and Pocket PC only)
  6. Is the customer in a hurry or nervous?
  7. Is the customer making purchases, regardless of size, quality, or price?
  8. Did the customer arrive at closing time, or without ID?.
  9. Does the customer want you to "KEY" the transaction?
  10. Does the card have the proper UV markings?

Credit cards have security markings that can be seen with our UltraViolet lights

For Credit Cards and Cash, we have technology to protect you...

$10 bills and higher have security markings that can be seen with our UltraViolet lights This amazing MINI-UV “black” light is perfect for spotting those fake credit cards, counterfeit currency, phony drivers licenses, or any other item that has Ultra Violet (UV) properties. Simply push the button on the side of the light and a bright blue UV light is emitted.
$10 bills and higher have security markings that can be seen with our UltraViolet lights Versatile hand-held unit allows user to change from regular light to UV light with the flick of a switch.  Use the "black" (UV) light to check the validity of new US $5, $10, $20, $50 & $100 bills and major credit cards.

With so many of our mobile merchants using our products at trade shows, swap meets and trade fairs - the PRIME location for counterfeiters to try to pass off their phony cards, we felt it necessary to provide a line of defense.  REMEMBER- if a counterfeiter succeeds in passing a phony card on you the first day of your event, ALL his friends will be there the next day!    Credit cards are easily manufactured and duplicated.    It is VERY easy to print, emboss, and encode a stolen number onto a blank card.  Over 8 MILLION card numbers were recently stolen at ONE time!

Only the most expensive and hard-to-get card duplication systems have the ability to apply UV inks or films on a counterfeit card.  Since these markings are invisible to the naked eye, many counterfeiters are unaware it exists at all!