Mounties warn businesses about an ongoing serious credit card fraud scam

As a result of ongoing credit card fraud scams being reported to police in the Lower Mainland, the RCMP Federal Commercial Crime Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team in Vancouver would like to remind businesses to exercise caution when accepting credit card transactions over the phone.

Some criminals have been placing phone orders with local businesses, where the credit card is not actually present at the time of purchase (a “Card Not Present” transaction). The RCMP Federal Commercial Crime Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team in Vancouver has been keeping track of these incidents in an effort to identify trends and investigate criminal organizations and individuals who are involved in credit card fraud. 

In many of the cases, the suspect will try to gain the trust of the merchant by being present at the first transaction. The suspect will present a stolen credit card and identification and make future purchases over the phone. The transactions are done hastily where minimal information is provided by the suspect. The frauds are often not detected until several weeks after the offence, once the credit card companies have identified that the credit cards were compromised. 

If you own or are employed at a business that routinely takes credit card orders over the phone, there are a few simple steps that may be taken to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of fraud.
These steps include:

  • First and foremost, ensure you are following the financial institution’s payment card policy.
  • For large transactions, ensure the client attends the business in person.
  • Request photo identification if you are suspicious of the transaction, the method of payment or the cardholder.
  • Ensure that the last four digits of the credit card number embossed on the card matches the last four digits printed on the receipt.
  • If you are processing a telephone transaction, request that they provide you with the 3 digit Security Code that is located at the back of the card, in the vicinity of the signature panel.
  • Request that the card holder provide you with an address and postal code to complete the transaction.

Be wary of other signs of fraud such as:

  • Larger-than-normal orders
  • Orders consisting of several of the same item
  • Orders made up of ‘big-ticket’ items
  • Orders shipped ‘rush’ or ‘overnight’
  • Orders shipped to an international address
  • Transactions on similar account numbers
  • Orders shipped to a single address but made on multiple cards
  • Multiple transactions on one card over a very short period of time
  • Multiple transactions on one card or similar cards with a single billing address, but multiple shipping addresses.

The Criminal Code makes it an offence to knowingly possess forged credit cards and/or to use or possess this data without authorization. If you have been the victim of a payment card fraud, please ensure you report it to your local police. Police recommend that the best prevention is to exercise caution when a customer is reluctant to provide verifiable information or proper identification.

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