Tis the Season to Fraud-Proof Your Store

October 7, 2019

The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, which means more shoppers, more sales, and more payments to accept. In advance of the rush, it’s important to take the time now to safeguard your business from fraudulent payments. Ensure that your store uses the latest tools and best practices as part of its everyday operations, to help keep your business protected from now into the new year.

Before the holiday shoppers come through your door, make sure to consider the following ways to strengthen fraud security for your online and physical store.

Preparing Your Store Location

Train Your Staff

The first line of defence against fraud is vigilance, so it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to prevent fraud is by having a well-trained team that understand proper card acceptance procedures. They will be better equipped to identify suspicious payment behaviour, helping you potentially reduce fraudulent purchases and protecting your business even when you’re not on-site. This can include things such as:

  • Always dip the chip or tap the card. These are the most secure ways to accept payments, and major card brands no longer support the use of the magnetic stripe on an EMV-chip card.
  • Do not manually key-in card information. If the card isn’t processing by tap or chip & PIN, request another payment card. Don’t be fooled by the cardholder’s reasons why the card isn’t working properly.
  • Do not be distracted. A fraudulent cardholder may be working solo or with other fraudsters, and will often attempt to distract or fluster the employee during the transaction.  
  •  Void a transaction if there is an error; do not issue a refund. Voiding a transaction prior to batch-close prevents the original transaction from settling and potentially being disputed.  

Look for Signs of Terminal Tampering

Terminal tampering occurs when a fraudster attempts to insert a device into your terminal, usually to “skim” or read payment card information and PINs from your customers’ cards. This form of fraud could cause you a great deal of stress because it not only targets your business, but also other customers.

Thankfully, because the act involves physical damage, it can be easy to spot if you know the signs. Look for things such as:

  • Unusually loose wires
  • Broken seals or stickers
  • Cracked or chipped devices

Know Your Business’s Typical Purchase Threshold

One way to spot a potentially fraudulent purchase is to know your business’s typical purchase size. Take the time now to review your transaction amounts from previous months and holiday seasons. When the holiday rush picks up, use scrutiny if a sale is outside of that threshold. This could be a purchase of many items that total hundreds of dollars more than normal for your business, or a single high-ticket item from your inventory. If a sale looks too good to be true, it may be fraud.

If you’re interested in learning more about your options for fraud protection, make sure to check out our articles Tips For Keeping Your Business Protected from Fraud All Year Long and Chargebacks 101 [Webinar].


The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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