Five warning signs of card payment fraud

Business owners and their employees can play a crucial role in the fight against online shopping fraud.

As more Canadian businesses begin to offer online shopping and online and mobile sales continue to grow, security experts point out that a few bad apples are also using the popularity of online shopping to scam merchants with stolen payment card information.

“The good news is business owners and their employees can play a crucial role in the fight against fraud and they already have the tools to recognize and stop online, mobile or phone purchases carried out with stolen card data,” says Gord Jamieson, head of security for Visa Canada.

Jamieson notes that business owners can be at risk when a payment card is not physically present. To help identify this type of fraud before it occurs, he recommends merchants watch for the following five warning signs when carrying out transactions without the payment card:

• Multiple purchases made with different cards, shipped to a single address: This can indicate a batch of stolen payment card account numbers.

• Multiple high value transactions made on the same card over a very short period of time: This can indicate an attempt to “run the card” until the account is closed.

• Multiple purchases made on a card with a single billing address, shipped to many different addresses: This may indicate organized criminal activity.

• Online transactions with multiple cards but a single IP address: This may indicate a batch of stolen cards being run from the same computer.

• Multiple transactions in close succession with very similar account numbers: This may indicate account numbers that have been generated using illegal software.

According to Jamieson, merchants or employees who come across any of these warning signs should request additional information from the cardholder.

“There are many tools available to help merchants avoid fraud, like the address verification service, the ‘three digit code’ and a service called Verified by Visa,” Jamieson said. He also recommends reporting the suspicious activity to their payment service provider as soon as possible.

More information on protecting against fraud is available online at


Kelowna Capital News