Tips to Avoid Becoming a Credit Card Fraud Victim
From the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners:
To make sure that a Visa or MasterCard is not a counterfeit, see that
- The signature panel (white strip of adhesive with the card owner's signature) has Visa or MasterCard printed many times and is not plain white (indicates a counterfeit) or damaged (indicates an alteration).
- The numbers on the signature panel slant left and match the numbers on the front of the card.
- Under ultraviolet light, a large MC is visible on MasterCard, a large dove on Visa cards.
- The four-digit bank identification number (BIN) must be printed below and match exactly the first four digits of the embossed number or the card has been altered or is a counterfeit.
- Visa's embossed account numbers begin with a 4 and contain 13 or 16 digits, MasterCard's with a 5 and contain 16 digits.
- Micro-printing is printing that appears to the naked eye to be a solid line, but under a magnifying glass is very small words or letters that are very difficult to recreate with normal printing.
To make sure that an American Express card is not a counterfeit, make sure that
- The account number on the front should match the one on the back.
- The Centurion's head in the helmet should be printed with a high degree of clarity and detail similar to the heads portrayed on U.S. currency.
- The signature panel should have wavy black lines and should not be plain white (indicating a counterfeit card) or smudged (altered card).
- The card member account number should be 15 digits and should begin with 34 or 37.
- Under black light, the AMEX should appear and the Centurion should look phosphorescent.
If your clerks have to swipe the card several times, enter the numbers manually, or a “chip” indicator is received and the card does not contain a chip…it is more than likely a cloned or counterfeit card. Another good prevention is to match the name printed on the sales slip by the Point of Sale (POS) device to the name that appears on the face of the credit card. Most POS devices have this as an option. By enabling this option, your clerks can quickly and quietly compare the name on the card with the name associated with the account encoded on the magnetic strip.