Be Alert for These Credit Card Fraud Tip-Offs

Suspicious Behaviors That May Indicate Credit Card Fraud

Learn to Spot Credit Card Fraud. Image (c) Steven Bernard/ Getty Images

Brick-and-mortar businesses are in the front line of the credit card fraud battle. One way that your business can help prevent credit card fraud is by ensuring that all your staff are aware of the suspicious behaviors that may indicate someone’s about to try paying for a purchase with a counterfeit or stolen credit card.

Some credit card fraud criminals will be nervous and edgy, an obvious giveaway.

But according to the RCMP and the Canadian Bankers Association, you should also be wary of credit card customers who do any of the following :

  • Pull a credit card out of a pocket rather than a wallet or purse.
  • Purchase an unusual amount of expensive items.
  • Have a newly valid credit card and purchase expensive items.
  • Purchase items such as clothing without trying them on.
  • Purchase an unusual variety of items, such as clothing of several different sizes or items with a wide variety of value.
  • Ask what the floor limit is – and then either make purchases to just fall under the floor limit or ask to have items processed separately, so their credit card purchase doesn’t exceed the floor limit.
  • Try to hurry you up near closing time.
  • Try to distract you during checkout with special requests or additional purchases so they can grab the merchant’s copy of the sales draft – leaving you with no protection against chargebacks.
    • Tell you not to bother swiping their card (claiming the card is damaged or some such reason).

    In addition, Retail BC points out that customers who raise a rumpus in the checkout line may be trying to intimidate cashiers so that they don’t follow the usual checkout procedures – giving the criminal a better chance of getting away with credit card fraud.

    None of these suspicious behaviors may mean anything in themselves. But couple them with a credit card transaction and you’ve got even more reason to scrutinize that credit card and secondary ID carefully. For more about how businesses can prevent credit card fraud, see A Credit Card Fraud Prevention Checklist for Businesses and Battling Credit Card Fraud.