Credit Card Fraud, Cheque and Bank Card Scams

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Learn to spot fake cheques, credit and bank card payments



When taking payments in your business, you want to ensure it is legal tender. Equally, when paying for goods and services yourself, you want to ensure that you are not being conned or scammed out of money. Protecting payments you make and receive is important and easy to do. Read about the risks your business faces on becoming a victim of credit card fraud, cheque and bank card scams, before it is too late.

The Risks…

Taking Payments

When taking card payments in your business, you need to be aware of the risks as well as meeting the industry standards. Your business should already be meeting the PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance standards and DSS (Data Security Standards) in order to receive money, otherwise your business can be fined. There is also the matter of GDPR standards when it comes to taking card payments which need to be maintained. If your business is meeting all of these requirements, people are more likely to trust purchasing goods or services from you.

When you are taking payments from customers, you should watch out for the following cyber and non-cyber crimes:

  • Charge backs
  • False Claims of Non-Delivery – The customer then receives a refund or the same parcel again, despite the original parcel arriving. The criminal then either pockets the refund and sells the item to make money, or sells both items received.
  • False Goods Not as Described Claims or Received Damaged – Similar to the situation above in hopes that they get sent a refund and never return the item, or in hope that they receive a second item.
  • Credit Card Fraud – Individuals could be illegally using someone else’s card for large payments, using their money and details to fund their criminal activities and lifestyles.

Making Payments

When making payments, whether on behalf of the business or in your personal life, you need to be aware of the criminals and the crimes they commit which you may be at risk of, such as credit card fraud. The following are things you should protect yourself against and avoid:

  • Fraudulent Goods or Services – This is where you pay a cybercriminal for a good or service that doesn’t exist. Your money is not likely to be refunded and the cybercriminal is unlikely to be caught.
  • Fake Bank Account Transfers – This is when victims transfer money to a bank account thinking the process is legitimate and then finding they have transferred the money to a cybercriminal who is not going to hold up their end of the deal.
  • Phishing Emails
  • Vishing Phone Calls
  • Social Engineering
  • Credit Card Fraud – Cybercriminals steal your personal data, including your credit card details to make payments which could be funding illegal activities such as terrorism or other forms of serious organised crime. This can reflect extremely bad on you or your business as this looks like it is you making the payments.

Take Action

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Things to watch out for

  • Fake cheques or credit and bank cards
  • Website payment pages that do not have ‘Secure’ in the top left of the address bar along with a padlock
  • Payment requested via bank transfer rather than online or through a card machine
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Protect yourself and your business

  • Ensure if you are taking card payments that your eCommerce site displays as secure through an SSL certificate. Equally if you are paying online, ensure the site is secure with a padlock in the address bar. 
  • Always ensure proof of delivery is chosen when sending goods, so you can be sure that the recipient doesn’t make false claims
  • If taking online payments, use a method such as PayPal as it is trusted, recognised and secure
  • Ensure when using company credit cards that strict usage rules are put in place to ensure employees are not putting your business at risk

Report it!

  • Call your bank immediately and inform them of any payments you have made or any potential credit card fraud
  • Warn other employees in the company so the mistake isn’t made twice
  • Phone us straight away on 0800 680 00 88 and report it to Action Fraud