Over our twenty-year history of helping merchants with their payment processing and POS needs, we have found that criminals attempting to verify stolen credit cards has increased as the number of websites accepting credit cards has increased. While this a serious matter we have found that it’s relatively simple to fix and prevent.
In recent years there were 28 million unauthorized transactions on credit, debit, and pre-paid cards totaling $4 billion in fraudulent charges. We all have a role in preventing this kind of fraud and the damages it inflicts on its victims.
Why criminals use your website to verify stolen cards
Criminals use poorly protected shopping carts on websites to test whether or not the stolen credit card numbers they purchased or are getting ready to sell are valid.
They do this using bots that can create thousands of transactions over several websites within minutes. They use small transactions generally less than $1.00 to avoid suspicion.
This generally happens to merchants because they’re not paying attention to their monthly statements and in an effort to lower as many barriers as possible for customers to easily purchase from them they are in turn decreasing the amount of security measures in place.
This is bad for you because even though it is a fraudulent charge it still counts as a transaction and you have to pay the fees. This may not seem like a big deal on a $1.00 charge but if you multiply that by eight, fifteen, or even 20,000 charges it becomes expensive.
This will cause your merchant account to be suspended and not allow any transactions at all on your website. You may not even know that this has happened for days or sometimes weeks. The loss of revenue could be catastrophic for a small business or an e-commerce store.
To avoid the problem there are some very simple things you can do.
- Use human verification. This type of application is necessary to avoid bots from being able to make transactions on your shopping cart. You can go to Google reCAPTCHA to get a free human verification app. Be sure to have the human verification located at time of payment.
- Enable Velocity Filters. With a Velocity Filter, you can prevent thieves from rapidly testing multiple credit card numbers against your business’s merchant account. This tool will reject transactions made based on specific filters you set. Some filter parameters are credit limit, sale amount or transaction count.
Preventing this kind of fraud on your website is not difficult. Simply make sure you’re checking your statements on a regular basis, limiting the number of transactions, and use human verification at checkout.