Protecting your retail business from consumer fraud

Published: January 25, 2011 by ofonseca

The Holiday Season is one of the busiest times of year for consumer-facing businesses.  While Holiday sales can help improve a bottom line, the increased consumer activity also brings many headaches. One of the biggest headaches is falling victim to fraud schemes from wily consumers hoping to take advantage of business who do not have policies or controls in place.  Unfortunately many businesses don’t realize that they are victims until after the most wonderful time of year.

According to a recent article, use of a stolen credit card to purchase merchandise is one of the most common forms of fraud.  However, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and have learned to steal credit card information by intercepting transmissions from retail credit machines.   Scary isn’t it?

What can a business do to protect itself from damages now and in the New Year?  There are three things your business can implement immediately.  For example, require employees who process credit cards to ask customers to sign the credit receipt and check signatures on the back of the credit card.  Secondly, focus on delivering excellent customer service.  A happy customer is less likely to retaliate by making charge backs.  Lastly, define and implement a return policy to address the very real threat of merchandise return fraud.

Take the time to discuss threat of consumer fraud with your employees and implement policies to reduce fraud.  Doing so will enable your business to benefit from the seasonal increase in sales.