Fraud Awareness & Prevention
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Fraud occurs when someone performs a transaction using an invalid account number or a valid account number without the cardholder's authorization. We want to help your business and your customers guard against fraud by recognizing it, reporting it and helping to stop it.
Avoiding chargebacks caused by fraud
In-person fraud occurs when a customer at your business tries to make a purchase using a lost or stolen credit or debit card.
Learn how to identify in-person fraud
Examine credit or debit cards carefully for signs of tampering and watch for suspicious customer behaviour. Identifying fraud early can help you avoid chargebacks.
Expand What makes a card suspicious?
Check that the credit card presented bears all the usual symbols and marks.
- The four-digit printed number above or below the account number displayed on the front of the card.
- The three-dimensional hologram on the front of the card or the mini hologram or holographic magnetic stripe on the back of the card.
Ensure that the imprint is clear and legible on all copies of any sales drafts.
Call for an authorization if:
- Your electronic terminal gives you the message "Call for Auth".
- The account number that appears on your terminal screen does not match the account number displayed on the front of the card.
- You are suspicious of the cardholder, credit card or signature provided.
Learn how card security features help prevent fraud
Expand Visa Security Features
The Account Number - All Visa account numbers have 16 digits beginning with a 4. Check that the numbers are clean and clear, and that all the numbers are the same size and regularly spaced.
Bank Identification Number - The first four digits of the account number are the Bank Identification Number (BIN) and are repeated below the embossed numbers in smaller type. If the four numbers below do not match the first four embossed numbers above, the card has been modified or is counterfeit.
Visa Brand Mark - The Visa Brand Mark appears in the bottom right corner or the top right or left corner of the card. If you place the card under an ultraviolet light, you should be able to see a letter "V" over the Visa Brand Mark.
CHIP - An embedded microchip that stores information in a secure, encrypted format makes it more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access the information on the card. The cardholder must enter a unique personal identification number or PIN when the card is inserted into a CHIP-capable payment terminal. Contactless payment technology may be present on a card. A signature is not required for Visa PayWave "tapped" transactions.
Signature Panel - The signature panel must appear on the back of the card. If you put the card under an ultraviolet light, you should see the word "VISA" repeated on the panel.
Mini Dove Hologram - The mini dove hologram appears on the back of the card, either below or to the left or right of the signature panel on non-CHIP cards, and below the signature panel on CHIP cards.
Magnetic Stripe - Make sure the magnetic stripe is smooth and straight, and does not show any signs of tampering.
Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) - Check for the three-digit CVV2 code, which will be reverse indent-printed either on the signature panel itself or in a white box to the right of the signature panel.
Expand MasterCard Security Features
Account Number – First 4 Digits - The first four digits of the account number must match the four-digit preprinted Bank Identification Number (BIN). Remember, all MasterCard numbers start with the number 5.
Account Number – Last 4 Digits - The last four digits of the account number must match the four digits that appear on the cardholder receipt.
Global Hologram - The global hologram is three-dimensional with a repeat "MasterCard" printed in the background. When rotated, the hologram will reflect light and appear to move.
Signature Panel - The signature panel is tamper evident with the word "MasterCard" printed in multiple colours at a 45-degree angle. For magnetic swiped transactions, remember to compare the signature on the back of the card with the cardholder’s on the receipt.
Card Verification Code 2 (CVC2) - The four digits printed on the signature panel, if present, must match the last four digits of the account number, followed by the three-digit indent-printed CVC2 number.
CHIP - An embedded microchip that stores information in a secure, encrypted format makes it more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access the information on the card. The cardholder must enter a unique personal identification number or PIN when the card is inserted into a CHIP-capable payment terminal. (Optional) TAP & GOTM contactless payment technology may be present on a card. A signature is not required for TAP & GOTM "tapped" transactions below a specific limit.
Expand What makes a customer suspicious?
- Purchasing a large quantity of high-priced merchandise purchased on a newly valid card, without regard to size, colour, style or price.
- A female customer using a card bearing a male name, or vice versa.
- Purchasing expensive electronics without asking about technical specifications or warranties.
- Demanding merchandise immediately when delivery is included in the price.
- Taking a credit card from a pocket rather than a wallet, signing the sales draft very slowly or awkwardly or reading the name on the card before signing.
- Appearing extremely nervous or hurries the clerk at closing time.
What you can do if you suspect in-person fraud
If a customer tries to purchase something in your store and you suspect them of fraud, call our Authorization Centre at 1-800-363-1163 and tell us you have a Code 10.
Expand What is a Code 10?
The Code 10 authorization process alerts us that you suspect a transaction may be fraudulent or suspicious, without alarming the individual presenting the card. When you call, we will ask you a series of "yes" or "no" questions to verify the card’s authenticity. Hold the card throughout the authorization process in case the operator instructs you to retain the credit card.
Never try to apprehend or detain the person using the credit card. Take note of any information that might help identify them later.
If your personal safety is at risk do not perform a Code 10 call. Instead, complete the transaction and afterwards immediately contact TD Merchant Solutions.
Learn how you can protect your customers.
While CHIP transactions are among the most secure in the world, CHIP cards are still vulnerable to credit card fraud from skimming.
Expand What is skimming?
Skimming is the process of collecting data illegally from the magnetic stripe of a credit, or debit card or stealing Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). Thieves use this information to make purchases or withdraw cash in the name of the account holder.
Expand Learn how can you prevent skimming.
- Inspect your POS equipment regularly. If anything looks suspicious, notify us.
- Check the area near PIN pads for holes that could conceal a small camera.
- Never enter a PIN for a customer.
- Give customers enough room to shield their PIN number when entering it.
- Allow the customer to hold the PIN pad until the transaction is complete.
- Ensure any security cameras don’t capture customers entering their PIN.
- Give the customer a copy of the transaction receipt.
- Keep all transaction records for the duration of your processing service agreement.
This occurs when you receive an order from a customer by phone, mail or online using an invalid card or one that is not authorized by the card holder.
Learn how to identify card-not-present fraud.
- A purchase split between several credit cards.
- Purchases using multiple cards but all going to the same address.
- Online purchases coming from one IP address split between different credit cards.
- A shipping address that is different from the cardholder address.
- Unusually large quantities or multiples of the same item.
- An Internet address that uses free, e-mail services.
Learn how you can help prevent card-not-present fraud. Tools like MasterCard SecureCode, Verified by Visa® (VbV), the Account Information Security (AIS) program, the 3-Digit Code on the signature bar (CVV2), and the Address Verification Service (AVS) are all designed to protect both merchants and cardholders from fraudsters.
Expand If the transaction is a telephone order
The 3-Digit Code is added security for you when you accept payments over the phone. This provides a real-time check of the code to help you verify that the person making the purchase has the card in hand.
Expand If the transaction is a mail order
AVS helps protect you and cardholders by verifying a cardholder’s billing address and/or postal code as it appears on their statement. You can then decide whether to complete the transaction.
Expand If the transaction is online
Encourage your customers to sign up for Visa Checkout and MasterCard MasterPass which uses tokenization and multifactor authentication for additional layers of security.
Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode verify customers’ identity at the time of the purchase to help ensure you are not accepting fraudulent web purchases.
What you can do if you suspect mail, telephone or Internet-order fraud.
If you suspect a fraudulent activity, call our Authorization Centre at 1-800-363-1163.
Expand How can you protect against hacking?
Protect your systems and data against viruses with security software and keep that software up to date. Never give account data over the phone unless you initiated the call. Encrypt all data sent across networks or stored on Internet-accessible databases. Always destroy any data you no longer need. If you suspect information has been stolen, report it immediately to us.
To learn more or to report a fraud, the following agencies are available.
Phonebusters: 1-888-495-8501, www.phonebusters.com
(Phonebusters are a national anti-fraud call centre. They collect complaints and forward them to the appropriate law enforcement agencies)
- The Competition Bureau: 1-800-348-5358, www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/home
- The RCMP: www.rcmp.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm
- Reporting Economic Crime Online: www.recol.ca
- The Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus: www.bbb.org