Everyone has heard plenty of horror stories about online credit card fraud. Subsequently, a lot of people are very nervous about typing down their credit card details on the internet. The reality is that a secure credit_article1online order form is much more reliable than all of the people you hand your credit card to every day. While there are some risks, as a consumer, there is actually a lot of protection on your side.

What you, as a florist and a business owner, are probably more interested in is the risks involved with accepting credit card payments over the phone and via the internet.

Surprisingly, there is a much higher rate of fraudulent purchases made over the phone (often on mobile phones) than through the internet / online stores. Here are a few precautions you can take when you are receiving payments over the phone or through the net:

1. Take a few extra steps to ensure you have complete information, including full address and phone number, before filling an order. It is worth checking the phone number by calling the customer back and verifying the address.

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2. A lot of business owners are advised to be wary of orders using a different billing and shipping address. Obviously, this is often going to be the case for you. You can, as an added precaution, ask the customer to send a fax with their signature and credit card number to authorise the transaction.

3. A large number of Fraud cases are orders that come from free email services like hotmail.com and yahoo.com. It is very easy for a scammer to open a free email account that matches the name of the stolen card number they have acquired. It gives them the appearance of legitimacy. You can ask these people for additional information, like the name of the bank that issued the card or for the security numbers on the back of the card.

4. Credit Card Thieves are only interested in getting what they want quickly. So they will pay any amount and insist on extra fast delivery. This should send up all the warning flags as it’s one of the biggest indicators you have.

5. If you have any doubts just give the customer a call to confirm the order. It is probably a lot quicker than authenticating all of their details.

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6. Finally, if you do happen to fall victim to a scam then you should contact your merchant processor immediately and let them know about the theft. Ask for the bank details of the card holder, then contact them and inform them that their card number has been stolen. They probably won’t be aware that their account number has been stolen. You should also contact your bank and the authorities.

Now, if you have an Online Store with zFlowers.com then you are probably wondering if all of this applies to you. Obviously, you are always running a risk with credit card orders over the phone, but zFlowers.com takes care of the online security for you. However, we do get occasional credit card fraud attempts coming through our system. Mostly we catch them straight away, but it is very helpful when the Florists keep out an eye for these scammers as well and give us a friendly heads up. If they keep getting knocked back then the scammers will just have to leave us florists alone. So if we send you an order and it doesn’t look right then please give us a call on freecall 1800 218 050.