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Credit Card Frauds at Restaurants - Skimming

Skimming is a form of credit card theft that involves stealing the data off a credit card during the point of sale. This crime is often committed by employees who, when no one is looking, swipe the customer credit card using a portable electronic device that is hooked to a card reader. The customer information is then extracted to the portable device. This can also be done by photocopying receipts with important information contained in them.

Skimming is a common occurrence in restaurants wherein the customer is not required to pay over the counter. Instead, a waiter approaches the table with a bill and when the customer gives his credit card, it is passed to the cashier, where it is swiped. This is usually an opportunity for them to commit credit card fraud, especially since the customer is not watching. This crime can be committed in any restaurant, regardless of how honest the merchant is. As a merchant, it is your responsibility to keep a close eye on your employees. Keep in mind that, if this form of credit card fraud happens in your restaurant, you can get in serious trouble even if it is not your fault.

The problem with skimming is that it can be hard for a typical cardholder to detect. However, the issuing bank has the necessary tools to do so; especially if there have been a number of cases reported. The issuing bank uses data mining to take a look at how closely-related each case is to the merchants. There are instances wherein cases can be traced back to one merchant; so that merchant will then be subject to investigations. If the fraud was traced back to a particular store, the merchant may be subject to very heavy penalties. This is why it is important for you, as the merchant, to secure the transactions made in your store and to ensure that none of your employees are committing credit card fraud.

Skimming is perhaps one of the easiest credit card frauds to commit, especially when store employees are the ones responsible for the crime. The responsibility lies heavily on you, especially since any crime committed in your store will be traced back to you. If you want to avoid these crimes, you have to make sure to conduct background checks on each of your employees, especially those who are directly handling transactions. You also have to keep records of who is in charge of the cash register daily to avoid fraudulent activities in your store.


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