Fraud Prevention: Your Best Fraud Protection Measure is Awareness
by Alexis Garrett.
Fraud prevention requires constant vigilance, especially for jewelers dealing with precious metals and stones. I was recently a victim of fraud, and I want to warn other jewelry business owners to be cautious, because unfortunately there is very little fraud protection for you.
My fraudulent transaction began when I received an order through my website for a pretty expensive array of my products. Later, the gentleman who placed this order emailed me instructions as to where to ship it. I thought, “Okay, this seems fishy….”
Listening to your intuition can go a long way toward fraud prevention. Fraudulent orders often just don’t “feel” quite right.
I then ran the customer’s credit card, and surprisingly it went through.
As a fraud prevention measure, I then called my credit card machine company to let them know that I was wary of this transaction, and that it could be fraudulent. I asked them to double-check that it was authorized.
My credit card processing company said that the payment went through and that it was fine. I didn’t send any of my products to this customer until I was sure that his money was in my account.
So I waited a week.
I then called them twice more to make sure that the transaction was secure, both times letting the customer service person know that I thought that the order could be a fraud.
So after they assured me that everything was legitimate, I sent the package.
A couple days went by and of course the day after the shipping company delivered my product, I received a call from the loss department of my credit card processing company letting me know that the suspicious customer’s credit card was fraudulent!
I argued that they had authorized it and processed it, and that I had called them on three separate occasions asking them to make sure that it was legit.
So after discussing it with them, then issuing a return on the credit cards, and feeling like I was the stupid one – I realized that no one is looking out for the small business person.
In the end, the small business owner will be the one with no power – and the only power that we can gain is knowledge.
We have to be proactive and ask as many questions as it takes to get through to the right people who can answer the questions.
We as business owners need to know that we are the only ones looking out for ourselves.
Our credit card merchant companies won’t stand behind us in this, either. They are the middleman – they authorize, and that is all.
Our best bets for fraud prevention are to be aware, listen to our intuition, and share our knowledge and experiences with fraud.
By reading, researching, and sharing we can all help prevent fraud and theft against small businesses – so we don’t all have to learn about it the hard way.
Author Alexis Garrett of Alexis Drake Jewelry creates original designs that possess the timelessness for any style and every season. Her work reflects the influence of both her current home in Chicago and her roots in the American West. Alexis’ jewelry is available in shops in a growing number of states, including Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, and her native Wyoming.