Businesses have to face many different kinds of fraud. Along with cash fraud, there are also credit and debit scams, but with the proper steps, businesses can protect themselves. File photo

Ponoka businesses receive tips on defeating fraudsters

Chamber members learn more about fraud and how to spot debit and credit card issues

With criminals constantly updating how to steal from businesses, there is a need for owners and employees to get the latest advice.

That was the featured focus at the monthly meeting of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce held at the Ponoka Royal Canadian Legion on Sept. 18. RCMP Const. M. Lemke was on hand to make a brief presentation to the around 30 people for the lunch meeting.

Lemke shone a light on the subject of fraud and provided several strategies that businesses can and should employ to not become the victim of a crime that has changed significantly in the last 10 years.

His aim was to highlight electronic and credit card scams as, “It is the number one fraud happening to businesses now and it’s extraordinarily easy to put a stop to, but in practice it can be a bit harder due to the human element with employees.”

The first thing businesses need to do, he stated, is to ensure they comply with all of the rules that credit card companies have when it comes to accepting their card.

“If all those rules are followed, it’s almost impossible to be defrauded,” Lemke said. “However, it’s important to still have basic steps in place in order to limit any possible liability, because there are still legitimate times when people will have forgotten the pin number.”

That includes checking the name on the card with the person presenting it, ensuring a signature is on the back and being suspicious when someone keeps trying multiple cards.

“They’ve come in with a stack of stolen cards and that’s where checking the name can prevent fraud. It’s easy to do, but it takes training and reminding people to look and compare,” said Lemke.

One other issue businesses need to watch is someone who seems to be taking far too long punching in a pin number.

“The person might say — oh wrong pin — a couple times, so this is where staff has to step in and don’t accept any electronic payment from them. Because, what they do is sit and run off a string of 100 numbers — typing like a kid texting — and then all of a sudden the transaction is approved.”

Controlling and monitoring the pin pad is the key, Lemke explained, as the business could likely be responsible for any loss in this instance.

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