Don’t Let Them Put It On Your Tab – Bottle Security and Credit Fraud
To stop theft of alcohol from occurring at your business, you have a good bottle security program in place and bottle locks on your liquor, but what can you do to stop your own employees from committing fraud? How do you think a customer would react if they found out that their credit card information was obtained from using it at your business? My guess is that they would be much less likely to return, and your image would be tarnished. Fraud is a year round problem, but it only increases during the holiday season. One reason for this is that everything is hectic during the holidays. Everyone needs more money during the holidays, so right before the season, some of the not so ethical members of society take advantage of the situation and fraud activity increases. The mix of the busy environment, with access to credit cards, and need for extra money may be too tempting for some of your employees.
Restaurants and bars are infamous places for fraud to be committed by the employees. It’s one of the few places where the employee takes your credit or debit card from you, and walks out of sight. At this point, they should just be taking the card and swiping it through the business’s register for approval. This also gives them the opportunity to obtain the information from your card for themselves, either by imprinting the card, writing it down, or swiping it through a device. Unfortunately, you can’t put bottle locks on your customer’s credit cards, so trying to make sure this doesn’t happen at your business would obviously start with background checks on all employees. After that, their activity should be monitored on occasion to ensure they are not taking doing anything out of the ordinary. Ensure the employees are being supervised and don’t have any opportunities to slip away with a card.
I have actually been a victim of fraud myself. I checked my account activity and learned that a purchase for $900 had gone through at a major retailer using my bank card. This immediately shocked me, because I hadn’t even been to that retailer recently, and I still had my card in my possession. I immediately called my bank and reported this as fraud. To make matters worse, the bank froze my account for a few days until they investigated the transaction. Of course it was proven that it was fraud, but it was a very inconvenient experience to say the least. So if I still had my card, how did the thieves use my card in the store?
Most likely, my information was obtained from using my card at a restaurant or other business, and then re-encoded onto another card. It sounds complicated, but it’s very easy for thieves to do this today. It’s as easy as ordering a device online that they can swipe your card with, then store it and put your information on another card. The black strip on the back of the card stores the information they need. Thieves are even placing devices on gas pumps on top of the real device, so when you swipe your card, you are running it through their device as well. If this all sounds a little scary to you, it should. Do all you can to protect your alcohol with bottle security, and then look at your employees to try to stop fraud from occurring in your business.
For more information contact us: Bottle Security or call 1.770.426.0547