We know that it’s only the last week of October and there is still Halloween to celebrate this Friday. But, as we all know, the holiday season practically starts the day after Halloween. Have you begun to think about how you’ll be decorating your store and promoting your products around the holiday season? For most throughout Canada, business is about to pick up!
Although that’s a great thing, all of the new customers that will be coming into your store will make you more susceptible to fraud than usual. It’s a reality of running a business that no business owner likes to talk about, but it’s a reality nonetheless. As Janet Attard writes on BusinessKnowHow.com, “credit card fraud can quickly turn an otherwise prosperous holiday season or year into a huge nightmare for a small business.”
The key, she writes, is to look out for fraudulent sales. It’s hard to determine exactly what is fraudulent and what is not. But Attard writes that there a few telltale signs that you may want to pay attention to in order to avoid fraud this holiday season. Truthfully, her tips can be used all year round. But in the coming weeks, they should be especially helpful. Here are five ways to spot fraudulent sales.
1. Beware of unusually large orders. If you sell your products online, good for you! Online shopping is extremely popular in Canada and many a business owner has profited by offering it to their customers. And while the holiday season always brings about larger sales, Attard writes that you should watch for online orders that are much larger than normal without getting any contact from the customer. You may want to contact him or her directly to be sure the order is legit.
2. Rush orders for large quantities or high-priced goods. Rush orders are also the norm during the holiday shopping season. But they are also something that may require further investigation. According to Attard, “crooks may ask to have an order shipped overnight so they know exactly what day the order will arrive and they can be waiting to pick it up.” You’ll want to avoid shipping items to the wrong person.
3. Bizarre inquiries. Getting a lot of questions from numerous customers is also normal during the holidays. People want to make sure that they are purchasing the right items and that they will be delivered on time. However, Attard warns that you should be weary of “inquiries from buyers promising to place a large order, but who want you to send them a list of what you sell.” Be sure to ask the appropriate questions to know what you’re getting into.
4. Missing information. There is a reason that credit card companies offer security features on their cards. It’s another great reason to accept credit cards. They help to lessen the potential for fraud to occur. But, as we’re making obvious, additional steps need to be taken during the holidays. Attard warns that if customers refuse to provide pertinent information such as their phone numbers, you should be concerned.
5. Orders that are shipped to a different address than the billing address. This is bound to happen. After all, the holiday season is the season of giving and many people will be making purchases for their family members and friends. However, you may want to take this measure to make sure that each purchase being made is legitimate. Attard suggests that you watch out for orders from foreign countries especially.
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