SW Merchant Services Group offers tips on fraud protection. Consumers are very concerned about credit card theft. Credit card fraud is something that can never be completely eliminated, but can be managed through practices by the merchant. Here are preventative tips that can you can perform to limit credit card fraud.

An authorization on a credit card does not mean you are safe from fraud.

Approved authorization does not guarantee payment. Approval only indicates that at the time of purchase, the card hasn’t been reported stolen/lost or the card limit has not been exceeded. If someone is using the credit card illegally, the card holder can dispute the charges.

Always get an Address Verification.

Using AVS (Address Verification System) is easy to decrease the chances of accepting a stolen credit card. When you process a credit card transaction; make sure you get the card holder’s billing address and zip code. Manual non-swipe transactions will require you to get card holder information. However, card present transactions will not. Once you get the card holder’s billing address and zip code you’re ready to process the sale.

Always use Card Verification Methods (CVM).

Card Verification Value (CVV) is the three-digit code on the back of a credit card (four digits for American Express). The card holder’s CVV code is verified by the card issuing bank when the credit card sale is being processed. If you do not receive a CVV match you should consider declining the transaction. Online merchants should make CVV a required field.

Be wary of different “Bill” and “Ship To” addresses.

Require anyone who uses a different “ship to” address to send a fax/email with their signature and credit card number authorizing the transaction. If the billing and shipping addresses are different, request telephone numbers for both addresses.

Be extra careful with International Orders.

It is very difficult to retrieve goods or apprehend fraudsters after they have left the country. Always inspect the orders that are being shipped to an international address. Pay more attention if the card or the shipping address is in an area prone to credit card fraud.