5 Things You and Your Staff Need to Know About Credit Card Fraud
Credit cards play a huge role in many of our daily lives, from handling businesses expenses to picking up groceries on the way home from work. The convenience of having plastic money on-hand in the case of an emergency is impossible to argue against, but so too is the fact that credit cards come along with a number of security-related challenges—particularly in the realm of identity theft. No one ever expects to become a victim of identity theft, but it happens more commonly than most people realize.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help protect you and your practice against identity theft and credit card fraud. It all begins with getting educated on the subject—here are five things you need to know to keep you and your staff safe.
1. Credit Cards are Safer Than You Might Think
Yes—identity theft is real, and it affects millions of people throughout the world each year. With technology evolving at a rapid rate, however, credit cards are becoming safer than ever in the past. When debit cards are hacked, for example, the victim’s bank account becomes compromised; not so with credit cards. The consumer liability aspects of federal law that relate to fraudulent purchases make credit cards actually one of the safest options for consumers, so don’t just stop using or processing them because of the risk of identity theft.
2. Fraud Can Occur in a Variety of Different Ways
One of the most difficult aspects of preventing credit card fraud is the fact that it can occur in a wide variety of different ways. Discarded billing statements, for example, can end up in the wrong hands and result in fraudulent activity. Websites can get hacked, phishing and telemarketing scams run rampant, and sometimes credit cards simply end up getting stolen. The moral of the story? Keep a watchful eye on credit card activity at all times, and don’t hesitate to call your credit card or processing company the moment you believe something fishy may be at play.
3. EMV is Making Credit Cards Smarter and Safer
“Chip cards” have become the norm, providing a much wider range of protection against fraudulent activity than the strip-based credit cards of the past. Specifically, EMV protects against the practice of “skimming,” which results in hackers gaining access to credit card data by breaking into retail terminals. EMV is just the start, too—many other technological security advancements are expected to be integrated into credit cards in the coming years.
4. Going Paperless is Actually a Good Idea
It’s often assumed that “going paperless” is beneficial mainly because it helps to cut down on waste and reduce excess clutter around the office, but there’s more to eliminating the paper trail than that. Paper is essentially a security threat, especially when it comes to credit card information. By going paperless, you’ll be able to do your part to create a better world while also protecting the information of your patients and practice.
5. If Unauthorized Charges Occur, You’re Not Liable
It’s easy to worry about credit card fraud and what it can mean for your practice, but there’s a silver lining to the threat of all this. Thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act, major credit card issuers throughout the United States provide for zero liability to their customers, which means fraudulent charges should never have to interrupt your cash-flow so long as you keep a close eye on things.
The threat of credit card fraud is undoubtedly real, but it doesn’t have to spell disaster if you know what to watch out for.
eAssist Helpful News and Billing Tips; Edition #120