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The Fraud Squad

Simple things to do to keep credit card and check crimes to a minimum

This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

If you think credit card authorizations or check guarantees ensure fraud-free purchases, think again, because you can get stuck with the losses. You're particularly vulnerable as summer ushers in schedule changes, vacations and more relaxed attitudes-and rip-off artists step up efforts to circumvent security measures. There are some simple things you can do to keep credit card and check crime to a minimum.

First of all, if you're a retail merchant and you don't use a POS terminal, keep a manual imprinter on hand for credit card transactions, advises Debbie Johnson, manager of security at Electronic Clearing House Inc. (ECHO) in Agoura Hills, California. "It's evidence that will protect you from most charge-backs," she stresses. If the imprint isn't clear, hand-write all info on the sales draft.

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