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You Are the Most Effective Weapon Against Fraud

Fraud Prevention

Fraud has always been a threat to merchants, but the advent of e-commerce has made it more prevalent than ever. Fraud protection is now integral to the operation of any successful business. CNP (card not present) transactions are highly susceptible to fraud, for which merchants are held liable. We have some preventative tips that can help limit credit card fraud, starting with basic tools and some good old-fashioned sleuthing.

In future 2017 blogs, we will also provide real examples of fraud that has happened in our industry, to help you recognize and avoid it before it happens to you. Don’t miss out on future blogs!

Remember that an authorization approval does not mean that the you are guaranteed payment. Approval only indicates that at the time the approval was issued, the card hasn’t been reported stolen or lost, and that the card credit limit has not been exceeded. If someone else is using the credit card number illegally, the card holder has a right to dispute the approved charges, even after the stay has occurred. Know your guests and trust your instincts.

AVS (Address Verification) is used to verify the identity of the person attempting the transaction by checking the numeric parts of the billing address provided for the sale against the address on file at the credit card issuer. If the response from the issuer shows that the AVS data doesn’t match, we recommend that you decline the transaction and contact the guest for additional information. (Additionally, depending on how you process, providing AVS data with every transaction often helps ensure you receive the best processing rates available).

CVV2, the 3- or 4-digit code printed on credit or debit cards, can be another important tool to fight fraud. Since most fraudulent transactions result from stolen card numbers rather than the actual theft of the physical card, a customer that supplies this number with the transaction is much more likely to be in possession of the credit card. If the CVV2 response shows it doesn’t match what the issuer has on file, we recommend that you decline the transaction and contact the guest for additional information. Visa claims that the use of AVS with CVV2 validation for card-not-present transactions can reduce chargebacks by as much as 26%.

We can’t emphasize enough how important trusting your gut can be to catch fraud before it happens. If you or your staff is suspicious, for any reason, including that it is a last-minute reservation, you can always call the voice authorization line and request a Code 10 authorization. This is a discreet way to find out more about whether the information provided to you by the guest (even the cardholder name) matches the information at the issuing bank.

All of these tools, combined with security best practices, are your premier protection against CNP fraud. Be proactive now, rather than reactive later, about fraud detection and fraud protection. Contact Ascent Processing with any questions you may have regarding fraud protection or payment processing at


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