Security Alert 2014, December 2 Holiday Tip

Avoid being swindled by a heart-tugging holiday story

12/2/2014 — You may find it hard to stay in the holiday spirit and be wary of potential threats to your business. After all, who would want to be the Scrooge who ruins a feel-good story about shipping gifts to soldiers overseas or needing an immediate purchase for a dying relative?

Remember, however, that criminals will resort to any means necessary to get their hands on your merchandise … and that includes made-up cover stories accompanying attempts to use fraudulent currency and credit. Here are just a few key tips for recognizing and/or combating a potentially fraudulent sale:

  • Red flags should pop up immediately when dealing with an out-of-state customer trying to purchase over the phone and requesting an expedited shipment.
  • If you are suspicious, contact the credit card company or bank to verify the transaction.
  • When shipping, send the merchandise only to the billing address and require a signature when the package is delivered.
  • Be on alert for anyone who tries to present a check after hours or on the weekends when the funds cannot be verified with the bank.
  • Request at least two forms of identification (one must include a photo) and inform all employees to make copies that can be kept on record.
  • It’s never a good sign when a check lacks a pre-printed address, is post dated, or has any other odd features.
  • If at all possible, wait until a check has cleared the bank to turn over the merchandise.