While the credit card industry eats more than $1 billion in credit card fraud losses each year, merchants, particularly Internet and mail order merchants, take a much bigger hit. Even brick-and-mortar merchants get taken with customers using phony cards. Therefore, the nation’s bookkeepers have come up with a short list of basic tips to help any clerk spot a fake card. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers suggests:
Tell employees not to accept a VISA or MasterCard unless:
1. the numbers on the signature panel slant left and match the numbers on the front of the card
2. embossed account numbers on a VISA card begin with a 4 and is 13 or 16 digits — on a MasterCard begin with a 5 and is 16 digits Also tell employees not accept an American Express card unless:
3. the account number begins with 34 or 37 and is 15 digits;
4. the account number on the front and back match; and
5. the signature panel has wavy black lines and is not plain white or smudged (altered card).
For tips on spotting fake checks visit: “http://www.aipb.org”:http://www.aipb.org