Costa Mesa, CA, February 07, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- CardFlex (www.cardflexnow.com), a leading credit card payment processor, explains that credit card skimmers are one of the primary tools used by identity thieves today. Skimmers are placed on merchant credit card terminals, ATM machines, and other card reader locations. Identity thieves prefer these devices since they’re quick, accurate, and can generate mounds of data before they’re discovered and removed. A credit card skimmer placed in a high-profile area can generate thousands of dollars for identity thieves in a few short minutes.
Who’s at Risk?
Merchants of all sizes and in every industry are at risk for credit card skimmers. Large merchants are targeted just as often as smaller merchants. Those with more security in place may have a smaller chance of becoming a victim, but they’re not free of all risks.
Ways to Protect Your Business from Skimmers
Unless you have a trained eye, skimmers can be hard to spot. Your business could have a skimmer in place without you knowing about it for an extended period of time. You need to be proactive and vigilant to prevent credit card skimmers from wreaking havoc on your businesses and stealing your customers’ private data. Make sure you:
Know Your Equipment Vendors
Some of the most common skimmer users are fraudulent equipment vendors. When repairing or installing your equipment, these companies place credit card skimmers and begin swiping customer information. Although you want to save on expenses as much as possible, make sure your equipment vendor is reputable, performs background checks on employees, and tracks their employees’ work history so if a skimmer is in place you can find which employee installed it. You should also do physical internal inspections of equipment to ensure the units have not been tampered with before being sent out into the field.
Secure Credit Card Terminals
Lock down any terminals in and outside of your business. Lock in a secure cradle and keep the key in a safe location. Only allow the credit card terminal’s keys to be accessed by authorized personnel.
Train yourself and your employees on how to confirm a credit card terminal swap before any new hardware is installed. Too many merchants fall victim to credit card skimmers simply because they don’t have a preventative policy in place or trained employees to review replacements and exchanges on their terminal swaps.
Use a MAC Address
MAC or Media Access Control is used to identify physical pieces of hardware on a network. If you have equipment connected to a network, you should use a MAC address and monitor your network devices with the MAC service. If a device is replaced and has a new MAC address, make sure you can verify that this piece of equipment should be on your network. If it’s not, remove and disable it immediately so that the credit card skimmer cannot access your customers’ information.
You should monitor your devices and network at all times. Take inventory of serial numbers associated with your account and monitor credit card terminals or POS systems connected to your network. Careful monitoring can help you catch credit card skimmers before they strike.
Unfortunately, skimmers and scammers are here to stay, but you don’t have to become a victim. By being proactive and keeping a watchful eye you can discover and remove skimmers right away. The cost of doing nothing can cost your business greatly in the end.
Purchasing secure and advanced credit card terminals is the first step to take if you want to avoid credit card skimmers. Learn more about the different types and features available on terminals by visiting the credit card payment processing experts at www.CardFlexNow.com or by calling 866.634.3044.
Andy Phillips is the president and CEO of CardFlex, a leading provider of innovative merchant processing services and prepaid card solutions. A 28-year veteran of the payment processing industry, Andy leads the CardFlex team to help businesses of all types and sizes in a wide variety of industries reduce costs, increase sales, and better serve their customers with customized merchant processing services. CardFlex also provides an elite suite of prepaid card products that enable businesses to automate their payroll systems, significantly reduce costs, simplify reconciliation, improve employee satisfaction, and even create loyalty programs to increase revenues. Learn more about CardFlex’s merchant processing and prepaid solutions by visiting www.CardFlexNow.com or calling 866.634.3044.