Credit card fraud is a scary topic for consumers. For restaurant owners, it’s a nightmare. Consumers pay for restaurant meals with credit or debit cards more than any other method. As card usage continues to go up, so does the risk of fraud. Credit card fraud can happen in a few different ways, but the most common are either the hacking of your internal payment systems or the physical skimming of credit cards at your location.
Sad But True: Employees May Be Your Biggest Threat
Skimming is a form of credit card theft where criminals use electronic devices to steal credit card information. Criminal organizations often recruit the help of your employees who either knowingly want in on the action or unknowingly get duped into participating. Restaurants are particularly strong targets for skimming operations because guests hand over their cards and lose sight of them while payments are being processed. Unscrupulous servers can then use hand-held skimmers to steal credit card information. Or, criminals may bribe employees for access to the restaurant’s payment systems in order to install a skimming device.
Criminals are getting more and more devious and tech-savvy, but you’re not defenseless as a restaurant operator. Employee training is the key to credit card fraud prevention. Here six things you can do to keep your guests – and your business – safe from credit card data theft:
- Keep payment processing machines in line of sight of guests and other employees.
- Be familiar with the features of your machines so you can easily spot tampering attempts.
- Follow procedures to regularly inspect payment devices, including table-side tablets.
- Verify the validity of all service technicians who come to work on payment machines.
- Encourage employees to report all suspicious behavior.
- Inform employees that participating in the theft of card information is a serious criminal offense with life-altering consequences.
All successful restaurant managers spend a lot of time recruiting the best employees, and no one wants to believe that credit card fraud could be an inside job. When you make credit card security a key training topic and employees know prevention practices are being strictly followed, your restaurant will be a less appealing target.
Skimming Prevention Training
Criminals are targeting your customers and your restaurant. Click here to train your staff to detect and prevent credit card skimming at your location.