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When most people think of Credit Card Fraud, the image that comes to mind is that of an individual whose card has been lost or stolen, and who is therefore left vulnerable to credit card and identity theft. Little thought is often given to the processor or merchant who has mistakenly taken the fraudulent card, and the difficulties that the process can cause for them either in terms of paperwork with the credit card company or in how their business might come to be regarded by customers.

There are several things a business can do to combat credit card fraud from their end, some simple and some more involved, but all helpful.

First, for brick-and-mortar stores that accept credit cards, the first thing to do is so simple it may seem obvious, and yet it's surprising how often this first piece of advice is ignored. Check the signature on the back of every credit card you or your staff members receive, and make sure it fits signature that the person signing the card has just given you. If someone has not signed the back of their credit card, require them to show you photo ID. This is all obvious and spelled out in the rules governing credit card usage, and yet in the USA it is often disregarded, to the detriment of the security of both merchants and credit card users.

Online stores can use Verisign, a new online service provided by a number of credit card companies which requires customers to put in additional information to verify that they are, in fact, the person who is supposed to use the card and not someone who has found a credit card on the street, or a child or teen who has "acquired" their parents' card without permission.

When a card is declined, many store clerks find themselves cowed by customers who insist their card should be valid or should not have been declined. Clerks should be trained in how to handle these situations, whether the training come from an internal member of staff or an external training service. Customers should not become abusive, and clerks should feel supported by their employer.

There are a number of other on- and off-line solutions which can help any business combat credit card fraud. When credit card fraud takes place, it has repercussions which can affect a business (especially a small one which relies on constant transactions to keep its cash flowing) both through the money and the time required to bring these matters to satisfactory conclusions. The consequences can be at best annoying and at worst disastrous for a business which may find itself in jeopardy from not preventing credit card fraud.

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