CoC warns of prepaid fraud

The Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce last week warned of fraud perpetrated against several local businesses using prepaid gift cards.

PORT HARDY—The Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce last week warned of fraud perpetrated against several local businesses using prepaid gift cards.

The warning stems from a series of bogus transactions in the town dating back to August 16.

Reportedly, the frauds involved a customer paying for items with a prepaid Canada Post Visa card. When swiped, the card — which did not contain a chip — could not be read and the sale was entered manually. Retailers reported that the machine returned instructions to take a manual imprint but the card did not have raised numbers.

The transaction was approved and a signature was obtained on the receipt.

These charges were later contested by the cardholder.

The Chamber noted in its release that “The credit card company recommends that if a prepaid card does not swipe, it is not usable and should not be taken. If you decide to proceed with the transaction, make sure to record additional identification such as a driver’s license. With numerous card processing companies being utilized by retailers it can be difficult to isolate a pattern of fraud.

“The Chamber of Commerce recommends reviewing credit card policy with front-line staff.  We are in contact with some of the affected retailers and will keep members apprised of any developments in this situation.”