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.”