Category Archives: Economy and Meltdown

How Merchants Can Reduce Credit Card Fraud

If you operate a retail or ecommerce business, accepting all major credit cards and electronic checks is a required method of customer payment.   However, when you decide to accept electronic payments, business owners must also consider the potential cost of fraud.   Studies have shown both traditional and online merchants have lost billions in fraudulent transactions.  Today, technology provides proven methods for identifying and preventing fraudulent transactions.

Fraud can come in many forms. Needless to say fraud is bad for business.  If you process a fraudulent customer order by the time you find out the credit card was stolen you have already shipped the product.  Fraudulent orders usually result in a customer credit card chargeback to your business.   Unfortunately, by that time, you have delivered and lost your product, you have lost the income from the sale and to top it all off; you will receive a chargeback fee from your credit card processor.   I’m sure we can agree there is a strong need to identify and stop a fraudulent order before you deliver your product.

Fortunately for the merchant, there are many steps and processes that can be implemented to reduce and eliminate credit card fraud.


1.    Address Verification Service (AVS) – is a simple and easy to implement process to decrease your chances of accepting a stolen credit card. When you process a credit card transaction; make sure you capture the card holder’s billing address and zip code.   Manual non-swipe (Internet and MOTO) transactions will require you to capture card holder information.  However, card present (swipe) transactions will not.  Once you capture the card holder’s billing address and zip code you’re ready to process the sale.   Your point of sale system will verify AVS with the card issuing bank.  You can receive a street address match only, a zip code match only or a match on street address and zip code.   If you do not receive an AVS match you should consider declining the transaction.  Approximately 80% of fraudulent transactions in the U.S. are AVS mismatches.  Keep in mind, most AVS systems can be configured so be sure to check your AVS settings.  Implementing AVS can have a major impact on reducing credit card fraud.

2.    Card Verification (CVV/CVV2) – is similar to AVS.  CVV is the 3 digit code on the back of a credit card (4 digits for American Express).   Like AVS, CVV is entered at the point of sale.   The card holder’s CVV code is verified by the card issuing bank when the credit card sale is being processed.    If you do not receive a CVV match you should consider declining the transaction.  Online merchants should make CVV a required field.

3.    Use a Threshold Management Service – Threshold management allows the merchant to set parameters for the transactions they will accept.  For example, transactions can be screened based on the amount of money charged per transaction, the number of transactions charged, transaction frequency, average user ticket, etc.  Transactions that are marked as a potential fraudulent transaction will require additional review by the merchant.  Threshold Management services are usually available an add-on service.

4.    Scrutinize Orders from Free email accounts – Fraudsters and thieves like to hide.  One of the easiest ways to hide the identity of a thief is to use a free email account.  Most fraudulent transactions use a free email service.  Merchants should not decline all transactions from a free email service.  However, you may want to provide those orders with more scrutiny.

5.    Scrutinize Orders with a different Ship to address than Bill to address – The thief with the stolen credit card may have the owners billing address and zip code.   If so, you will receive an AVS and CVV match on their order.  However, in order to receive your product they will request the order to be shipped to a different address.   Merchants should review all orders with a different ship to and bill to address.   If the ship to address is a foreign country pay even more attention to the order.

6.    Scrutinize International Orders / Foreign Credit Cards – If your business model requires you to ship to foreign countries you should obtain an International merchant account.   Since non domestic orders have a higher rate of fraud than domestic orders, having an International merchant account will provide you with a higher level of protection.  In additional, an international merchant account will allow you to settle in the local currency.  If you require a domestic and international merchant account you should use a payment gateway with load-balancing.  Load-balancing provides the merchant with the ability to use multiple merchant accounts in a single payment gateway account.

7.    Understand that an Authorization Code does not mean the credit card is not stolen – An authorization code is provided when the transaction has been approved.  However, an authorization code simply means the credit card is valid and has the available credit to process the transaction.  Ultimately, as the business owner, it is up to you to decide to accept or reject the transaction.

8.    Use an Advance Fraud Protection Service – Advanced Fraud Protection services allow the merchant to block transactions by IP address, Country of Origin and other fraud filters.  Advanced fraud protection services are usually available an add-on service.

9.    Use a PCI Compliant Data Storage Service – Merchants who have a requirement to store the customer’s credit card data should use a PCI Compliant Data Storage Service.  A PCI Compliant Data Storage Service allows merchants to transmit and store the customer’s payment information in a Level 1 PCI certified data facility.  Once the customer record has been securely transmitted and stored the merchant can then initiate transactions remotely without having to access credit card or electronic check information directly. This process is accomplished without the merchant storing the customer’s payment information in their local database or payment application.

10.  Review and Implement PCI (Payment Card Industry Standards) Policies – Merchants can review PCI Standards online at   If you’re using a PCI Compliant point of sale solution and you do not store payment data you’re already in good shape.  However, merchants should contact their merchant account provider for more information.

Fraud prevention is a necessary activity for traditional and online merchants.   Exposing your business to fraudulent transactions and high chargeback ratios is bad for business and could cause you to lose your merchant account.   The leading real-time payment gateway services provide advanced fraud protection tools.  However, many fraud prevention techniques can be implemented at no additional costs.

Top Real-time Payment Gateway Services

1.    Planetauthorize (Domestic USA and International)

2.    Authorize.Net (Domestic USA)

3.    PlugnPay (Domestic USA)

4.    Skipjack (Domestic USA)

5.    eProcessing Network (Domestic USA)

Ricky Bracken is President & CEO of SaleManager. SaleManager provides enterprise class payment solutions to small and mid-size businesses. Our payment solutions include PlanetAuthorize Payment Gateway, Certified Shopping Carts, CRM Payment Modules, POS Terminals, Mobile payment solutions and Merchant Accounts.


Welcome to the scams section, first off, let me say that it is misleading out there. A lot of people say ‘product a’ is a scam, when it may not be. Why would people falsly accuse something of being a scam?

The two main reasons are:

1) They may be competition, so by calling the competition a scam, they will get the leading edge unless it backfires…

2) They may not have not made any money with such and such a product.

Just because someone does not make money with a certain system, product, or service, does not mean its a scam. Most products out there mislead you, just look at the tv. They will do anything to sell you something as long as it’s legal. Even if it is frowned upon (a.k.a blackhat methods).

How do you know if you’re being scammed? Usually… if it is too good to be true it is. Thats a good rule to stick by. But that doesnt mean just because something excites you, and motivates you, that it is a scam. It may just mean that they have made a great product/service and/or are good marketers.

Always read the tos, faq and disclaimers. No matter which site, product, or service you are planning to use.

Think of everything you pay for online as a business investment, not a fly by purchase. This is one of the big reasons why so many people lose money in the internet game. The act as shoppers, and not as investors. Before buying something, you need to do your research and be 100% sure that their is no better deal out there. If you wait a week and are still wanting the product, then you know you genuinely want it, rather than a one night stand kind of deal.

I will be posting scams here later on. There is literally millions of them out there, if you want to know if something is a scam then be sure to do your own research, if you cant find any concrete info please let me know and I will try and help you out.

Pharmacy Fraud Stings Physicians, Pharmacists, and Patients

Pharmacy fraud is a leading cause of . From drug abusers to black market drug sales to unscrupulous healthcare providers, pharmacy fraud is rampant. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NCHAA) estimates that $100 million is lost every day to healthcare fraud, a significant portion of which is due to pharmacy fraud.

Instances of pharmacy fraud are as numerous as they are devious. One recent example involves an HIV infusion scam that defrauded Medicare of nearly $11 million. A Miami physician and two physician assistants were convicted of multiple counts of healthcare fraud when they were found to have “[seen] no patients, administered no legitimate medical services, and paid a cash kickback to patients for each visit.”

But pharmacy fraud isn’t only perpetrated by healthcare professionals. Some drug abusers “dumpster dive” to gain valuable information. It’s a common practice where the drug addict watches someone leave the pharmacy and/or grocery store and throw away the pharmacy’s drug identification sheet into the dumpster in front of the building. Some pharmacies include a patient’s personal information which the dumpster divers use to both steal identities and illegally purchase pharmaceuticals.

Pharmacies themselves commit pharmacy fraud every day in many different forms, including:

  • Billing: Illegal pharmacy billing practices include billing for: brand-name drugs when generics are dispensed, non-existent prescriptions, multiple payers for the same prescription, prescriptions filled but never picked up, splitting prescriptions into smaller days’ supply for additional dispensing fees, or offering or accepting kickbacks.

  • Drug shorting: This type of pharmacy fraud occurs when the pharmacy provides less than the quantity prescribed by the doctor and then bills the insurance provider for the full amount.

  • Refill errors: Another common form of pharmacy fraud is when a pharmacy dispenses the wrong number of refills prescribed by a doctor.

  • Payment scams: Pharmacy fraud also happens when a pharmacy pays a doctor to influence a patient to go to a specific pharmacy, or when a pharmacy waives copays to allure people who would have otherwise used a different store.

Indeed, pharmacy fraud takes many forms. Professional practices, who are so often unwitting victims of pharmacy fraud, need to be vigilant to protect their practices and patients. Prevention begins with education. Hire a healthcare fraud and abuse expert for an unforgettable to teach your employees how to spot and stomp out pharmacy fraud—while also learning how to avoid medical identity theft. Visit or call 310.831.4400 today for more details.

Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., is an identity theft and healthcare fraud prevention expert specializing in medical consulting and investigations. She teaches corporations, professional practices, and consumers how to stop identity theft and healthcare fraud. Call The Identity Advocate at 310.831.4400 or email Visit

Understanding the Types of Stock Fraud

We all know that stock fraud, also known as securities fraud, deals with deceiving people for money, but there are actually numerous types of stock fraud, all just as equally bad as the next. Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, and the fine folks over at Enron are all serving (or served) time for different charges of stock fraud. There are so many forms but we’ll just talk about the ones you tend to hear about on the news all the time.

You can thank Enron for making corporate fraud popular in the 2000s. Corporate fraud is simply any type of fraud committed by large corporations and their high level executives. Corporate fraud is complex and has a large negative effect on employees, entire communities, investors, lenders, and financial markets.

With the age of the Internet comes computer and Internet crimes. Internet fraud refers to the use of the Internet to conduct fraudulent business in schemes. This can occur in chat rooms, on websites, or through e-mail. The amount of schemes done over the Internet are practically innumerable. Some examples include the selling of nonexistent items, phishing, work-at-home scams, and investment schemes.

Insider trading has been going on way before Martha Stewart or the movie Wall Street. This is when an “insider” or informant in the company gives someone non-public information and trades stock based on that information. There is a legal form of insider trading which is when a person who works for a company buys and sells stock within the company.

Accounting fraud is when a company lies about its revenue or misdirects funds. Many companies will make it seem that they are worth much more than they really are. Accounting fraud has been nicknamed “creative accounting” because the company learns how to hide or misrepresent their earnings — think of Broadway show The Producers.

Microcap stock fraud relates to small businesses, those with a market capitalization under $250 million. Stocks are sold fraudulently to the public through any number of different stock fraud schemes, such as pump and dump schemes, chop stocks, and dump and dilute schemes.

Unfortunately, a growth in the United States’ markets has also led to an increase in stock fraud. Securities fraud is also becoming more complex as these criminals think of new scams and schemes. The Internet has also led to a huge surge in fraud since it is so much easier to find potential victims. It is often hard to recover the money gained from fraud because criminals have become quite good at hiding the money.

As technology continues to grow, I’m sure these white collar crimes will too. New scams will surface and more will become the innocent victim in these greedy crimes.

Are you a victim of stock fraud? Stock Market Recovery Consultants Inc. can help you make a claim to recover your stock fraud losses. Call 1-800-STOCK-LOSS today or visit us online at We won’t charge you a dime until we win your case.

Reliv Scam Report – Is Reliv International a Scam?

Are The Reliv Scam Reports True?

First things first, Reliv International is a perfectly legitimate company. Reliv International was founded way back in 1985 and are producing products within the health and wellness industry.

The one mail ingredient that determines whether or not a company is a scam, are the company’s products. Most often, a scam of some sort does not have any real products at all. They have something that will maybe come in the future, the option of buying stock options and so forth. The products these scams provide have no value at all today and people are only in the opportunity in order to make money with it by getting others to jump into it also.

Reliv International has tens of thousands of people that are purchasing their products year after year, without even realizing that there is a business opportunity involved with it, and that only underlines that this is no scam.

Reliv is also openly traded on the NASDAQ index, which again shows why they are not a scam.

So What Are Up With The Reliv Scam Reports?

There will always be written scam reports on every company out there and the reasons for that are many. Three of the reasons that stand above the rest are:

1. The author behind the Reliv scam report is in fact involved with Reliv themselves and are writing a report telling you that Reliv is no scam and that the reader should join them in their Reliv team.

2. The writer of the Reliv scam report is a marketer for another company and by belittling Reliv and calling it a scam this person hopes to catch some of the people who are looking at Reliv and get them to partake in their opportunity instead.

3. The one publishing a Reliv scam report is has actually been involved with Reliv or some other company before without being able to turn their business into the success they expected, thus doing the reports to help avoid others do the same thing they did.

Let us shift the focus of this article over to the latter category of people here, that are writing Reliv scam reports because they haven’t gotten they wanted out of this industry.

A large percentage of people who are jumping into an opportunity like Reliv believe that this is a business that is very easy to build. The thing is that this is not true; building a successful network marketing business requires a lot of hard work and the development of a lot of new skills.

When people come into this industry with the wrong expectations, they are going to figure out down the road that this is in fact going to be harder than they first thought, and many people will then feel ripped off and will go on to write these scam reports.

What you have to absolutely be aware of when wanting to build a large team in any network marketing company, is that only YOU are responsible for the success that you create.

Your company is not going to do the work for you and give you all the answers you are searching for. In fact, your success has really nothing to do with your primary opportunity at all.

Your success all comes down to how good you are at MARKETING the opportunity and the products you represent. Until you learn how to properly build up a business around YOURSELF as who you are as a person and what you can provide to a potential new distributor, you will not make any significant money at all in this industry.

For you to not end up in the 3rd category ending up frustrated writing Reliv scam articles, it is vital that you locate the best possible marketing system that you can use to market your Reliv opportunity.

When you have found that online marketing system that leverages your marketing efforts by thousand folds by letting you tap into the vast powers of the Internet, you will become successful in this industry sooner than you ever thought was possible.

Don’t end up as one of those guys who are publishing Reliv scam reports because they can’t make this business work! Head over and see the Reliv Marketing System that successful Reliv distributors are using to DOMINATE the Internet.