Credit card fraud is a scary topic for consumers. For restaurant owners, it’s a nightmare. Consumers pay for restaurant meals with credit cards more than any other method. As that use continues to increase, so does the risk of credit card fraud. This 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. To pull off either of these scams, criminal organizations often recruit the help of your employees who either knowingly want in on the action or unknowingly get duped into participating.

Preventing Credit Card Fraud at Restaurants

Skimming is a form of credit card theft where criminals use electronic devices to steal credit card information. 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 convince employees to give them access to the restaurant’s payment systems in order to install a skimming device or hack the system.

Criminals are getting more and more devious and tech-savvy, but as an operator you aren’t defenseless. Training is the key to credit card fraud prevention. Here are some basic best practices 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.