Business Fraud Prevention


 Be alert for customers who act suspiciously, particularly if they:

  • Try to rush through a sale,

  • Look nervous or agitated,

  • Are being watched or monitored by other people inside the store who you don’t know,

  • Make purchases without regard to size, quality or price,

  • Arrive and expect to process large sales at closing time,

  • Have no identification,

  • Request that transactions be manually entered,

  • Sign their names slowly or unnaturally,

  • Have many cards and multiple transactions on these fail.

Credit and Debit Cards

With credit and debit cards, always inspect the front and back:

  • Check if the card is damaged,

  • Check the expiry date,

  • Check the printing and embossing – is it altered or unevenly manufactured?

  • Check that the hologram is 3D and changes colour when tilted,

  • Check to see if the card is listed in the Warning Bulletin (if available)

  • Check to see if the card has been signed,

  • Check the signature panel – has it been altered and / or overwritten?

  • Does the customer’s signature match the card signature? (if used)

  • Check that the chip is actually metallic,

  • Check if the card details match the receipt (name, partial number),

  • Utilise the BIN List (Bank Identification Number) to check if the first six digits of the credit card match the issuing financial institution (wherever possible).

If you are suspicious of the card and the customer:

  • Ask for some form of photo identification, such as drivers licence or passport,

  • Hold the card when completing the transaction (if no chip is present).

EFTPOS Terminal Security

  • Never let anyone service or remove any EFTPOS terminal without first being advised of this by your bank or financial institution. If you are not aware that authorisation exists do not anyone touch the terminals and contact the police.

  • Always bring this to the attention of bank if you are unsure.

  • It is an idea to have all terminals secured to displays so they cannot be tampered with or removed except by properly authorised technicians, and

  • Check every EFTPOS terminal at least twice daily for evidence of tampering and incorporate these checks into your usual business security activity.

  • Most importantly - Record the serial number of your EFTPOS machines and always check if they match the devices that are issued to your business.

 Counterfeit Notes

 What to look for

  • Feel the note – a genuine note is printed on special plastic polymer and is difficult to tear,

  • Hold the note to the light and look for the Australian Coat of Arms. This is generally located on the left of the clear window, or denomination numeral when looking at the front of the note. For the $5 note, check to the left of the work “Australia”.

  • Look for the micro-printing. This is generally located near the portraits. If available – use a magnifying glass, micro-printed words should be clearly visible.

  • Feel for slightly raised printing on the main design of the note,

  • Look for the seven pointed star inside a circle,

  • Compare the background printing – look for any distortions or less clearly defined patterns,

  • Check that the note has a clear window and that it has a clear printed image: the $5 note has a gumflower; $10 has a windmill; $20 has a compass; $50 has the Southern Cross and the $100 has the lyrebird. Also, if the note is titled the embossing of a wave pattern is located in this window on the $10 note and the numbers 20, 50 and 100 appear in the window of their respective notes.

  • If possible, look under a UV light to locate the serial numbers.

What to do if you suspect that you have received a counterfeit note

  • Advise the person that you think that the note is counterfeit and that you are going to call the police,

  • Handle the note as little as possible and place it in an envelope or other protective covering,

  • Record the person’s description and vehicle registration details (if sighted),

  • Notify the police straight away.

Business Scams

  • Do business with companies you know and trust. If you are wary conduct due diligence and make enquiries into any business that you are not sure about. Be especially careful if dealing with businesses from overseas when the services and goods you supply are usually for domestic use and sale.

  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision or fall for high pressure sales tactics.

  • Always ask for the name, identification, ABN and contact number of the person you are speaking to and who they represent,

  • Insist on written information and quotes for work,

  • Find out whom you are dealing with. Contacting the Australian Securities and Investment Commission or ASIC (on 1300 300 630 or 9911 2200) is a good place to start. Checks can also be done online if you visit,

  • Read letters and contracts carefully and seek professional advice from an accountant or solicitor if you are unsure or if significant amounts of money are involved,

  • Do not give out personal information over the telephone, such as credit card details, or the names of employees, until you have checked out the company and know that they are legitimate,

  • Keep proper records. Poorly organised businesses are the main targets of scammers,

  • Keep the number of people who are authorised to pay cheques and draw company funds to a minimum and ensure that access of these people is continually updated with your bank or financial institution.