Thursday September 03 , 2015

The Real Costs of Fraud In Restaurants

Credit Card SkimmingThe customer waits patiently as the drive thru cashier swipes his credit card.  He will remember that she greeted him with a great smile and warm hello.  She has inspired him to complete the customer feedback survey.  He notices that she is enthusiastic and is very efficient.  What he does not notice is that while swiping his credit card for his food purchase, she removed something from her pocket and swiped his credit card through that as well.  The cashier hands back his card and pleasantly directs him to pull up to the next window to pick up his order.  He thinks, “What a great employee!”.


The cashier just committed one of the highest theft trends targeting the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry.   It is called “skimming” and last year this credit card fraud scheme cost the QSR industry over $200 million!  The cashier skims customer credit cards into the device during credit transactions.  The customer information on the magnetic stripe is captured and is sold to a contact.  The customer’s identity is stolen, identify fraud is committed, counterfeit credit cards created and fraudulent charges made.  The customer has no knowledge that their credit card was compromised until fraudulent charges show up on their monthly statement.  The fraudulent credit transactions can be extremely difficult to trace by credit card companies and law enforcement.

Could this be happening in your restaurant?  Would you recognize it?  Do you know what to look for?  Do you know what it could cost you?  Credit card fraud in the QSR industry is skyrocketing as credit card purchases become more prevalent.  Employees that commit this fraud are likely to be stealing from your restaurant in other ways as well.  Customers who identify that the fraud charges on their card that turned their lives upside down started in your restaurant may start a backlash of bad publicity directed at you.   Credit card companies are poised to chargeback restaurants where the credit card was originally “skimmed” making the restaurant financially responsible for all of the fraudulent charges.  Do your profit margins support that?

Comprehensive loss prevention programs address the vulnerability to credit card fraud via employee theft, customer theft schemes, stolen cards, found cards, and gift cards.  Policy, procedure and employee training address the proper handling of credit cards.  Audits, reviews and follow-up address compliance.

Get your loss control program assessed today!  Discover what types of credit and gift card fraud could seriously affect your profitability and tarnish your brand.  Learn how to implement loss prevention techniques to recognize fraud and take the proper steps to eliminate credit card fraud from your restaurant.

Complete this free assessment quiz on your credit card fraud prevention efforts.