Beware of the Force or Offline Transaction Scams

Security is a top priority in the payment industry. Are you aware of the latest schemes that thieves are using to cheat business owners? 


What are the "Force" or "Offline Transaction" scams?

Here's the scenario: 

A scammer with a stolen or fake card attempts a transaction. The merchant receives a decline, but the scammer pretends to contact their issuing bank and tells the merchant they received an authentication code. 

The scammer instructs the merchant, per their "bank", to use the code and force an offline transaction. The merchant enters the code, completing the fake transaction. The scammer walks away with stolen goods/services, and the merchant doesn't discover the scam until the batch processes, or it is identified when a chargeback or dispute is received.


This is a real scheme currently used by scammers.

Because the merchant is tricked into running fake transactions offline, the transaction is declined at the time of batch or a card dispute is issued. 


How you can combat this type of fraud:

  1. When a card is declined, ask for another form of payment
  2. NEVER accept a cardholder-provided Authorization Code
  3. Only use a Valid Authorization Code by calling the official Voice Authorization phone number provided by payment processors
  4. The safest transactions are always an EMV "dip" or the insertion of an EMV card into EMV-capable devices
  5. Forcing transactions have a HIGH RISK of chargebacks

Keep your business safe and protect yourself from fraudulent transactions. If you have questions about transaction security or processing EMV transactions, contact us immediately!