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Fraud is on the rise and you’re the first line of defence to safeguard your business. Here are some tips to help keep your business safe.

How can I keep my business safe from fraud?

1. Follow the rules

Always stick to the terms of your merchant agreement and the rules set out by each of the card schemes. 

2. Only process genuine cardholders

Make sure a payment is made by the rightful cardholder. An authorisation will not guarantee payment if it is not made by the genuine cardholder. We recommend taking steps to validate the identity of the cardholder where possible. 

3. Minimise chargebacks

Be aware of how and why chargebacks may occur to help minimise risk.

4. Refund right

Only process refunds to the card that the initial sale was made on to protect yourself from refund scams.

5. Protect targeted goods

Be careful handing over or shipping goods such as electrical goods, jewellery and computers as they may be an easier resale for fraudsters. 

6. Keep data secure

It is your responsibility to ensure your customers’ payment details remain safe and secure. Learn more at Your Guide to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) (PDF 67KB)

7. Be scam aware

Keep up with the types of scams that could impact your business with Scam Watch and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).

What are the types of fraud?

Refund scams

What is a refund scam? 

A refund scam can happen when a customer asks for a cash refund or gives you another card that was not used to make the original sale. 


How can I prevent refund scams? 

Refunds can only be processed by entering a refund password. You will be issued with a refund password when you sign up with Westpac. This password will be a generic number. You are strongly advised to change this password by contacting the Merchant Helpdesk on 1800 029 749


Tips to keep your password safe 

  • Ensure your new password is not visible to customers 
  • Do not write your password on your terminal 
  • Change your password when an employee leaves your business or if you have a high turnover of staff 
  • Consider allowing only managers or supervisors to provide refunds 
  • Limit the number of people who know your password

Mail Order and Telephone Order (MOTO) fraud

When a transaction is processed without a physical card and a PIN, this increases a risk to your business for fraudulent activity. 


How can I prevent MOTO fraud? 

Here’s how you can help to reduce online payment and MOTO fraud: 

  • Ask for photo ID. If your customer is collecting goods in person, you can confirm their identity matches the card used to make the purchase.  
  • Check the billing address. Ensure the delivery and billing addresses are consistent. For example, is it a local billing address with a delivery address that is overseas?
  • Request the CVV. Ask your customer to provide the CVV2 (Visa) or CVC2 (Mastercard®). It’s the three-digit number located on the signature panel of the credit card. If the purchaser is not in possession of the card, it is unlikely they will know this number. 
  • Get a signature. Ask for a signed receipt from the cardholder when the goods are delivered. 
  • Be cautious. Is an international card being used for a domestic purchase? Are multiple cards used for a single purchase? These could be signs of fraud. 
  • Request the name of the cardholder’s bank. Fraudsters who have compromised account details may not be aware of these details, so it may be worthwhile asking them to verify. 
  • Accept a declined response. Don’t continue to attempt an authorisation after receiving a ‘decline’ for the transaction.  
  • Follow the framework. Be aware of the AusPayNet Card Not Present Fraud Mitigation Framework which defines the approach to reduce the growing level of online card fraud in Australia. 

Credit card fraud

How to detect and prevent card fraud

Fraud can happen to any business that accepts EFTPOS payments, and could have a significant impact on your business. See how you can detect and prevent credit card fraud.

Your guide to card skimming

Help protect your business against card skimming with these top tips (PDF 123KB).