By using free sites to verify information provided by new customers, many businesses will avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
Discover Conflicting Information
Fraudsters are adept at assuming other people’s identities, using internet phone numbers (VOIP), free email services and digitally-altered documents to appear as legitimate as possible. While these fraudsters try to appear as legitimate cardholders, a quick check on the internet can often reveal information that conflicts with the information provided by your new customer.
Fraudsters create fake credit card images to deceive agents to believe they are the true cardholder. Sometimes they make mistakes by using the image of a credit card from Bank A, but the BIN (bank identification number) actually is assigned to Bank B. Use binlist.net to verify information provided by your new customer.
Note: Alleged cardholder last name and account numbers removed by ARC.
The first 6 digits of the account indicate the Bank Identification Number (BIN). BIN “480213” is assigned to Capital One, not US Bank as indicated in this digitally altered credit card image emailed to a travel agent.
Use a Google Maps search if the address information provided by your new customer does not seem legitimate (e.g., uses a questionable home address, a hotel, a hospital or leaves the address field empty). You may not want to issue the tickets in those scenarios.
Using Whitepages.com's reverse phone feature (whitepages.com/reverse_phone) is a great way to find if the phone number of a new customer is legitimate. When using this resource you may find that your new customer is using a mobile phone or a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone number. The fact that a caller is using a VOIP telephone number does not mean the caller is a fraudster, only that you do not know where the customers is calling from. VOIP telephone numbers are used by many legitimate people and businesses. Should you find a call from a VOIP telephone number suspicious, you may want to request more information from the new customer before issuing tickets.
Does your new customer really reside at the address they claim? People obviously do move around, but by using Whitepages.com's reverse address feature (whitepages.com/reverse_address) you can see if the address matches the information provided by a new customer. If the information does not match you may not want to issue the tickets.
Check WhoCallsMe to see if other travel agents are posting complaints/concerns about a telephone number used by a new customer. Sometimes an alleged fraudster’s email address will also appear within the complaint providing even further evidence that a new customer is really a probable fraudster.
Fraudsters create email addresses that look similar to existing corporation email addresses and then email that corporation’s travel agency in order to pass themselves off as an employee in need of airline tickets. If an email address for a corporate client is different than the usual email address, use whois.com to determine when it was created.
NOTE: Free internet services (e.g., Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail, Yandex, etc.) cannot be checked using this site.
Screenshot from website Whois.com:
A fraudster claiming to be with an international energy company contacted their corporate travel agency the same day that email address “aesphilippines.com” was created. The legitimate corporate client has a different email address.
If after a quick review of customer information on the websites above reveals enough information that conflicts, then you may not want to issue tickets for a potentially risky new customer.