Scams and fraud are the unfortunate threats of the digital age. When you accept credit card purchases, there is always a chance that the card or card information was stolen and is now being used for fraud. The fraudster may continue the charges until the true cardholder notices unusual activity and disputes the transaction with his bank.

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As a seller, credit card companies make you liable for fraudulent transactions. The Square Cash App works hard to catch unusual activity and notifies you of fraud or potential scams, but you are always your first and best defense line. It is important to know how to avoid suspicious transactions.

Potential signs of fraudulent buyers

When scammers steal someone else's card information, they usually have two targets:

Receiving goods from you without paying for them.

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By cheating you to obtain money by deception.

Scammers have to follow a recognizable pattern - telltale signs that you should be careful of before completing a transaction with the buyer.

The buyer asks you to send part of the credit card payment to a third party

Scammers will sometimes ask you to use part of a credit card transaction to pay to a particular vendor (such as a driver, caterer, or event planner) or shipping company. Often their request will direct you to conduct an irrevocable money transfer such as wire, western union, money order or bank transfer. These types of requests are highly indicative of a scam.

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In this case, the true cardholder will dispute the transaction with his bank and you will be responsible for returning the entire amount. To protect yourself and your business, never send part of the customer's payment to a third party vendor or shipping company.

Purchases are made exclusively via phone, email or text message

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If a customer calls the type of transaction normally called for it, he refrains from contacting anyone they might try to scam you. Common examples include catering, hairstyling and photography. The client can explain their absence by claiming to be in hospital or impaired. This approach is often used by scammers for two reasons: to hide their true identity and gain sympathy in the hope that you will be more willing to accommodate unusual requests.

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Irregular ordering and shipping practices

Many illegitimate purchases involve special requests or irregularities around the delivery of goods. Contains:

Billing and shipping zip codes that don't match

Emphasis on crowd-shipping / service (this may indicate that the buyer is in a hurry to complete the transaction before the information of the stolen card is reported)

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Large, repeated orders in a short span of time

Bulk orders for items that can be resell easily (blank T-shirts, electronics, USB drives, etc.)

It is requested that you give the money to the shipping company recommended by the buyer

Card transaction issues

There are some indicators that a buyer may commit fraud by using a list of several stolen credit card numbers, such as:

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Card is rejected. The "rejected" response may indicate that the scammer was not aware of the card's credit limit, or that the issuing bank has marked the transaction.

The buyer asks you to split and / or order multiple cards. With card declines, a fraudster may attempt to spread transactions across multiple cards if the purchase exceeds a card's credit limit.

How to protect your business

Never send or send wire to any third-party at your customer's request (including Western Union, MoneyGram, bank transfer, etc.).

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Do not pay by credit card for services that are normally outside of your business.

Never use a third-party delivery service that you are not familiar with. Always ship your goods through a certified delivery company (UPS, FedEx, etc.).

Avoid splitting large orders into multiple small payments.

Match the billing zip code to the credit card zip code. If they don't match, ask why. The reason must be understandable in the context of the order (eg the product type and / or quantity will fit as a gift).

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To verify the identity of the buyer ask for government identification.

If you suspect fraud, tell the customer that you cannot accept the sale. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about a customer.

While listed signs are often associated with fraud, they are not necessarily a buyer attempting fraud. If you suspect fraud, contact Cash App Customer Service Representative.

Do not store cardholder data (such as credit card numbers) on any system (paper, online, or on an application).

Cash App fraud email notifications

Square Cash App Secure, the set of services and tools we provide to protect your account, including live transaction monitoring. This allows us to spot suspicious transactions and review them. If we determine the transaction in your account, you are likely to be the scammer; we will alert you via email.

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Once you receive the alert via email, we ask that you are not checking that order, until you inquire with us, accept further payments from the customer. In the meantime, we will take note of your transaction details and compare them to other known fraud patterns that we have identified.

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This review process is usually completed within 1 business day. We will send you another email so that you can know the outcome of the review, or if we need any additional information from you.