Waitstaff Tip Bumping

Waitstaff Tip Bumping

Could this be happening at your restaurant?

How many times have you used a credit card at a restaurant, added a tip and signed for the total, and then just threw it away?

For most people, that’s the regular occurrence, but on occasion, servers are changing the tip amount to put more money in their pocket.  This is stealing from your guests and guarantees they will never come back. Tip bumping may also make people avoid your restaurant altogether. If there is a known restaurant or establishment has staff that is stealing, guests will not be coming through the doors and worse yet, they are spreading the word. The sad thing is you may never realize it until someone complains and by then the brand damage has been done.

How does it happen?

Tip bumping in a restaurant is simple to do without check systems in place.  All a server has to do is make a few slight modifications by changing a 1 in front of a 2 or by changing a 6 or to a 9.  They can also reprint the slip, adjust and sign it themselves.  How many times have you requested a copy of your signature?  Some waitstaff only target foreign tourists as the currency conversion is complex and it is a safer way to steal. Others feel entitled after they feel they have been slighted by a small tipper.

To remedy tip bumping there are three main strategies: audit, automate, and watch. These three options are the most effective when used together and help eliminate tip bumping and angry guests.

Audit:

The restaurant manager or owner closing out should always verify the recorded tips and totals on each server’s checkout with the actual tips and totals on the credit card receipts. This method seems tedious but is the only way to ensure accuracy and guests check amounts are recorded properly.

Automate:

Implementing a Pay-at-the-Table POS or Kiosk eliminates the old paper receipt system and the tip is entered into the POS by the guest, ensuring the correct tip is recorded. The server only handles cash transactions and tips with this method.

Watch:

Install a camera system within your Restaurant POS for firsthand recordings of the theft being committed.

Most of these types of crimes go undetected until the customer complains. Some merchants have even had servers arrested if they are caught tip bumping. Nothing sends a better signal to the rest of the staff, that this is a real crime and it will not be tolerated. It is also encouraged to do background screenings on new hires as incidents like this or others will appear on their record protecting employers from theft and brand damage.

Fortunately most servers are honest but you if you suspect this is happening at your restaurant, it probably is.  Protect your business, patrons and reputation by taking precautions.  If you don’t have systems in place, we will be happy to help.

Point of Sale Clone Fraud Activity

Point of Sale Clone Fraud Activity

Point-of-Sale Fraud Alert

Recent incidents in the U.S. in which criminals are committing fraud through processing fraudulent return transactions. As part of the fraud scheme, criminals obtain Point-of-Sale (POS) devices—either from an acquirer or agent while posing as a merchant, from online resellers or auctions, or through theft—and program the POS devices with the credentials of a legitimate merchant, thus effectively cloning the unsuspecting merchant’s actual POS device. Criminals use the cloned POS devices to complete returns to gift cards, often in the range of $2,000 – $6,000 per transaction. After the returns are posted to the gift cards, the cards are cashed out at ATMs. Criminals prefer gift cards and in some instances debit cards.  These products fund rapidly, allowing fraudsters to get their hands-on cash immediately.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Always verify anyone calling you posing as your merchant provider
  • Monitor your transactions often, especially credits
  • Make sure your terminal or POS doesn’t allow credits without a corresponding sale
  • Educate your employees
  • Never let anyone other than your merchant provider, touch your terminal or Point-of-Sale System
  • Change passwords often and use caution if you are working remotely

As a business owner, you can never be too cautious. These crimes happen primarily on the weekends (especially long holiday weekends).  Criminals will choose to take advantage of the operating hours of the merchant and financial institutions.  Protect your business this holiday and throughout the year!

Memorial Day Credit Card Skimmer Warning 

Memorial Day Credit Card Skimmer Warning 

 

New Credit Card Skimmers found inside card readers at gas pumps at many 7-11 stores 

 

Look for the red tag on the pumps or go into the store to pay. Some 7-11 stores have installed temporary locks on pumps until permanent locks arrive. 

 Fraud Facts

Florida is number one in the country for crimes related to fraud, mainly because dozens of people are being targeted at the pumps by skimmers a day.  

This year alone, 561 skimmers have been found at gas stations in the State. Due to this growing number of skimmers, State Leaders are making fraud prevention a priority. 

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is pushing gas stations in Florida to install encryption readers by November of 2020. The encryption readers will scramble your cards information so that your number can’t be grabbed by another device to steal your information.  

Tuesday, the Lee County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed the Fuel Pump Security Ordinance. Both Charlotte County and The Cities of Cape Coral and Punta Gorda have ordinances in place already to protect you at the pump.

Five Tips to Fight Fraud

Here are five tips for consumers to avoid credit card fraud by gas pump skimmers, listed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 

  • Avoid using pumps that are open or unlocked, have had the tamper-evident security tape cut or removed, or otherwise appear unusual.  
  • Use a credit card – not a debit card: If a credit card number is skimmed, you’re protected by the card issuer’s zero-liability policy – but a stolen debit card number could be far more damaging.  
  • Pay inside, with cash or credit, instead of at the pump 
  • Choose gas pumps closest to a physical building: Don’t use gas pumps out of the attendant’s line of sight, such as those around a corner or behind a building. 
  • Check your card statements and sign up for fraud alerts 

 

NBC-2 Related News Story 

How to Protect your Business from Employee Theft

How to Protect your Business from Employee Theft

Employee theft is increasing – the scope ranges from stealing inventory and padding time to taking money from the till. Many times, theft is a result of opportunity and incentive to steal. Employee theft can go unnoticed for years until your company hits a wall. Fortunately, early detection has never been easier with the convenience of a POS System (Point of Sale) and its many features.

A POS system allows your customer payments to be displayed and authorizes transactions to be executed. This compact system can also monitor employee engagements with your company. You will be able to use many of the numerous features such as…

  • Managing your inventory
  • Control inventory shrinkage
  • Following company sales reports
  • Outlining your best-selling products
  • Determining customer buying habits
  • Collecting customer data for future marketing
  • Identifying your top performing employees

Smaller Companies Experience Larger Median Losses

Having access to the powerful business tools provided with a POS System can improve the security of your company by deterring employee theft,  manage inventory losses and monitor employee time and productivity. Small businesses run a higher risk of falling victim to employee theft. Industries with over 100 employees have a median loss of $104,000, while industries with less than 100 employees have a median loss of $200,000. Smaller or mid-sized businesses often lack practices or systems designed to deter theft, making them a target. Here is an example:

Two Florida men working under a computer repair establishment were exposed for stealing inventory and skimming cash.  Although both men had to repay their stolen expenses, many employees can carry out theft seamlessly and without a trace, costing U.S. businesses over $7 billion in total losses

Protect Your Business with a POS System

Employee theft is responsible for nearly 41% of all inventory shrinkage.  A POS System can track inventory and sales, you will be able to recognize an imbalance in your inventory’s listed quantity and the actual physical count before it becomes a serious issue. Internal theft often occurs when an automated inventory system isn’t in place. Also, the easy to use POS system gives you the ability to accurately track and control product data such as pricing, stock counts and receipts.

The convenience and efficiency of a POS System will help reduce your exposure to employee theft, inventory losses, and unearned payroll which reduces costs and increases profits for your business.  The price of investing in a POS System will be significantly less than the price of losing millions to theft.

Don’t Fall Victim to Employee Embezzlement

Don’t Fall Victim to Employee Embezzlement

Courtney Wells, a 49-year-old woman in Connecticut admitted to embezzling over a half a million dollars combined from her two positions as a trusted bookkeeper.  Appearing as a trustworthy employee at her job as treasurer of the Southington Lacrosse Association, she gained exclusive access to the association’s debit cards and the bank account.  Authorities believe she had stolen approximately $100,000 from this position to fund personal needs such as concerts, traveling, or shopping.

Additionally, Wells embezzled $375,000 from her other job working as a part-time bookkeeper at Jones Engineering. She put this money towards a partial refund of what she had stolen from The Lacrosse Association.  Wells finally surrendered herself to authorities according to Southington, CT police. Her warrants included first-degree larceny, second-degree money laundering, and first-degree forgery.  There are steps you can take to help secure the well-being of your company.

Article source: https://fox61.com/2019/01/10/woman-pleads-guilty-to-stealing-from-youth-sports-group/

5 ways to protect your company from employee fraud:

  1. Install a POS System for Accountability
  2. Monitor your company books and the back office of your POS System on a regular basis
  3. Sign up for bank and credit card alerts when purchases are made
  4. Perform thorough Background Checks on all employees and independent contractors
  5. If you become a victim, prosecute the employee!

A criminal background screening provides a thorough insight into a potential hire’s criminal history.  Not only does PCI 12.7 warrant a background of employees dealing with multiple forms of payments, but also taking proactive steps to reduce your risk of employee theft and possible violence in the workplace makes good business sense.   Your company’s future is in your hands and now more than ever we need to be watchful of who we are letting in the door.

According to PCI…that dreaded term…

12.7 Screen potential personnel prior to hire to minimize the risk of attacks from internal sources. (Examples of background checks include previous employment history, criminal record, credit history, and reference checks.)

Article source: https://fox61.com/2019/01/10/woman-pleads-guilty-to-stealing-from-youth-sports-group/

TLS Security Is Important!

TLS Security Is Important!

With all the recent stories about security breaches, you may be wondering what you can do to help secure your data and communications. Transport Layer Security, also known as TLS, is a procedure that provides privacy and data integrity between multiple applications in your systems. TLS is used to create a secure environment for web browsing, emailing, or other applications. Websites are able to use TLS to keep all communication between their servers and web browsers secure. For organizations that store or process payment information, using TLS version 1.2 is a requirement of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This standard was created by the PCI Security Standards Council to protect cardholder data. No single security measure will fully protect your organization from unauthorized data breaches, but implementing security protocols like TLS can reduce the chance of such threats.

How does your security impact your daily work day?

When it comes to your computer, your web browser may need to be updated. Whether you have Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc, check to make sure your computer is installing these updates automatically. When it comes to your payment software, if it stops working, you may need to do an update or even upgrade your software. Contacting your software provider with any issues can be a big help.  Some businesses run a standalone credit card terminal. If this stops working, you are going to want to contact your local sales office or merchant service provider as you may need a new file to be downloaded into the terminal.

The goal of TLS procedures are security and efficiency. Are you wondering if your browser is supported? This link will show you a list of supported browsers:

https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/viewMyClient.html