This is the fourth article in a series about fraud presented by ATOQ, in partnership with ACTA and CATO and made possible by the support of PAX.
All of a sudden, you receive a chargeback from a tour operator, consolidator or an airline; the reason? Fraudulent or unauthorized use of a credit card you provided for payment of a client’s trip.
It is for $10,000 and the supplier wants to be paid immediately! Even worse, it is related to transactions for someone you thought had great potential for a lot of new business. Maybe there will be more chargebacks!
You never thought it would happen to you.
You don’t know anyone else who has had this problem.
Don’t worry - you are not alone. It just seems like it.
When we talk to travel agencies, it seems like almost no one has ever had a problem with fraud, it is just something that happens to someone else, not them.
However, if you talk to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) they will tell you that in 2015 they received over 10,000 reports of fraud for Card Not Present (CNP) transactions. Over 90 per cent of the people reporting the frauds were travel agents! Does it seem a bit less lonely? And on top of it, the CAFC figures they only hear about five per cent of the actual cases.
At the Association of Tour Operators of Quebec (ATOQ), our members decided in 2014 that we had all suffered in silence long enough so we started sharing information AS FAST AS POSSIBLE about fraud situations we were facing. By simply talking together and sharing information, we have avoided losses in excess of $150,000. We have also protected many travel agents as the fraudsters go from agency to agency trying the same tricks.
The criminal fraudsters know that most people do not speak out as they are ashamed that they were so “stupid” to get robbed. All your silence does is make it that much easier for the criminal to rob your next door neighbour. It is important to speak up in order to protect others!
Fraud is a common business risk, so there is no shame if you get hit. Report the problem to the CAFC and/or the management of the chain or consortium to which you belong so they know what happened.
Review your policies and learn, then make changes so it will be more difficult for a fraudster to get you the next time they try.
Only one thing is for sure: someone will try to defraud you again. It is only a question of when, so be prepared - make sure you really know your customer!
Fraud - recognize it, report it, stop it!