Holiday Shopping Fraud Prevention

This holiday season, Merchant Warehouse, a Boston-based provider of merchant accounts and credit card equipment, reminds consumers that while online shopping has become every bit as safe as making purchases at a store, taking simple steps to prevent credit card fraud can go a long way toward avoiding making the switch from shopper to victim.

With experts anticipating the busiest year-end online shopping season ever — JupiterResearch’s “US Online Retail Holiday Forecast, 2007” estimates 126 million U.S. shoppers will spend more than $39 billion online — Merchant Warehouse urges online shoppers to keep their credit card information safe by remembering these five simple tips:

Use a secure browser, a software that encrypts the purchase information you provide; look for “https:” in the URL address and the “lock” icon on your screen to ensure a secure transaction.

Read the site’s privacy policy; this will explain how any personal information you provide may be used or shared with others.

Try to limit online buying to companies you know and trust; when making purchases from online companies with which you are less familiar, verify the seller’s physical address and telephone number in case you have any questions or problems.

Use your credit or charge card for online payments; your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act, which provides the right to dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor is investigating them.

Print and save records of all online payment transactions, and check online statements regularly; review and compare against your credit card statement for any errors or inaccuracies.

“The virtually unlimited number of options and mainstream consumer acceptance of online shopping, combined with the holiday shopping rush, can make it easy to forget to take simple common-sense steps to protect personal information,” said Henry Helgeson, Co-CEO of Merchant Warehouse. “While online shopping has become incredibly safe, taking an extra moment to review the above tips will help ensure your credit card information stays secure and potentially avoid the frustration of having your information stolen and used fraudulently.”

About Merchant Warehouse
Merchant Warehouse was founded in 1998 on the principle that businesses should be able to purchase credit card processing software, POS equipment, and merchant services at a reasonable price. With over 40,000 merchants, Merchant Warehouse now sets the standard for price, innovation, customer service, and integrity. For more information, please visit MerchantWarehouse.com. For information on the Merchant Warehouse agent and ISO network, please call (800) 491-4580.

Contacts:

Brian Waldman, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy
Merchant Warehouse
800.941.6557 x2050
bwaldman (at) merchantwarehouse (dot) com

Jeff Dillow or Sandra Proulx
PAN Communications
978.474.1900
merchant (at) pancomm (dot) com