Sorry this took so long. But the issue is finally up and available, and with luck, #12 will be up in late November.
I know I need to write up my "commentary" posts for #10 and #11, I might be able to do one of them this weekend.
There were many mistakes made during this theft:
1. The guy was in the store a short time and specifically asked for expensive books.
2. He asked for a discount but the employee said he would have to contact the manager. The thief immediately said don’t bother.
3. You never enter a code supplied by a customer to make a transaction go through.
4. The clerk did not check ID or write down identity information for a large purchase.
5. The clerk did not have his coworker check the transaction."
The Clerk ran the card but was not given an authorization code by the customer. However, the receipt printed with the words FORCED SALE at the top of the receipt. (According to Visa, a forced sale is what you would do if your machine was offline, storing the card for later verification). Honestly, it did not seem unusual at the time and I did not notice even when I photocopied the receipt for the chargeback dispute.
He also bought a second back issue after that went through.
After a week or so we got a chargeback from the bank and disputed it because the receipt did have an authorization code. However, the bank said it was a false authorization code. I am still pursuing it as they have not been able to tell me who generated the authorization code.
But it seems the card somehow took the machine offline.
It may be unrelated but as a point of warning, we had gotten a call in the weeks before this happened asking what kind of machine we had. At the time it did not seem odd since we were getting many calls from our processor to upgrade the machine.
What we have instituted as policy:
-Gift cards tend to have limits of a couple hundred dollars. Be suspicious of gift cards for larger transactions.
-Collect customer information on large purchases
-Review the credit card receipt for anything unusual
-Never complete a sale that says Forced Sale or Offline
-Never answer questions on the phone about our credit processing, types of hardware or software we use, etc."Further reports as developments warrant.