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Friendly Fraud Becomes Sworn Enemy For Restaurants

As Michael Corleone said in the “Godfather II” movie: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” As it turns out, those words were not only prescient for the Corleones, but they’re also relevant for the far more modern world of payment fraud. Because sometimes, what can appear to be a friendly customer is actually an enemy in disguise. Such is the ever-expanding world of friendly fraud.

As Kount Vice President and Senior Customer Experience Leader Rich Stuppy told PYMNTS in a recent conversation, friendly fraud is another burden in an unusually difficult year. As consumers moved to digitally pivot and merchants upped their digital game by adding features like online ordering, delivery and curbside pickup, fraudsters proved to be willing and enthusiastic to go along for the ride.

“There are now multiple attack vectors going on here,” Stuppy said. There are simple, old-school fraud methods, but lately, it gets a lot more complicated. One of the unique scams Kount follows is the “pizza plug,” wherein a consumer is offered the ability to buy $100 worth of food for a much smaller charge, usually on a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter. Whether the buyers consciously realize it or not, noted Stuppy, they are part of a fraud in progress.


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