Merchant Account Scam Alert

RED ALERT: Detectives Closing In On Trio of Con Artists

As a credit card payment processor, we’re committed to alerting our clients to potential dangers in the industry. Recently, we learned that Philadelphia detectives believe they’re closing in on a trio of con artists who’ve ripped off at least 24 stores in a credit card-based crime spree dating back to February.

In each case, a well-dressed man walks into the store, picks out expensive merchandise and presents a prepaid bank credit card to pay for it. The card is rejected.

Then, according to Detectives, the “buyer” makes a phone call, supposedly to the bank, to get the problem straightened out.

That “banker,” the guy on the other end answering the call, is also part of the con.

The “banker” leads the merchant through a series of keystrokes on the credit card machine that appears to generate an approved purchase.

However, the problem is that the machine was actually taken offline. So it wasn’t communicating with its payment processor. A receipt is generated with the status “offline”, yet the merchants believe the transaction to have been approved due to the printing of the receipt.

Tips to avoid getting scammed…

1) Ask your payment processor about putting a password on your credit card terminal. Keep this password with a manager, who then will have to approve any changes to the credit card file.

2) Merchants always need to control the phone in such a situation.

3) Merchants should only speak with their payment processor regarding declined transactions. Processors can provide merchants with a detailed reason as to why an error code was received. Here at Metro, we are even willing to speak with consumers to refer them to speak with their bank.

4) Verify receipts to ensure they are “approved” and not “offline”

5) Security is HUGE in the payment processing industry. If you’re not asked to verify business information, be suspicious.

Metro Merchant Services is committed to continually proving merchants with updates regarding scams, merchant account security, industry updates and changes, as well as pending legislation. Please take a moment to like our corporate page on facebook to stay up to date with the latest industry news.

Questions? Contact us!

Reference: Fox 29 News – Philadelphia (Full Story)

Tags: Merchant Account Scam, Merchant Services, Metro Merchant Services, Payment Processing, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover