Protecting Your Business: Recognizing and Avoiding Merchant Processing Scams

In the fast-paced world of merchant processing, businesses are encountering a rising wave of scams and fraud attempts. It has become crucial for merchants to stay vigilant and informed to protect themselves from deceptive practices that can lead to financial loss and other complications.

Beware of Fraudulent Calls

Many merchants have reported receiving calls from individuals claiming to be from the “merchant fraud department,” “fraud and risk department,” or even “PCI compliance service.” These calls are nothing but scams aimed at initiating a conversation with one goal in mind – obtaining a copy of your merchant statement to show potential cost savings.

These fraudsters often operate from outside the US or call centers, making it challenging to trace them. The bait-and-switch tactic is commonly employed, where they convince you to switch providers even if you already have a competitive rate.

Stay Skeptical and Take Action

The first line of defense is skepticism. If you receive a call from someone you don’t know, claiming to be associated with your company or a trusted entity, be cautious. Legitimate service providers will not ask for personal information over the phone.

If you suspect a scam or fraud call, hang up immediately. Reach out to your trusted merchant agent or the company you process through using the contact information you already have, not the one provided by the caller. Establishing a strong relationship with your merchant processor is key to avoiding falling prey to these scams.

Recognizing Scam Tactics

Scammers often use general information available online about your business to create a sense of legitimacy. They may then ask for personal information to “verify” your account. Never disclose personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.

Clients of Freedom Payments are less susceptible to these scams due to the close relationships fostered with our clients. However, for those without a trusted merchant processing agent, it’s advised to find one. Scam calls often target businesses with weak relationships with their current processors.

Protect Your Business – Choose Local

One effective way to safeguard your business is by choosing a local merchant processor with a proven track record. Whether partnering with Freedom Payments in Boise, ID, one of the fastest-growing processors in the state, or a local agent with a strong online presence and positive customer reviews, going local can add an extra layer of security.

Conduct thorough research before selecting a merchant processor. Ensure they are a registered business, have a solid online presence, and actively engage in the community. Avoid the pitfalls of partnering with scam artists by making informed decisions and prioritizing trust in your business relationships.

In conclusion, staying informed, maintaining a strong relationship with your merchant processor, and choosing local partners are crucial steps in protecting your business from the growing threat of merchant processing scams. Stay vigilant, be cautious, and make informed choices to secure the financial health of your enterprise.

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