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Beware of credit card processing scams!

Businesses that accept credit cards should be aware of scams currently affecting merchants and their customers. Con artists claiming to be employees of a processor or Visa are attempting to gain access to credit card processing terminals to change merchants’ processors or install tampering devices.

The Retail Council recently received a report that an individual entered a member’s business falsely claiming to be a representative from their current processor with the promise of further lowering processing rates. If this happens to you, please alert your processor immediately. If you allow your terminal to be reprogrammed, you could be charged excessive rates and fees you never agreed to.

Visa also reports that scammers are calling merchants claiming to be from the “Wholesale Division of Visa” and requesting an appointment to come and adjust their interchange rates on their POS terminals. Once the individual has access to the POS terminals, they install a tampering device that allows them to obtain sensitive customer card data. Visa would like all merchants to know: 

  • There is no Wholesale Division of Visa;
  • Visa would never contact merchants directly to negotiate interchange rates;
  • You are advised to immediately contact your merchant bank and Visa if you receive suspicious communications from someone claiming to be a representative of Visa. 

You should also be aware of “social engineers” who claim to be from Visa or other companies and attempt to gain access to privileged areas of your business. These people rely on the trusting and helpful nature of people. They may use publicly available information to seem credible and to make you more comfortable sharing information with them. Tell them you will contact someone at their company’s main phone number to discuss the matter further until you can verify their identity.

If you have any questions about your credit card processing, please call the Retail Council at (800) 442-3589.