In parts one and two of this multi-part blog series, we’ve gone over several of the potential scams and other iffy practices you may run into within the credit card processing realm, plus how to protect your small business from them. While there are many reputable and honest processing services out there, there are sadly also some scammers or dishonest individuals who may look to break the rules and target consumers and businesses with a variety of tactics.
At Merchant Card Advisors, our huge range of credit processing services extends from small business processing to mobile processing, discount programs and much more – including several robust security and encryption areas to keep you and your business safe from scammers. In addition to working with a quality credit card processor like ours, here are some tips we’ll offer on avoiding the kinds of scams we’ve been over to this point in our series.
First and foremost, having the best technology on your side is the top line of defense against scams and other financial risks. Here are several themes to keep in mind:
- Use strong security software from a top vendor to protect your network and computers, including using a VPN to encrypt traffic and sensitive data.
- Take great care with all emails, social media links and other sites you don’t know the source for, and instruct all staff to do the same.
- Place limited trust in caller ID systems, which can be manipulated by scammers to pretend they’re calling from a government agency.
It’s also important to ensure that in addition to your layers of technology in place to protect you, staff must have the proper training to utilize not only this technology, but other simple best practices within this realm. Better-trained employees will recognize potential scams faster, for one, and will know the proper communication and etiquette tools for sending or storing sensitive information. Train employees to be proactive in warning clients or other employees of potential scam attempts.
Finally, verification of all payments, invoices, expenses and new contacts is a must for all businesses where money moves through credit card and merchant processing. Never pay bills or expenses unless you are certain of their origins, for one, and authorize a single person or department in the company to handle all expenses so nothing is missed or paid twice.
If you have any concerns about a given company or entity, particularly one asking about an unusual payment method like a wire transfer or gift card, investigate thoroughly before accepting payment. This may even include checking past records on this entity to learn whether they have been involved in any past scams.
For more on avoiding scams within the credit card processing realm, or to learn about any of our merchant processing solutions, speak to the staff at Merchant Card Advisors today.