Credit card schemes are on the rise again, and this time local businesses are being targeted. We are all used to the news of massive hackings of mega stores, but small local stores tend to be less prepared. Thankfully, very few businesses actually fell for this new scheme.
The latest round of attempted hackings occurred in Hawaii. The would-be hackers would call a business, tell them that their credit card terminals had been disconnected, and that they needed to call a phone number and enter in their account info. Luckily, the vast majority of merchants contacted the Hawaii Better Business Bureau. These attempts are scary, and sadly, they happen all too often. The merchants made the right call contacting the local BBB, and this is the best route to take if you ever receive one of these phone calls.
First off, never give anyone any info over the phone. Contact your merchant account processor to make sure that the calls are a scam, and not something legit. Chances are it is not legit. A good rule of thumb for all business owners is to never answer the phone when the Caller ID displays “Unknown” or “Not Available”, as these are signs that the number cannot be traced. These numbers are usually behind telemarking calls and attempted hacking scams. Also, if you press “*69” into your phone and the number does not repeat to you, there is a problem. One red flag with these scams is that the caller will seem threatening on the phone. Be careful not to be scared into giving out your information.
You also need to make sure that your merchant account provider is up to task when you are dealing with an attempted hacking. When your merchant account processor contacts you, they will not ask for your account numbers, as they already know your account numbers. A good merchant account processor, such as eMerchantBroker.com, can help you gauge which are fraudulent attempts. It is also a good idea to keep the numbers of your merchant account processor handy, in case you need to get a hold of them quickly.
Phone scams looking to steal merchant account and credit card information are on the rise, but this time they are targeting small businesses. You need to be careful not to give any info out over the phone, as your merchant account processor already knows your account info. If you think you have been a target in an attempted scam, contact your local Better Business Bureau.