Mystery $9.84 Credit Card Charge May Signal Fraud

Feb 06, 2014
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With all the stories of major retailers losing millions of credit card account numbers, you are probably scouring your monthly bills looking for fraudulent charges like a $1700 plane ticket or $1000 television you did not buy. That is a big mistake. Hackers are now using smaller transactions to garner money from hacked accounts.

This is a common way hackers commit fraud, and they can easily get away with it. Through the years, they have found it is much easier to steal a little money from a lot people, rather than a lot of money from a few people. For example, it is much easier to sneak a $10 charge on 100,000 cards than a $100,000 charge onto 10 cards, and in the end, the hackers end up with the same amount.

Large charges for electronics or airfare stick out like a sore thumb on a credit card bill. Busy consumers are much less likely to spot a small charge, or they might even decide a tiny fraud is not worth the phone call to get it removed and to face the hassle of getting a new card.

The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about this type of fraud in late January after reports surfaced of a series of $9.84 charges finding their way onto customer credit cards. Customers who visit the website listed next to the charge see a curious page that offers customer support, the BBB says.

“The text promises to ‘refund 100 percent of your last payment,’ and provides a phone number and email address,” said the BBB in a statement. “Victims report calling the ‘customer support’ site and receiving verbal confirmation that the charge would be canceled”. However, do not take the scammers at their word. Contact your bank to report the charges and request a new credit card. Your card information has been compromised, and it is likely scammers will be back for more.”

Every credit card holder needs to check their statements, regardless if they have shopped at a store that was recently hacked. Statements need to be checked not only for large mystery transactions, but also for small, miniscule amounts that do not disappear within a few days. By checking your statements you are sure to help stop any hacking that may occur on your account.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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