Two merchants whose businesses are out thousands of dollars hope their experiences will help others from falling victim to the same kind of sophisticated credit card fraud scheme. Darrin Super, owner of Bulkley Valley Home Centre in Houston, and another merchant, whose identity remains anonymous, both fell prey to a fraudulent credit card scheme that cost them thousands of dollars.
In Super’s case, it all began when a woman walked into his store last fall and made a purchase of just over $5,000 worth of farm supplies, mostly gates and fence posts. When it came time for the woman to pay by credit card, she spent several minutes fiddling with her cellphone and credit card terminal in a seemingly unsuccessful attempt to have the transaction go through. She then asked for and was given the terminal, which was the tipping point in the scheme.
“Typically when you or I purchase something, you either have the tap or swipe,” said Super. “But in this case, they had to manually enter the card. We didn’t think twice about it.” However, this proved to be a mistake as the card used by the woman was later found to be stolen.
Super received a notification from Visa a month later, informing him that the card used in the transaction was stolen. Unfortunately, there was no assistance or reprieve for Super and his store, as they were held liable for allowing the customer to manually enter their credit card information. As a result, Super has since changed the store’s credit card purchase protocol, no longer allowing customers to manually enter their credit card information.
Upon further investigation, Super discovered that the phone number provided by the customer on the yard slip, the document that acknowledges the delivery of purchased items, was also fake. This led Super to believe that the woman was part of a larger scheme and was using a stolen credit card to make fraudulent purchases.
This is not an isolated incident, as other merchants have also fallen victim to similar schemes. In one case, a New York police officer was arrested for credit card fraud after using stolen credit card information to make unauthorized purchases. In another instance, a fraudulent investment video featuring Elon Musk was used to scam victims out of their money.
The Fort Worth Cattle Company was also accused of operating a Ponzi scheme, defrauding investors of millions of dollars. The company promised high returns on investments in cattle, but instead, used the money to pay off earlier investors in a classic Ponzi scheme fashion.
The IRS has also issued warnings about phishing and smishing scams, where scammers use fake emails and text messages to obtain personal information and steal money from unsuspecting victims. They have also cautioned taxpayers about cryptocurrency scams, where scammers use false promises of high returns to lure victims into investing in fake cryptocurrencies.
It is essential for individuals and businesses to be vigilant and take precautions to protect themselves from falling victim to these types of scams. Some tips to avoid credit card fraud include:
– Never allow customers to manually enter their credit card information.
– Verify the phone number provided on the yard slip or other documents.
– Be cautious of investment opportunities that promise high returns.
– Do not click on links or provide personal information in response to emails or text messages from unknown sources.
– Keep an eye out for suspicious activity on credit card statements and report any unauthorized charges immediately.
In conclusion, it is crucial to be aware of the various types of scams and frauds that exist and to take necessary precautions to protect oneself and one’s business from falling victim. By staying informed and vigilant, we can help prevent these fraudulent activities and protect our hard-earned money.