When I wrote my book, “Smart Business Guide to Credit Card Processing -An Exposé, What Every Merchant Should Know to Avoid Costly Pitfalls,” I wanted all business owners to learn from it. I wanted them all, as well as all those in this industry, bankers, police officers and detectives, prosecutors, and even Washington lawmakers like Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) as well as every local and state lawmaker in this country, to get a good and unambiguous picture of the mode and amount of fraud–literally thousands per day–being perpetrated against merchants every single day in the U.S. Gladly, some have noticed, but the job is far from over. More attention is needed to set the course straight. Education is the first step on this long journey. This education will put every merchant in the driver’s seat and gives them the shield and ammunition they need to spot a fraudster and not fall into pitfalls they cannot climb out of.

Sadly, the main culprit in these frauds is the ignorance of some major players and processors in this industry too. As such, in my view, they become accessory to these frauds when they learn of it and do nothing that must result in termination of these con artists and the very Independent Sales Organization (ISO) that has the direct relationship with the processor(s). Or, they may claim they have done something about it, yet in reality they swept it under the rug and offered nothing more than just a gentle slap on the writs.

These frauds are being committed right under the noses of: processors such as First Data and TSYS; ISOs like Priority Payment Systems (Using First Data as its primary processor), North American Bancard (using First Data as one of its processors), PayProTec (Owned by North American Bancard), the so-called “Wholesale Payments” (Using First Data as its processor); and banks like Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank, among others. Sadly, associations like Electronic Transactions Associations have morphed into the mouthpiece for the Big Boys Club, essentially ignoring a vital role it must play to attract small agents as well as care about what is in the best interests of merchants too. ETA should do more to maintain a balance between the needs of its powerful and wealthy members and the need to thwart attacks by con artists through some of its members who are not doing much about these “swindling” crimes. Swindling is a felony crime in all states. These shameful crimes do not stop as long as everyone passes the buck to others saying: “This is not our problem.” There are plenty of evidence I have presented in my book to paint a fuller and brighter picture of this dark tunnel our industry is now operating within with absolute impunity from the outside world it should be accountable to. The situation is getting worse now by the advent of so-called “Cash Discount” program, which is surcharging in disguise. I will discuss this in a next blog.

I have found a great resource, perhaps THE BEST, for exposing firsthand, in a visual form, these fraudsters and their dubious and criminal practices. I recommend everyone to visit the following site: www.merchantservicesfraudalertassociation.com. This site has been put together and operated by Roy Parkes, a man (I believe) of highest integrity who, just like me and many others, is sick and tired of seeing many felons and con artists lie to their teeth and rob merchants day in and day out. His superb investigative techniques and very professional presentation educate everyone on the topic. I know you will be shocked and glad you took the time to watch his videos. I consider his work a piece of masterful art. So, buckle up and enjoy the sad ride!

I must say that I do not know Mr. Parkes personally, nor have I received any financial or any compensation for making this recommendation. My views are, as always, my own and objective.

Merchant Services Fraud Alert Association

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