If you’re a business owner, you have to be aware of scammers from all angles: scammers posing as customers and scammers posing as people who say they can help your business. You have to be on your toes at all times, even when choosing your credit card processing equipment.
You may receive a call offering to lease your credit card processing equipment — at a great price, of course. The main problem with this is that you can end up paying thousands of dollars leasing when it would have only cost you a few hundred to buy.
But it can get even worse. In the beginning a scammer will tell you that you can cancel your lease at any time, but when you try to do so that simply isn’t the truth. And if you stop paying, it means more trouble for you, because the lease agreement you signed holds you responsible no matter what the situation is. If there is a dispute, the agreement may also state that any legal proceedings will be held in another state, making it difficult (and expensive) for you to fight for your rights.
Another scam making the rounds is when the salesperson hands you two leases from two different companies, but for the same equipment. They ask you to sign both because — they say — they aren’t sure yet which company will allow you to qualify to lease your equipment. The cost may be the same, but the terms are very different. The one you end up “qualifying” for ends up being the one that will cost you more in the long run. And you can never cancel a lease.
If you already lease your equipment you are still vulnerable to scammers. You may receive a call from someone claiming to be from a company you already work with, telling you that your paperwork needs updating — however, this “update” is really a new contract with a new company, which you may just assume is the usual contract so you sign it without much thought and unknowingly extend the length of your lease.
Scammers know that leasing out equipment to unsuspecting businesses is a quick way to make money. Leasing can end up making your credit card processing machine 10 times more expensive than if you had simply bought it outright. It all adds up to easy money for them and years of trouble for you.
If a processor tells you that leasing is the only option available, then it is time to find another processor! As with any purchase or business deal, you should also be concerned if the salesperson is making you feel rushed. Take your time — read the contract carefully and make sure you get everything they promise you in writing.
At Electronic Money Company, we are dedicated to helping our merchants succeed. We have the expertise to help business owners determine if they are being cheated, and we can help you to make the right decision when you aren’t sure what the best option is.
Always be on the alert for frauds, and call Electronic Money Company for help protecting your business!