Merchant Guide: 10 Essential Tips for Preventing Chargebacks

March 14, 2018

A chargeback – also called a reversal – is the return of credit card funds that were used to make a purchase to the cardholder. A chargeback occurs when a customer makes a refund request through their credit card’s issuing bank.

stop chargebacks image

Most chargeback situations arise at the time the transaction is completed. Possible reasons for chargebacks include:

  • Unauthorized use of a credit card (stolen card)
  • Product or service not being received
  • Customer dissatisfaction with a product or service
  • “Friendly fraud” or the result of a consumers filing an illegitimate chargeback

Every business wants to keep their chargeback expenses to a minimum. Here are our top tips on doing so.

  1. When a cardholder disputes a transaction, the issuing bank may request the merchant to provide copies of receipts and other paperwork related to the sale. Always respond to these requests.
  2. Do not a complete a transaction if the authorization request was declined. Do not repeat authorization for payments that are declined.
  3. Make sure your billing descriptor is accurate. Often a customer will initiate a chargeback because the business name on the statement is unfamiliar and doesn’t match your DBA.
  4. Clearly communicate your contact information, as well as return, refund, cancellation and shipping policies.
  5. If a customer is ordering online, promptly send a receipt via email.
  6. Settle and deposit your sales receipts with your merchant bank in a timely manner.
  7. If a customer request cancellation of a recurring transaction, such as a membership or service, always respond to the request and cancel the transaction as specified by the customer.
  8. Be accurate and clear about your product and service to prevent any customer misunderstandings.
  9. Ship merchandise before depositing and transaction.

If a product or service is going to be delayed, advise the cardholder the option of a different product or service or canceling the transaction all together.

Common Business Scams and How You Can Protect Yourself

February 12, 2018

You have enough on your plate running your business without constantly being vigilant for email scams, phony invoices and other fraud attempts. Recently, the Better Business Bureau released a warning about a common scam that has been on the rise— The Directory Scam (or “Yellow Pages scams”).

Here’s what to look out for, along with other commonly used scams and how to prevent fraud from hitting your business.


Directory Scams – The scammer calls the business claiming they just want to update company’s entry in an online directory or “Yellow Pages.” The business is later billed hundreds of dollars for listing services they didn’t agree to or for ads which they thought would be in the actual Yellow Pages. They are often looking for the employee to say “yes” so they can go back and edit the recording, making it sound like you said “yes” to advertising.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) – Scammers typically involve phony or “spoofed” emails that appear to be from high-ranking company officials that instruct employees to wire large amounts of cash or provide sensitive information such as W-2 wage and tax statements. Thieves use publicly available information to research the targeted organization, tailoring the spoofed or faked email to make it appear that it came from a company executive.

Merchant Services Scams – The caller will identify themselves as a “Merchant Services” provider and claim that you are being overcharged. The caller will insist they are just trying to help but before you know it, they have converted you to their system, including a HUGE termination fee within their contract. Always contact OMEGA first. OMEGA has your information and your statements—these calls are unethically taking advantage of you!

Office Supply Scams – Every year the BBB receives thousands of complaints from small business owners who were deceived by office supply companies who billed them for products like toner or paper that they didn’t order.

Vanity Awards – Not all awards are on the up and up. Some are just money-making schemes and have no actual merit. Research all business or leadership award opportunities, and be wary if you’re asked to pay money.

Stolen Identity – In this case, your business reputation could be tarnished if customers are ripped off by scammers and think that you are actually responsible.

Phishing Scams – Hackers will attempt to gain access of your computer or network not with a rod and reel but with emails that look like they are from a trustworthy company. Common examples include emails pretending to be from the IRS, BBB or government agency. If you receive a suspicious email, DO NOT click on any links or open any attachments. Contact the agency directly to confirm the legitimacy of the email.

Fax Back Scams – Businesses will receive an unsolicited fax, usually offering great deal on a product or a trip. They often require that you send a fax back or call a toll-free number. Be careful. The high costs when you reply are often not disclosed, and you can be charged several dollars if you fax back.

Other common scams could be in the form of phony invoices, charity pitches, coupon books, and business opportunities. Knowing what scams are out there is the number one way to protect yourself from fraud happening to you. Contact us for more information on keeping your company safe.

BBB Warns of Email Scams This Tax Season

January 17, 2018

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising businesses and organizations to be aware of Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams that have stolen sensitive employee and resulted in losses of millions of dollars. BEC scams typically involve phony of “spoofed” emails that appear to be from high-ranking company officials that instruct employees to wire large amounts or cash or provide sensitive information such as W-2 wage and tax statements. Thieves use publicly available information to research the targeted organization, tailoring the spoofed or faked email to make it appear that it came from a company executive.

Here are some tips that can help companies and organizations protect themselves from BEC scams:

  • Institute employee fraud-awareness training, including instructions on how to carefully scrutinize email requests and email logs.
  • Implement a policy to require confirmations for all fund transfer requests.
  • Create a solid business continuity plan in the event of a BEC scam.

If you fall victim to such a scam, contact your local FBI office as soon as possible. In addition, contact your financial institution if there has been a wire transfer scheme and the IRS if the event tax information has been compromised.

Scam alert


November 15, 2017

OMEGA Processing Solutions merchants have reported receiving a “TERMINAL UPGRADE REQUEST FORM” in the mail. While this might appear to be a valid equipment upgrade offer, it is NOT.

In very small print at the bottom of the form is the following language:

“Northern Payment Systems, Inc. does not represent your current provider and is not part of or affiliated with any government program. This is a solution to become your third party merchant service provider and to process all your electronic payments in one device.”

This is an attempt from an unscrupulous competitor to trick you into switching your merchant services provider. In this case, the mailer came from “Northern Payment Systems, Inc.,” but there might be other outfits attempting the same scam.

If you receive any notice of this sort, please contact OMEGA Processing’s customer service department at 866.888.9724 Ext. 7. Thank you for helping us to stop his sort of merchant fraud attempt.



Have You Heard How OMEGA’s Data Security Solutions Can Protect Your Business?

September 22, 2017

Ensuring your business has the best compliance, security, reporting, and protection solutions is a top priority at OMEGA Processing. Our Data Security Solution both protects against data breaches and assists with the services in the event one does happen.

PCI ToolKit—Tailored to your business needs, the PCI ToolKit provides specific security and compliance solutions, allowing you to reduce risk and focus on your customers.

Data Incident Management Program—A comprehensive suite of services that provide expert assistance if a breach should occur. The Data Incident Management Program will reduce exposure and risk, increase your compliance levels and save you time and money.

Vulnerability Scanning—An automatic quarterly scan of your systems can pinpoint potential vulnerable points of entry and detect cardholder data theft before the breach occurs.

Breach Insurance—Up to $100,000 in insurance protection should your business experience a breach of card/cardholder data.

Our program benefits include:

  • Easier and faster compliance
  • Reduced exposure and risk
  • Increased consumer confidence in your business
  • Competitively priced solutions
  • Award-winning solution provider

PCI compliance is essential to the wellbeing of your business—let OMEGA help keep you protected. Contact OMEGA’s Customer Service department at 866.888.9724 Ext. 7 for more information.


Card Fraud Losses Toped $16 Billion in 2014

August 11, 2015

Fraud losses incurred by card issuers, merchants and acquirers reached $16.31 billion in 2014 per The Nilson Report. Are your electronic payments systems protected?

Card loss chart

Is Your Child a Potential Identity Theft Victim?

March 12, 2015

1 in 10 Kids are Targeted


Identity thieves are seeking new targets, and your child might be an easy one. When a child is born, most parents apply for a social security number. Armed with that information or a birth certificate, fraudsters can easily apply for credit accounts, loans and government benefits to name just a few. And, because it will be years until your child applies for credit under his or her own name, the ID theft can go undetected for years.

Preventing Child ID Theft
The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips on protecting your child’s identity from being compromised.
•  Find a safe location for all paper and electronic records that show your child’s personal information.
•  Don’t share your child’s Social Security number unless you know and trust the other party.
•  Many school forms require personal and sometimes sensitive information. Ask how your child’s information is collected, used, stored and thrown away. Ask if you can use a different identifier or just the last four digits of your child’s Social Security Number.
•  Shred all documents that show your child’s personal information.
•  Be aware of events that put information at risk, for example losing wallet or a break-in or security breach at your home, school or doctor’s office.

Warning Signs
According to credit reporting company, TransUnion, here are some offs that someone might be misusing your child’s personal information and committing fraud:
•  Your child begins to receive suspicious mail, like pre-approved credit cards and other financial offers normally sent to adults, in his or her own name.
•  You try to open a financial account for him or her but find one already exists, or the application is denied because of a poor credit history.
•  A credit report already exists in his or her name. If the child has one, he or she may have been targeted already, since only an application for credit, a credit account, or a public record starts the compilation of a consumer credit file.

What to Do
If you think your child’s personal information might have been compromised, the first step is to contact each of the nation’s three credit reporting companies. A Fraud Alert can be placed with your child’s credit report.
Equifax     800.525.6285
Experian     888.397.3742
Transunion     800.680.7289