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.


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.




August 2, 2017

In recent weeks, we’ve received reports of multiple credit card transaction fraud attempts on OMEGA Processing Solutions merchants. These attempts have followed some common themes:

1.   Merchants are being asked to “force” a credit card transaction (often for a large-ticket Item) because a customer says they are having an “issue” with their credit card. THIS SHOULD BE A RED FLAG FOR POSSIBLE FRAUD AND A STOLEN CREDIT CARD.

A fraud code will appear on the terminal if you try to run a transaction using a stolen credit card. By having you “force” the transaction, the fraud code is eliminated, and the transaction is completed using the stolen card.

2.  A customer attempts to make a purchase, and it doesn’t go through. The customer looks at his/her phone and says, “I just got an authorization for that transaction, so it went through.”

AGAIN, THIS IS A RED FLAG FOR FRAUD. If a customer says they got an authorization or notification “alerting” them that a purchase was made on their card, ask if you can view the message. Then call OMEGA Customer Service for verification.


If you find yourself in these situations, do not run the transaction. Ask for another form of payment if possible, and do not accept payment while the customer is still in the store. Contact OMEGA customer service (866.888.9724 Ext. 7) for assistance. Take note of as much information as possible, such as customer description, card type, name on card, etc. In addition, you may want to alert your local police department.

Thank you for your help in reducing credit card fraud.


OMEGA has also seen a recent uptick in unsolicited requests for “merchants” to apply for processing services. After doing our research, we have found that, in many instances, they are using fake company names, giving us incomplete information or other RED FLAGS. At OMEGA, we have a multi-faceted underwriting and merchant vetting system to prevent these sorts of attempts to establish fraudulent merchant accounts.