It’s a pity that some people can and will use merchant account services to trick honest businesses and investors. You might be here because you’ve been a victim or simply a new business owner researching on how to avoid such mishap.

In reality, any business that accepts credit card payments from their clients can be a victim of this crime, commonly called as merchant account scams.

The main target is businesses that pay merchant account fees to merchant account processing companies.

Here are the steps you need to consider to avoid falling victim to these underhanded techniques.

1. NEVER trust popup websites or those sub-domain hosted e-Commerce merchant service processor websites. Generally, the web address will look something like this: Chances are, the website is fraudulent. The common web address of these websites is also rather long and unintelligible. Take note that scammers often close their subdomains after having fooled enough customers. Visiting a legitimate website like with trusted service providers ensure that you are in the right hands.

2. TRY researching about the merchant account processor. Chances are, some people who has been a victim of a particular account processor have already posted on blogs and forums about their experience. You can also take advantage of social media by searching if the service provider has a strong online presence. Also, having read through the comments and ratings of a provider will give you an idea what to expect from them.

3. ALWAYS read carefully through the processor’s price quote and ask to examine their full contract before signing up. Fine prints can be used to leech of incredibly large amount of money from your end. The rule of the thumb is, if the price of the quote is too good to be true – it probably is.

It is very important to look carefully through the processor’s website as it can be a good indicator if the service is legitimate. Look for quality. The more quality the website has in terms of content and design, the better. Stay safe and pick the right e-Commerce merchant account that’s right for you.