SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Tyler Roe owns Idlewild Guitars and Teaching Studios on Whitemarsh Island and the small business owner says he’s $2,200 in the hole. That’s because about two weeks ago he was scammed after someone came in and bought an expensive guitar. But as it turns out the payment method was fraudulent.
Roe says the customer took out his phone and said he had Apple Pay but then showed him a picture of a credit card with what looked like a Apple insignia on it. Roe didn’t know much about the app payment method and when he tapped the customer’s phone, nothing happened so the customer asked if he could manually enter the numbers from the picture. Roe did and asked for the customer’s identification.
The transaction was in the clear but then last week, his credit card processor said it had been rejected because the credit card number was stolen.
Tom Stephens from the Better Business Bureau says unfortunately that is the trap a merchant can fall into because it can awhile for the stolen credit card transaction to be rejected. He says stolen credit card scams are definitely increasing.
“I would say it’s a warning to other retailers, especially smaller business owners, to get a little education about what’s out there and how it’s used so they can protect themselves against a future scam like that,” said Stephens.
Stephens from the Better Business also said people need to be reminded that payment app methods work and are tied to your credit card but when it’s legitimate a merchant could never see the credit card number, it would be encrypted. He says it a so call app method doesn’t work when the merchant tries to use the ‘tap’ method on the machine, something is wrong.
“You have to ask yourself if this sale is worth getting scammed over if the payment method is something out of the ordinary,” says Stephens.
Stephens also warns merchants not to punch in a credit card number if they don’t have the actual credit card in front of them.
Roe agrees, saying he has filed a police report. But at this point, he’s been told he can’t get money back from the credit card company or his own insurance company.
Rose says he’s learned the difficult lesson that he has to be more careful. He hopes his misfortune might help another merchant.
“I just don’t want anyone else to fall under the same trap because it’s not a fun experience,” said Roe.