If you’re running or opening a new WordPress business, you should read Adam Soucie’s warning on the dangers of accepting credit cards. Soucie, a WordPress Developer based in Orlando, Florida describes what happened after working with a client that claimed to be hearing disabled.
Soucie went through the usual process of sending over a contract, bringing in a designer, discussing scope, and sending over an invoice. The client then claimed to be in the hospital and requested help to pay for one of the contractors involved in the project because he didn’t accept credit cards. According to Soucie, this should have been the red flag:
But I ignored it because I’ve also been a trusting person who is sympathetic to people with disabilities. Plus I figured I had proof of everything, so I’d be protected. I was so wrong.
To make a long story short, the ‘client’ was paying with stolen credit cards and the other contractor was in on the scam. I discovered the scam when they started getting pushy about the contractor receiving his payments. When leaving to make the final payment, I got a call from the person whose credit card info was stolen. I reached out to my ‘client’ and she had disappeared.
As the merchant, Soucie was liable for the transaction. After not receiving help from the FBI Cyber Crimes division and the credit card companies, QuickBooks, Soucie’s payment processor, went after him for the total amount of $10,000. He was able to get the amount slightly reduced after working with QuickBooks. What looked like an awesome project quickly turned into a nightmare.
I highly encourage you to read his article as it includes tips to protect yourself and why you shouldn’t be too trusting. What advice do you have for freelancers who accept credit card payments? What signs should freelancers look for to avoid fraudulent scams like this one?