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How Some Business Credit Card Companies Are Scamming Consumers

business credit card scamsFees and interest rates can be higher for business credit cards. Unwary business owners may be paying thousands of dollars to companies that are really just scam artists.

Scam Artists Target Small Businesses

We often think of consumer scams as unsophisticated attempts to trick consumers into sending money, or revealing personal information as part of a fraud. The problem actually extends to small business, which could just as easily be targeted for a scam. Some will be surprised to learn that the scams themselves are often very sophisticated.

One of the greatest challenges small businesses face is getting credit, which makes them vulnerable targets for companies offering business credit cards. These offers will sometimes sound too good to be true, tipping off the savvy small business owner that the offer is really a potential scam. Often, the scam results in only the loss of money, without anything of value being delivered to the small business. In other instances, just as with consumers, small businesses will get a service they need, but only at a greatly inflated cost.

Business Credit Card Scams Are Popular

Identity theft is not limited to individuals. Businesses can also find themselves victimized by this crime, and the costs to a small business can grow quickly. Using a business’s identity, the scam artists can obtain a number of different credit cards in the name of fictitious employees.

Small businesses can also be targets of scams that offer to help the business obtain a credit card in return for the payment of a fee. Just as with personal consumer finance, it is rarely a good idea to pay an upfront fee to obtain credit. These are often companies that simply take the fee, and then fail to deliver any service. To protect yourself, you should contact Dun & Bradstreet. With a service known as DNBi Professional, you can review the credit history of any company you are considering paying an upfront fee to.

Other companies may issue you a card without a large upfront fee, but will charge you a high annual fee or even a monthly service fee. Business cards can usually be obtained by any company with a  D&B D-U-N-S® number, provided the owner personally guarantees the debt. This type of card is available for a low annual fee, or even at no cost.

Small business owners need to be cautious when reviewing offers from business credit card companies. Consumer protection laws do not apply to small business, and that makes this an especially attractive target for fraud.

 

Author:

Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.