I work for a charity in Australia. On a couple of recent occasions we have seen this behaviour by thieves:
- People search for cheap Dyson vacuum cleaners.
- They find a website which claims to sell (cheap) Dyson vacuum cleaners.
- They pay using their credit card.
- The website uses a variation of OUR NAME (i.e. not their name, but a variation of our legal name) as their 'Merchant Name'.
- The users never get their vacuum cleaner, so they check their statement and see our name there.
- Then they google our name and complain that we are scamming them.
We contacted Visa (who told us to contact our bank), our bank fraud team told us to contact ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) - they said there is nothing they can do, and to contact ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission). I can't see what good that is going to do as they are not Australian companies.
Can people just make up a fake 'Merchant Name' with impunity?
Surely there must be a way to trace the merchant name back to the issuing bank and alert them that their customer is using a fraudulent name?
What are the checks on 'Merchant Name' - I would have thought you need supporting evidence that the name relates to your business?
What can we do? Thanks!
(Let me know if this is not the right forum).