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Small business owner stuck with fraudulent charges through credit processing company, Square

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla, (WFLA) – Erin Coughenour, owner of The Physio Doc in Tampa, was shocked to discover a debit from her credit card processing company, Square.

As a sole practitioner, she relies on Square to get paid. But she recently received an email from Square stating that the company was deducting $936.33 from her business account, she was stunned.

After hours of phone calls with the company, she says she was told someone apparently opened a fraudulent account and linked it to her account.

“Initially, I thought it was obviously a mistake, I thought the email was a fraud,” she said.

When the crook ran credit cards fraudulently, Coughenour’s bank account was debited in order to pay the victims back.

Coughenour is furious that someone was able to open the account so easily, that she wasn’t notified and that she’s been stuck with these charges.

“Ten credit cards were charged, only seven of those were disputed, so there are potentially three more credit cards that were fraudulently charged through this account,” Coughenour said.

A spokeswoman for Square tells Better Call Behnken they are investigating and will work with law enforcement. She sent this general statement:

“We always encourage sellers who are the victims of identity theft to notify us. Usually, a credit monitoring service is how these incidents of identity theft are monitored and discovered. When identity theft has occurred, we will work with law enforcement towards resolution of these issues. 

Coughenour has filed a police report and said Square called her back to say they will reimburse charges after they receive a copy of the police report.

Coughenour still questions why Square didn’t catch the fraud when it happened and correct it when it was found.


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