Scammers will make “unbelievable” offers but many consumers will believe they are valid. Historically these supposed panaceas are for weight loss, time share resale, miracle cures, business directory listings, immigration help, work at home offers, multi-level marketing, job placement, wealth building, lower interest rates, hair growth, government grants, business opportunities, and anything that’s “Free.”
Consumers will ultimately realize they got less than they were promised or nothing at all and will want their money back from somewhere. In many cases the only “somewhere” is the merchant’s processor since the snake oil salesman is gone.
Increasingly acquirers are being scrutinized by regulatory agencies to determine their prior knowledge of their merchants’ products and marketing methods. What was viewed by processors as savvy management of high risk merchants via the seizing of reserves may no longer protect them from costly government sanctions.
Underwriters must be even more wary of the Snake Oil merchants and ARMS can assist in identifying their past history.