Con artists have been using the payment method "Square" to steal money from one north Phoenix business.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Ali Bralley and her husband own a off-road repair shop in north Phoenix. "So, this is the garage. This is where all of the guys do their work," Ali told 3 On Your Side as she gave a tour around.

It's in this garage, she says, where off-road vehicles are brought to life. "When people want something done to their side-by-side vehicle like Polaris, or Kawasaki or whatever, they bring it to us and we make it look really cool," she said.

But while much of their business is working on off-road vehicles, Ali says online sales where customers use a credit card to buy parts for example is nearly half of their business. "We take a lot of credit cards,” Ali said, “We do accept cash but not checks. The majority of it all is credit cards."

To process all those credit card transactions, Ali and her husband use a payment system called Square. At the end of every month, Ali says she logs on to Square and transfers all their sales into their business bank account. But when she tried to do that recently, there was a big problem. "Somebody at some point hacked into our system account, deleted our bank information and added their own bank information. All went undetected to us. All of those deposits went to them (scammers)."

In all, more than 220 transactions totaling $20,736.32 in sales was transferred out of Ali and her husband's Square account and fraudulently deposited into a scammer's bank account.

Ali says she's complained several times to Square telling them that someone changed their bank account information but gets nowhere.

So, she contacted 3 On Your Side.  

I manage to get a hold of Square corporate and asked them to investigate the issue. Once they did, they discovered the fraudulent transactions and said they would retrieve and return all $20,736.32 back to Ali and her husband. “Can you believe you are going through this?" asked Harper. Ali replied, “Never in a million years did I think this would have happened."

Again, Square tells 3 On Your Side that the $20,736.32 should be returned to Ali and her husband’s account any day.

I'll let you if that happens in a follow up report.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.

 
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