Credit Card Scammers

May 1, 2009

Credit card scammers are using the recent news of President Obama’s meeting with credit card companies to trick consumers into doing business with them.

The Hook

Yesterday I got a phone call from an unknown number, 408–587–2105, at my desk at work.  As soon as I answered an automated message started to play from a women claiming her name was Jamie. She started off saying she was calling about my credit card payment; my first thought was I had somehow missed a payment so her intro really caught my attention.

The Story

Then “virtual Jamie” said that after the recent meetings between banks and President Obama, the federal government had directed them to lower my interest rates. I didn’t capture it word for word but the way she worded it made it sound as though she was calling from my credit card company.  The purpose of the call was to lower the interest rate I was paying on my credit card and all I needed to do to get started was press 1.

This was a pretty sneaky approach since many people have probably heard the news about Obama cracking down on credit card fees.  Some people are probably hopeful enough that their interest rate will be lowered that they press 1.

The Close

By then I realized it was a scam of some sort but I was curious to find out more about what was behind it.  She went on to ask in three different ways for me to press 1, each time more urgently than the last.  I didn’t do anything just waited to see what would happen.

After no response from me to the the last request of “Please press 1 now so we can lower your interest rates”, virtual Jamie hung up on me.  I wish I’d have pressed 1 just to hear what they were offering and how they would try and sell me so I could share it here.

The whole call took less than a minute. Obviously these scammers have the system figured out; the more calls they make, the more money they make.  If someone doesn’t respond within 20 seconds after hearing the message they simply move onto the next phone number.

Anyhow, just a reminder to be wary of cold callers they have lots of tricks to get past your defenses and convince you to take the action they want.

Ben

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Ben

Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn’t like the other kids… His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he’s helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.


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Comments

5 Responses to Credit Card Scammers

  • Christian

    I will never understand why, with an originating number, these criminals cannot be easily found by law enforcement agencies. Let’s make part of America’s new economy one based on prosecuting fraud and seizing assets to raise capital to pay for the jobs required to implement same.

    Oh wait, we need less regulation, right?

  • Jim

    Any time my credit cards have made changes to my terms they’ve done so by sending me a letter. I don’t think I’ve ever had one of them call me for anything other than trying to sell some sort of additional service. They don’t need your permission to lower your interest rates and I’m sure it would be cheaper for them to tell you next time they mail a statement rather than pay someone to phone you to do so.

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