Area residents are reporting an increase in fraudulent credit card interest rate reduction phone calls. According to these reports, the calls appear to be from a local number. Upon answering, a recording is played stating that it is a “final attempt at reaching you. We have been attempting to reach you regarding lowering the interest rate on your credit card. To speak with a representative, press one. To decline, press two.”
If option one is pressed, the call recipient is transferred to a representative who offers assistance resolving credit card debt. The caller claims that their company has special relationships with credit card issuers and can guarantee reduced interest rates, reduced finance charges or help you pay off your debt faster. They may request sensitive account information or require fees to be paid in advance for credit repair services.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests, if you’re looking to reduce the interest rate on your credit card purchases, your best bet is to handle it yourself: call the customer service phone number on the back of your credit card and ask for a reduced rate. Be calm, patient and persistent. If you are tempted by the promises in a rate reduction robocall, the FTC says hold off — and hang up.
- Don’t give out your credit card information. Once a scammer has your data, they can charge your credit card for their own purchases or sell the information to other scammers.
- Don’t share other personal financial or sensitive information like your bank account or Social Security numbers. Scam artists often ask for this information during an unsolicited sales pitch, and then use it to commit other frauds against you.
- Be skeptical of any unsolicited sales calls that are prerecorded, especially if your phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. You shouldn’t get recorded sales pitches unless you have specifically agreed to accept such calls, with a few exceptions.
- If your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, a telemarketer may call you only if you have agreed to accept calls from the company the salesperson works for, if you have bought something from the company within the last 18 months, or if you have asked the company for information within the last three months.
- To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry or to register your phone number, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
If you are ever concerned about the safety of your personal or financial information, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.