Lower Your Interest Rates: Phone Scam Overview
Have you ever gotten an automated call from Rachel, Bridget, Carmen, [insert any name here] from Cardholder Services? If you have then you've been targeted by a phone scammer. These annoying automated messages not only fill up your voicemail box, but they also try to steal your identity.
Like many other phone scams this one tends to seek victims who have poor credit ratings and high credit card interest rates, but it does not discriminate. You could have a stellar credit history, but still be receiving calls from Cardholder Services and being promised lower interest rates.
An Automated Message
Most people receive annoying robocalls everyday. What makes the Cardholder Services messages particularly convincing is that you most likely have a credit card and you'd like to lower your interest on it. According to a study done in 2014 most adult American consumers (72%) had at least one credit card. This scam isn't like the payday loan scams or government grant scams where you've never actually applied for either, most people already have a credit card that they would like to lower the interest rate on.
When you answer the call you will be addressed by an automated message typically with a female voice. You'll be instructed to press one to be connected to a representative. The representative will then collect information on you such as your credit card number, credit card expiration date, your birth date, your address, etc. With this information they will then be able to steal your identity and use your credit card to make purchases.
They may also require that an upfront fee be paid in order to lower your interest rate. The representative will sometimes promise rates as low as 0% on your credit card, which is just too good to be true.
Know When to Hang Up
The minute you hear an automated message start to play you should be slightly suspicious. Especially if it's on your cell phone since automated calls that are not made for emergency purposes, or do not have express prior consent to call a cell phone are illegal.
These scammers are lying when they say that they can lower your interest rates, and many times they will charge your for a service that you could have easily done yourself, whilst stealing your information.
If you get a call like this hang up and do not press any numbers to connect to a representative or be removed from a calling list. Pressing numbers on your phone's key pad will only send a signal that the phone number that was autodialed belongs to a person, and the amount of nuisance and scam calls that you receive will increase.
Stopping the Scammers
If you've gotten a robocall from Cardholder Services, report them now to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has been working hard to shut down these boiler room operations, but they continue to multiply. You can do your part to help by reporting the numbers that target you with this scam.
You can also help protect others from this scam by reporting the phone numbers that are behind it in CallerSmart. We've already received many complaints regarding Cardholder Services from across the country:
203-470-8940: Rachel from Cardholders Express!! Now using local numbers.
631-348-7689: I just rcvd a phone call that came up on my caller ID as "Delicious Chinese," which is odd, but when I answered the call, it was a recording about lowering your interest rate. So I hung up and called this actual phone number. Indeed, it's a Chinese restaurant!!!! - So there is a scammer company out there listing this hard-working restaurant as their caller ID info.
In the case of the 631 number, caller ID spoofing is being used by the scammer to hide their identity and make it seem like a local Chinese take out restaurant is behind the annoying calls.