The scammers would cold call consumers, identifying themselves as “card services,” “credit services,” and “card member services,” and offer to reduce their credit card interest rate for an up-front fee for between $695 and $1,495. The scammers did not deliver the on the promised reductions. And the FTC noted in its complaint that most credit card issuers do not negotiate interest rates or discuss consumers’ accounts with third parties.
To build credibility, the scammers would claim to know the amount of the consumer’s credit card debt. They would also provide a license or badge number, mentioned an Internet domain name of the phony business, and falsely claim that they had a business relationship with the consumer’s lenders.
The FTC points out that a third party cannot do anything for consumers that consumers cannot do for themselves, for free. It recommends that if you would like a lower credit card interest rate, that you call the credit card provider’s customer service center (the phone number will be on the back of your credit card) and request a reduction of your interest rate directly.
The FTC strongly recommends that if you receive a call from someone claiming that they can reduce your interest rate that you hang up:
- Do not give out your credit card information to strangers.
- Do not share bank account or Social Security numbers with strangers.
- Be skeptical of unsolicited prerecorded calls, especially if your phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry.
If you think that you have been a victim of a credit card interest rate reduction scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
Federal Trade Commission:
FTC charges Debt Relief Scammers: