Hello all, this is Coach Joshua. This just happened to me today and I just wanted to send out a quick warning. I just got an automated call from “Card Services” telling me that they were going to lower my interest rates. One of my cards does use “Card Services” when they contact me so I thought it was legit and pressed 1 to be connected to a human being. So I get a lady who proceeds to tell me that they are going to lower my interest rates on all of my cards, Visa, MasterCard, etc. So I start to wonder, how are you going to lower interest rates for cards with two different banks? “Who is this?” I asked. “Card Services, we’re going to lower your interest rates.” she replied.
So then she says “I need to know that you still have the card and didn’t cut it up or anything, so I just need you to verify the expiration date.” So I said “For which card? I’ll tell you what, you tell me the expiration date and I’ll tell you if that’s it.” So she asked “for which card?” And I replied “Exactly. You never told me which card either. So why don’t you tell me which card you wanted the expiration date for and what it is and I’ll tell you if it’s correct.” So she said “The Visa card, it expires in 2014. We just need to verify that you still have the card. So please verify the expiration date” So I told her, “yes it expires in 2014 and I still have the card, I’m looking at it right now.” So she tells me the first four digits of my card and asks me to verify and I told her that they were correct. So then she says she needs me to read off the whole card number to verify it. I told her “Not gonna happen.” So then she asks “If you’re not interested then why did you stay on the phone? Just to waste my time?” So I replied, “Thank you, good bye.” And that was the end of that.
There was a little more back and forth during the conversation but it was just more of the “Who is this? And why do you need me to give you my information?” type back and forth, so I condensed a longer conversation for quicker and easier reading. But you get the idea.
If somebody calls you wanting you to give them your credit card number, or any information from your credit card, bank account, social security number, etc. don’t give it to them. If they want you to repeat it to verify it, let them know that they called you not the other way around. If any verifying is going to be taking place, they can tell YOU what it is and YOU can verify it. If they start to try and bully you into giving them your info, hang up.
Con men (or “Confidence Men”) have been around for a long time and are very good at gaining the confidence of honest, trusting people and then separating them from their hard earned cash or belongings. Always be wary when people ask you for any kind of personal or account information, just because they sound official doesn’t mean they are. And remember this, if they are calling from your Credit Card Company or bank, they shouldn’t need you to tell them any pertinent account information, they should already have that. If they insist that they are your creditor or bank, then let them know you will call them back and give them the information and call them back using the number on the back of your card, or the number on your banks business card or letterhead. If they really are who they say they are, they won’t have a problem with you being secure with your information, it’s important to them too.
Keep it real and stay safe.