Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Credit Card Interest Rate Scams

Beware of phone calls claiming to be Credit Card Services. A recorded message begins by saying that there are no problems with your credit card account and that the company is offering reduced interest rates. The number that registered on my phone was (269)-768-2211. An Internet search showed it as a cell phone by one company and an unpublished land line in Michigan by another reverse search company. The Consumer Protection Agency says that the FTC is investigating.

Before calling the CPA I called AT&T. What a fabulous company. Everything is automated to provide as little actual customer service as is possible. The first call required pressing nearly a dozen buttons, after which the very pleasant voice informed me: “Due to circumstances beyond our control we are unable to take your call at this time. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. Please call back again later.” On the next call I pressed zero until I spoke with someone, was transferred to a specialist, and after answering a protracted list of privacy/security questions and recognizing the clear indication of a runaround, I hung up. This appears to be the objective and the standard procedure of nearly all customer service departments of larger corporations today.

At least on this occasion the customer service people spoke English and seemed able to understand English.

The main point of this post is to warn that there are clever people calling to deceive and steal from people who are already being hurt through the deceptions of the banking industry and the government. So please beware of phone calls offering to help. The standard advice is not to trust anyone who calls claiming to be representing a bank or other institution, especially where account information is involved.

The secondary point is that when calling the proper agencies for assistance, it is easier just to go into a closet and scream for a few minutes. The results will be immediate and more effectual.

Thirdly, if the caller I.D. shows an unfamiliar number, not answering will be annoying for as long as the phone is ringing, but will be much less frustrating than actually answering the phone call.

Fourthly, reciting the Catechism is a much more rewarding activity than anything listed above.

Luther’s Small Catechism and be found here or here or here.

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