Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Identity thieves just tried to get me

Today's post was supposed to be the answer to a question from a Tweeter.Then I got a robocall from some company obviously trying to run a scam on credit card holders, so I'm going to give you all a warning.

The call came from 228-209-9560. A recording says they're calling from "account services" and want to help holders of Visa, Master Card or American Express cards lower their interest rates. First tip off: a legit credit card company would NEVER call you like this. If you're doing business with them, they wouldn't use such a generic message. They already know what kind of card you have. Secondly, credit card companies these days aren't in the business of calling anybody and volunteering to lower their rates.

The recording asks you to press 1 to have your rates lowered or press 2 to be dropped from their list. When you get to this point: HANG UP. A common trick of tele-scammers is to ask you a question and have you press 1 or 2 in reply to that question. They record your reply and use it to "slam" you, changing account information on your phone or credit cards. Giving them any information could, and likely would, result in identity theft.

For the benefit of the blog, I took the risk and pressed 1 to see if I'd get a live person. I did. That guy, "Steve", asked me, "Did you press 1 to have your rates lowered today?" No, Steve, I pressed 1 to find out who was calling me.

Click. Steve hung up. Must not have been in his script. I Googled the number and found out that these folks have been running the same scam on others. Here's a message board with people who have gotten the same calls. I also called the number back from a landline and got a recording that said it was disconnected.

Remember, if you get this call or a similar one, don't answer it or hang up immediately. It is a scam. If you're so inclined (and you should be), call your state's attorney general's office and register a complaint. These people are predators out to steal your money. They need to be found and locked up.


images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

4 comments:

Symphony said...

I would be tempted to press a number to talk to a person and tell them to stop trying to steal people's hard-earned money but the info about the possible danger of pressing anything makes me change my mind.

Keith T. Reed said...

Smart choice, Symphony. Besides, these people don't have a conscience about what they're doing. It's not like you yelling at them is going to make them feel bad.

laughing808 said...

thanks for the information. I received that call, but I hang up on automated calls anyway......LOL

Sean Parker said...

hillarious! No Steve, I pressed 1 to see who was calling me. CLASSIC