Watch Out for Interest Rate Reduction Scams

Don't let the promise of a lower interest rate ruin your finances.

credit cards

If you receive a pre-recorded message promising a lower interest rate on your credit card, be on high alert. The companies calling claim to be able to negotiate a significantly lower rate on your behalf, for a fee. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should delete these messages because they’re scams.

These companies attempt to hook you by claiming to have special relationships with the major credit card companies, guaranteeing a very low rate. Consequently, according to them, you’ll be able to pay your debt three to five times faster than average. Some also offer money-back guarantees. In addition, they often create a sense of urgency, claiming you need to act now so you won’t miss out on this limited-time offer.

However, you can negotiate your interest rate on your own for free.
There’s no need to pay someone else to do it for you. The FTC offers these tips for protecting yourself from these types of scams:

  1. Don’t provide your credit card information. Your card could be charged or the number could be sold to other scammers.
  2. Never give out your bank account or Social Security number. A scammer will often ask for this information during an unsolicited sales pitch and then use it to commit other frauds against you.
  3. Be wary of any unsolicited sales calls that are pre-recorded, especially if your phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. You shouldn’t get recorded sales pitches unless you’ve agreed to accept these calls, with a few exceptions.

If your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, a telemarketer may call you only if you have agreed to accept calls from the company the salesperson works for, if you bought something from the company within the last 18 months, or if you have asked the company for information within the last three months.

To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry or to register your phone number, visit www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-122.

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