OT: phone scams

Hey All,

Just wanted to toss out a heads up. There is a scam that has gone around
(here in the States) before going around again. It's a phone thing. They
have called here several times in the past. The phone numbers always show
up as "out of area" or something along those lines on the caller ID.
Normally, it's a recording saying they are calling to help lower your high
interest rates on your credit cards. It goes on to say that if you are
interested, you should push 1 to speak to a live representative.

Well, I push 1 just for the chance to annoy them. They always immediately
begin asking for my personal information. Always starts with my name. I
never tell them ANYTHING. I start asking questions. What's the name of
this company? (usually "Client Services" yeah. Right.) How did they get
my number? Etc. Their answer is usually that they "work closely" with
visa, amex, discover, and master card. They also say that they want to
lower my interest rates. They will also say that I have been referred to
them by a credit card company as a client in good standing. However, they
can never tell me which company it was that referred me, nor with which
companies I have accounts. (keep in mind there are a plethora of ways to
program phone systems so they would know all of that if it were

This is when I like to start messing with them. Things to remember: 1.
Credit card companies won't farm out things like this; if your credit card
issuer needs/wants to speak with you, they will call you directly. 2. If a
credit card company (that you already do business with) calls you, they
don't need to ask for your information; they have it right there and will
only ask you to verify certain portions of that information.

Just asking questions like what company is this? how did you get my phone
number? which company gave you my name? why didn't ___ call me directly?
That's enough to make these folks angry enough to hang up on me. Which
gives me SUCH a giggle!!

Please, please be aware of this garbage. It's all an attempt to get your
personal information, like your name and account numbers. Once these
crooks have your actual information, it's WAY easier for them to open
fraudulent accounts using your name and info.

Depending on what state you live in, you can pass along any information you
have on these calls to your state attorney general's office. Some states
go after these types of criminals. Others don't. You won't know till you
investigate that yourself. Ordinarily what the AG's office will want is
the time and date of the call, the number (from your caller ID if it comes
up) the name of the "company." Just the general details of the call. I
know when I lived in Indiana, the AG's office kept all that stuff on file
and would prosecute when they could. (it's difficult though.)

Best advice is just don't tell these folks ANYTHING. If you get a call like
this you think might be from a company that you do business with, say
thanks, this isn't a good time and hang up. Then get your card and call the
customer service number listed there. That way you know for sure you are
talking to your credit card company and not a scammer.

Off my soap box now. :)

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of time and just annoys the