Don't be a victim of this financial scam.
How to avoid credit card rate reduction scams
You’ve heard the ads, or perhaps gotten a robocall, from companies claiming to be able to negotiate significantly lower your credit card interest rates – if you’ll just sign up with them.
The companies behind these sales pitches claim to have special relationships with credit card issuers. They guarantee that the reduced rates they offer will save you thousands of dollars in interest and finance charges and will allow you to pay off your credit card debt three to five times faster. They claim that the lower interest rates are available for a limited time and that you need to act now. Some even use money-back guarantees as further enticement.
But here’s the truth — The companies behind these robocalls can’t do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself — for free.
You have just as much clout with your credit card issuer as these companies, and you are just as likely to get turned down for a rate reduction, regardless of their promises or supposed efforts to negotiate on your behalf.
In fact, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigators found that people who pay for these services don’t get the promised interest rate reductions, don’t save the promised amounts, don’t pay off their credit card debt three to five times faster, and struggle to get refunds.
The FTC says that if you’re looking to reduce the interest rate you’re paying on your credit card purchases, your best bet is to handle it yourself for free: call the customer service phone number on the back of your credit card and ask for a reduced rate. Be calm, patient and persistent. And if you are tempted by the promises of a robocall, the FTC says hold off — and hang up.
• Don’t give out your credit card information. Once a scammer has your data, they can charge your credit card for their own purchases or sell the information to other scammers.
• Don’t share other personal financial or sensitive information like your bank account or Social Security numbers. Scam artists often ask for this and then use it to commit other frauds against you.
• To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry or to register your phone number, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
File a Complaint
If you think you’ve experienced a credit card interest rate reduction scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftccomplaintassistant.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
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