2.13.2009

credit card scam

Several times in the last few months, I've gotten the same voice mail message on our home phone line. It's a computer call, and the message obviously began before our outgoing message finished. I hear a robo-voice say, "...press 1 to lower your rates, or press 2 and this offer will expire." The call shows up without a name, just a US city and state.

We have call-display - a lifeline for anyone who works at home and wears several different hats - and I rarely answer the phone if the ID looks suspect. But occasionally I will, out of curiosity, or to tell someone not to call me anymore.

This afternoon I saw a call from "Pomapano Beach, Florida", no name. I assumed this would be some unsolicited bullshit, but I was curious. When I answered, it was the robo-call I've been hearing on voice mail. It said: "We have been urgently trying to reach you. This is your last opportunity to lower your credit card rates. Press 1 to lower your rate, or press 2 and this offer will expire."

No identification of me or a bank name. Obviously not a real credit card company with which I have a real account!

I pressed 1.

The phone rang a few times, then I could hear the call click over to a different ring, like it had been routed to a different number.

A woman answered. She sounded like she was asleep and the phone woke her up. She said a bleary, "Uh, hello?" then said, "Did you press 1 to lower your rates?"

I said yes.

She said, "May I have your credit card number, please?"

I asked, "What company are you with? Who are you calling for?"

She hung up.

Pathetic. It makes me sad that people will get ripped off from such an obvious fraud.

Googling, I found several similar warnings, such as this and this.

9 comments:

rww said...

I always avoid pressing anything on the phone when asked to by an unsolicited caller in fear of automatically authorizing some charge of some sort so I always just hang up when that happens.

You can never be too cautious.

L-girl said...

You can never be too cautious.

Oh, I heartily disagree! Curiosity or adventure are often more important than caution.

impudent strumpet said...

If asking what company they're with is enough to throw them off, that's not a very good scam. Most people I know have multiple credit cards - you'd HAVE to ask them which company they are. You'd think they'd come up with some kind of trick to convince you to produce that information yourself, like psychics do.

L-girl said...

It's a very poor scam. And poorly trained scammers too. First question, and they hang up? Geez.

kythryne said...

We've been getting those calls for months. Sometimes it's credit card, sometimes it's mortgage, sometimes it's car loan/warranty. Multiple times a day, sometimes -- and the caller ID data is always forged.

L-girl said...

Kyth! What a nice surprise.

We have also gotten them multiple times a day at times. Friggin annoying.

Jere said...

Okay so it's not just us then. Does the message you get use the "casual" style, with lots of "uh"s and pauses to make it feel like a "real" message and not just a taped reading of a script? It's also funny how it's always "the last chance." Then you get the same call the next day. And every day after.

L-girl said...

Does the message you get use the "casual" style, with lots of "uh"s and pauses to make it feel like a "real" message and not just a taped reading of a script?

How funny! No, mine is a straight businesslike robocall.

Jere said...

All of ours do the casual style, and Kim noticed a radio commercial that does the same thing. The guy says, "that number is, uh (pause) 1-800..."

How stupid do they think we are? Oh, this guy must've just passed by a recording studio on his way to work, and they said, Hey, if you've got anything you want to share, we've got some free time.... And the guy said, Sure, thanks, but I'm not fully prepared.... Oh, that's okay, just roll with it. And it just *happened* to then be put on the air.

And that's what I as an American like and need! A REAL person, not just some commercial planned ahead of time where bad takes can be re-done with fancy re-doin' machines! Gimme a break...