You’ve been lamenting the interest rate on your credit cards, when out of the blue, a miracle: you get a voicemail message vowing to slash that dastardly rate to something way more affordable. While it may be tempting to jump on this, do not do it. If you do, you may wind up in a worse situation. Why? Because it’s likely a racket, a fraudulent scheme.
And with that in mind, here’s how you can avoid scams to lower your credit card interest rate.
If you haven’t gotten one of these robocalls, it’s just a matter of time. Because wherever money and emotion are involved (don’t they always go together?), there are unscrupulous types out there ready and willing to exploit the situation.
Their main MO is to over promise or even “guarantee” you something they simply cannot deliver. Or they will attempt to bill you an inordinate amount for a task that – even if they do it – you can do yourself. There’s also a chance they’re attempting to gain your personal financial data to steal your identity and wreak serious damage.
The good news is that there are ways to spot such scams so that you don’t fall victim.
There are some common pledges these scammers make, including:
- Giving you a false deadline. These unlawful people will try to put the pressure on, telling you that you must hurry, because what they can do for you is for a limited time only. Turn on your heels.
- Telling you something that sounds too good to be true. You’ve likely heard that old adage about “if something sounds too good to be true, it, probably isn’t.” Adages become such for good reasons. So, listen to your gut. If someone tells you, for example, that they can reduce your rate by so much that you can clear your debt several times faster than you would at your current rate, ignore them. And block them if you can.
- Vowing to save you money. Everyone likes to save money, right? Scammers know that — and will try to use it against you. Their promise will be to save you beaucoup money in interest.
- They have connections. They’ll tell you that they have an inside track with credit card issuers that enables them to get them to reduce interest rates. Don’t fall for it. They don’t.
What Might Happen
If you do give these criminals your money or personal financial data, you’ll likely never hear from them again – directly. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll learn soon enough that your identity has been swiped, which can be a nightmare situation. Or they’ll just take your cash and skedaddle.
Now, some will, in fact, reach out to your creditors on your behalf and try to negotiate a better rate. But because they sought YOU out, and not the other way around, you shouldn’t trust them. Rather, enlist the help of a reputable and credible debt relief program such as Freedom Debt Relief.
Stay on the Safe Side
Never give out, over the phone, personal info such as your address, birthdate, or Social Security number. A common tactic, by the way, is to give you some personal information such as your address and ask you to “confirm” it. Don’t do it.
And by all means, never provide financial information such as bank account numbers. Even if the caller sounds on the up and up, just say no, or hang up.
Right now, the nation’s credit card interest rate is 22.21 percent – the highest it’s been in at least three years. So, it’s understandable that you’d like to do something about it. If your situation is acute, we’ve mentioned debt relief. You can also try to consolidate your debt, or simply call the credit card issuer and request a decreased rate. You never know unless you try.
Whatever you do, though, avoid those scams that promise to lower your credit card interest rate.