Yes, there are several types of fraudulent credit card companies in existence. According to the Federal Trade Commission, scams that center around fake credit card offers and companies that promise interest reductions for exorbitant fees, fraudulent credit card companies can dupe well-meaning consumers in many different ways. It should be noted that there are no known fraudulent credit card companies that actually extend credit to applicants.
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Many fake credit card companies contact targets over the phone. Sometimes they misrepresent themselves completely, thereby fooling consumers into believing that they are speaking with a credit card company that they have an existing relationship with. You can quickly identify fake credit card issuers, as they either evade direct questions or disconnect the call if you ask for too many specific details.
Being able to read the details of a specific credit card offer, find out about its history and compare it to other cards will help you to determine that a company is legitimate. While fraudulent credit card companies are prevalent, they are usually shut down shortly after being reported to the authorities.
How do fraudulent credit card companies work?
The end goal of fraudulent credit card companies is to get access to your banking or credit card information. Using scripts, direct mail advertising, or emails to gain attention, their promises are usually very attractive. According to the Missouri Attorney General, fake credit card companies often use automated calling systems and use vague terms such as card services to fool their targets.
Other fraudulent credit card companies use direct mail to trick credit cardholders into believing they qualify for credit card debt relief services. Typically, a toll free phone number is listed on the post cards and letters sent to their intended victims, but they are often linked to VoIP and other telephone lines that are difficult to trace.
In short, fraudulent credit card companies work by getting people to provide them with their credit card details. With that information, they can steal money, identities or sell information to other unethical companies. Many victims have no idea that they have been taken advantage of until they review their billing statements, or worse, never at all.
What should you do if have fallen victim to a fraudulent credit card company?
Any consumer that has had their credit cards or bank account compromised by a fraudulent credit card company should immediately initiate a dispute. The State of California Department of Justice refers to credit card disputes as chargebacks. No matter what your credit card company calls this process; all consumers have the legal right to dispute charges that they did not authorize.
Going to the Federal Trade Commission website and filing a formal complaint will also help to attract attention to the fraudulent credit card company. Although this government agency does not shut down scams until a large number of complaints are filed, you can help to expedite the process by providing as many details as you can.
Finally, notifying your local police department is advised. Since many of these fraudulent credit card companies call their intended victims sequentially, every phone number in your county may also be targeted.
How can you identify a fraudulent credit card company?
Since most fraudulent credit card companies utilize tools such as caller ID spoofing and regularly misrepresent themselves, identifying them can be quite difficult. Legitimate offers from your credit card issuer will come from a phone number that is publicly associated with the company. To remove all doubt, simply ask for a phone number to call back and verify that it does belong, in fact, to your credit card issuer.
Remember that asking specific questions about your account may only help fraudulent credit card companies to verify your personal information. Never say what credit cards you have, your social security number, date of birth or mailing address. Having just a few pieces of this information may allow them to compile a detailed file that can be used for credit identify theft.
If you receive any unsolicited phone calls where you are asked to provide details about your financial status, hang up. Valid offers from a real credit card companies will not instantly expire simply because you feel uncomfortable. You can always take time to think about a major financial decision, especially one that involves your credit rating.
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