Several readers have called about Credit Card Services, a company that makes unsolicited calls offering to lower interest rates. This company is persistent and ignores warnings about violating the No Call List.
At best, these companies offer a service that you can do yourself. You can contact your credit card company and ask that your rate be lowered. If you are behind in payments, you can arrange a different payment schedule. You can also negotiate a settlement if you are unable to make the payments. There is no need to pay a fee for a company to do this for you other than convenience. If you want help negotiating with credit card companies, it is best to find the company on your own rather than to trust an unsolicited caller.
Unfortunately, this company — or people claiming to be this company — are a chronic problem.
At worst, these calls are from scammers who are trying to trick you into giving them information that they can use to steal your identity. If you continue to get calls, you have a number of options. First, make sure your number is on the No Call List. To sign up, go to http://ago.mo.gov/nocalllaw/nocalllaw.htm and enter your information.
You can report the unwanted calls to the attorney general and provide phone numbers that come up on Caller ID or are in the message. You can answer the call and tell them you are reporting them to the attorney general’s office and that they must take you off their list.
If you have asked them to stop calling and they persist, you can choose to make their call unpleasant. Answer the phone and blow a whistle or an air horn into the phone. That might do the trick.
You also can block their number from the phone, although scammers often use many phone numbers to make their calls.
A reader reported that she was the recipient of the grand prize in the “American family publishing sweepstakes drawing.” She supposedly won $250,000 that was coming to her in a certified check by a courier. She was assured this by “Frances N. Ford” of Sun Life Financial.
The letter included a check for $4,676 for her to use to pay the “Government Service Tax” for non-Canadian residents. Only $3,900 was for the tax to be sent by Western Union to the tax agent and she could keep the extra money.
Of course, had she followed the instructions, the check would have bounced and she would be responsible for paying back the entire amount of the check, as well as any fines.
The best thing to do with any unsolicited check from a “lottery” or unknown sender is to write void on it, rip the check up and throw it away.
Readers, have you had the same thing happen to you? Please share your story in the comments section of this story.
The Daily Journal has made a commitment to keep readers abreast of scams that hit our area. If someone tries to make you the victim of a scam, submit details at https://www.dailyjournalonline.com/connect (click on the Scam logo) or call us at 431-2010 and tell us what happened.
We will try to include your story in our scam alert series to prepare others who may find themselves in the same situation. The Daily Journal will run Scam Alert stories in the Weekend paper.