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Home News-Telegram News Be Aware: Local residents warn about credit card scam

Be Aware: Local residents warn about credit card scam

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A local couple is warning community members, particularly older residents, to be leery of phone offers claiming to lower interest on outstanding debts. The results could prove very costly.

The Sulphur Springs woman, 61, said a man called and talked to her husband, 62, a few weeks back. The caller offered to reduce their credit card payments by lowering an interest rate on their card. In the end, instead of lowering the payback amount, it ended up costing them $2,000.

She said that in her former line of work, bookkeeping, she was familiar with claims and pushy people. She and her husband both over the years have dealt with their fair share of phone solicitors, some of which were obviously attempts by individuals to get them to sign up for undesired services or people pretending to represent charitable funds which they knew did not participate in phone solicitation for donations.

This attempt, however, was much smoother and more convincing.

“I don’t believe [the caller] was from this area, but he knew so much about my husband and our account, he was very convincing,” the woman said. “My husband said in his gut he knew he’d done the wrong thing and started to call them back. He got a name and number. But, the guy knew so much. They knew the last four number of our account.”

The woman said when they got their credit card statement in the mail this week, it was glaringly apparently the call had been fraud. Not only wasn’t the rate lowered, but there was an unauthorized $2,000 charge on their bill.

“I’m a disabled person now. My husband works 12 hours-a-day, six-days-a -eek. Two thousand dollars is a lot of money to us. I’m so glad when we saw the bill we knew what to do,” the woman said.

She said she immediately called the credit card company to report the incident and unauthorized charge. The representative said the fraudulent charge would be removed, fortunately. 

However, the woman wanted to be sure to let others in the community know about this experience so they would not be victims to this scam.

“If it happened to my husband, it could have happened to others — could happen to anyone,” said the woman. “It’s very possible it’s happened to many in this area. It’s just outrageous.”

Local law enforcement often upon hearing these types of activities warn citizens not to give any personal information out over the phone, especially account and identity information. They say this warning should be doubley adhered to when the call is unsolicited — no matter how authentic and knowledgeable the caller seems to be about the service, businesses or agency they claim to represent.

As a rule of thumb, investigators say it’s best to keep in mind in these types of situations that “If it it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” And authorities recommend contacting the local police or sheriff’s department for their location if someone “calls, approaches or sends a letter that is suspicious” so law enforcement will know about it, can check it out and if warranted let people know about potential scams.

 

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