For the last year or so, I’ve been getting telemarketing phone calls from some company called Cardmember Services claiming that they can lower the interest rate on my credit cards. They have called everyday for the last year or so from different numbers. Today they showed up as “800 Service: 1-866-000-0000” which is obviously a fake number to hide their real number. A few times in the past I did pickup the phone and unlike most robo callers, it does not give you an option to hit a number to be removed from their calling list.
The only option is to press 9 to speak to an operator. In the past I have also pressed 9 to speak to an operator to request to have my phone number removed from their calling list, but the first question the agent asks when you press 9 to speak to an agent is, “Are you calling to lower your interest rate on your MasterCard or Visa?” and the moment you say, “No” they will hang up on you instantly. They do not care that you are calling to have your phone number removed because they hang up before you even get a chance to get that out of your mouth and they call back the very next day.
I used to ignore the call but today I was bored, the phone rang, I saw the number, made an evil grin to myself and figured I haven’t trolled anyone in a very long time, so I may as well have some fun with it. The only thing I wish is that these calls would come in on my main number so I could record them. Hey YOU called ME, so you asked for it:
Me: (Presses 9)
Agent (broken English accent): Hello and are you speaking to an agent regarding lowering your interest rate on your MasterCard or Visa?
Agent: How much do you owe on your Visa?
Agent: $50k? Ok
Agent: You may be approved for a lower interest rate of 7% … (bla bla bla rate spiel)
Agent: What is the expiration date of your card?
Agent: How much do you currently owe on the card? And how much are your monthly payments?
Me: (I dodge the question)
Well first of all what company is this?
Agent: Cardmember Services
Me: Cardmember Services is the name of your company?
Me: So you mean to tell me that if I look up your company, I will find Cardmember services?
Agent: We work with banks like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, (bla bla bla) to get you a lower interest rate and to keep banks from “jacking up” your interest rates.
– Ponders to myself, “what in the hell professional financial institution is this that uses slang ‘jacking up‘ when explaining the terms and conditions of their service to their customers? That’s straight out the hood right there”.
Agent: What bank is your Visa card with?
Me: JP Morgan Chase
Agent: May I have your 16 digit credit card number please?
Me: Well wait a minute now, that’s not how you do it. You haven’t asked for my name, address or anything to even verify if I am even the owner of this card or not. I could be anyone with any person’s credit card. I want to have more information first because YOU called ME and I want to find out about your company first to find out if you are a legit company and if this is a legit offer before I just start giving you my credit card number.
Agent: We get you approved to see how much we can lower your interest rate for and then I transfer you to a financial officer who gives you the information to the web site and gives you your login username (bla bla bla bla more offer stuff)
Me: Well, why can’t you give that to me now so I can check your company out first?
Agent: Let me get you with our financial officer
-15 second hold and meanwhile I am listening to the background noise I heard dozens of other Arab or Indian accents also talking to callers
Financial Officer (an even “worser” thick accent): Hi I’m Financial Officer Dorin Pernell (was probably Patel) … (bla bla bla basically repeats the same crap the agent just told me about lowering my interest rates)
Me: Well I want to find out more about your company first because you know there’s identity theft out here and since you called me, I want to find out if you’re a legit company first. What’s the name of your company?
Financial Officer: Cardmember Services
Me: Where are you located?
Financial Officer: Miami, Florida
Me: Can you send me some information first so I can do more research first?
Financial Officer (Score. I struck a nerve. Starting to sound aggravated now): We assure you we are secure the credit card companies have identity theft coverage built in to your card by using your social security number, mother’s maiden name, so you information is secure. I can give you my officer security ID for verification. But don’t you care about lowering your interest rate … (bla bla bla goes back into the rate of the card spiel).
Me: Well, ya know I’m kind of concerned right now so I don’t really care about the interest rate on my card at this time. Right now I want some information about your company so I can find out if it’s legit. This web site. What is the address to the web site so I can look you up? You know nevermind, I don’t think I’m going to do this because I am skeptical of all of this. This just don’t sound right.
Financial Officer (whoa now he’s really mad): WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR INTEREST RATE???!!!!! (says something I couldn’t tell what it was because his accent was so thick and he was screaming at the top of his lungs – no I’m not exaggerating he was really screaming) &$^%$*#$&#(@(#)(@)&#!*@*$* WE ARE RAISING YOUR INTEREST RATE TO 30%!!!!!! GOOODBYE (called me a name)!!!!
– He doesn’t actually hang up the phone, I hear him lay it on the table but I could still hear him yelling in whatever his first language is, so I made sure I let my voice be heard …
Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLLOLL … Umad BRO??!!!
Pathetic but I probably just got that agent 20 lashings and no lunch breaks for a week.
I don’t believe for a hot second that the name of this company is Cardmember Services. I believe that this is not a company at all but either some sweatshop in a foreign country or someone in the United States who has personally hired these “agents”, possibly even illegal immigrants, of who these “agents” are being exploited and have no idea they are even involved in a scam. People and even large corporations do it all the time; even Walmart got caught in it but at least it wasn’t credit card fraud like this Cardmember Services is doing.
These guys are douches and I highly doubt that these frauds are even in the United States; there were just too many accents flying around at one time for my liking. These douche canoes call peoples’ houses to collect credit card numbers from unknowing people such as the elderly and the ignorant so they can max out their cards. They know that all people will do is claim that their card number got stolen and they will get their money back. They are fully aware of the insurance provided by card issuers of fraud purchases so they go around maxing out credit cards and they figure YOU are not hurt because you can call your banks and dispute the charges. Meanwhile they’re running around with new iPods and whatever else they want to buy off YOUR credit card and the sad thing is these douches will not be caught because they leave no traceable information since they use spoofed 800# phone numbers.
Yes Cardmember Services does exist, it is usually the card issuing department of your bank, when you get a new credit card or your credit card bill, it may have Cardmember Services on the letter along with the issuing bank name (i.e. Orchard Bank Cardmember Services, JP Morgan Chase Cardmember Services, etc), but these guys are NOT the real Cardmember Services from any bank. And I know they are not the real Cardmember Services because they would not be calling me every fookin day like clockwork for a year. I have had my cards for years and my bank has never called me for anything such as this and the times they did call about my cards, they introduced themselves as my bank, not just Cardmember services. These are clearly frauds trying to pose as the real Cardmember Services from banks to steal credit cards.
Call me paranoid, xenophobic or whatever, but it just sounded suspicious anyway and furthermore NO financial company is going to tolerate their employees just screaming and yelling at their customers. Point blank. And they certainly are not going to resort to name-calling like this douche did. I was talking to the guy in a cool calm voice and he just started yelling at me and called me a name. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal for a bank to threaten a customer with raising their interest rate over not accepting one of their optional services. The place didn’t even sound secure because I could clearly hear the other conversations in the background so if someone was providing their credit card number I would have heard it and I could have written their credit card numbers down.
So people, if you get a call from these people, or anybody for that matter, promising you they can lower your interest rate on your credit card with them, please please please hang up. The correct way to lower your interest rate is to call your bank or whatever reputable, FDIC insured bank you desire to get the lower interest rate with yourself. A reputable bank is not going to decline providing their information to you, but just take all of your information first and then just send you to a web site. It is a scam if not blatant fraud.
If you have elderly family members with credit cards who are not savvy, inform them to not give personal or card info over the phone to anyone under any circumstance. If there is something they need to give their card number or personal info over the phone for, have them take down the company’s name and number and you call in for them to find out if it’s legit. If all else fails persuade them to give up their cards and use cash because some of these telemarketers out here are just scams out to keep charging people’s credit cards from infinity to beyond or just max it out completely.
If you are ignorant about a credit card and you have one, I suggest you learn the fine print, learn how to protect yourself and learn it quick, or you probably shouldn’t have one.
Being on the do-not-call list will not keep them from calling you either because they are working illegally I’m sure so they don’t give two fooks about some United States Do-Not-Call list. You probably won’t be able to block their phone number either because they mask it, so don’t even answer if it, but if your phone provided has it, you can get a service called “800# call block” on your home phone; some providers offer it for free if you inquire about it. Unfortunately I work from home and I do get legit phone calls from some 800#s so I can’t get the block put on my line, but it’s blatantly obvious this is a phone phishing scam. They are looking for you to voluntarily provide enough information so they can steal your credit card number and possibly even steal your identity.
Do not provide your phone number. Do not provide your birthdate. Do not provide where you were born. Do not provide your age. Do not provide your name. Do not provide your address. Do not provide them your social security number. Do not provide even your last 4 of your social security number ; giving that out is just as dangerous as giving out the full number because anyone can figure out the first 5 easily if you were born prior to June 2011, so that’s pretty much everybody. All the first 5 digits of your social contains is the location of where you were born (or where your parents filed for your social security number at birth) and they can get that easily from a Google Search or just from Facebook if you have an account. So do not provide them anything; just hang up. Never ever ever provide anyone your financial or personal information over the phone unless YOU initiated the phone call, you’ve dealt with the company before and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s a legit company.
I really hope they call back tomorrow … because I got a new scenario waiting for them. I’m writing the script now. Maybe if I troll them hard and long enough, I can get put on their “blacklist” of numbers not to robo-call.