HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I consider myself to be pretty wary when I get unsolicited telephone calls about my credit cards but this afternoon I got a call that completely fooled me --- for a while. I think it was because it started with a recorded woman's voice saying something like: "If you are interested in getting the APR on your credit cards lowered to 6 per cent, the time is running out so please press 9 now".

And the sucker is hooked! I pushed 9 and in a few seconds was connected to a man who told me he is from Universal Card Services and wants to help me lower my credit card bills. he then starts out asking general questions -- how many cards do you have, what is the debt amount accumulated, what kind of cards do you hold, what are the last four digits of the cards, the last four digits of your social security number - this sent up flags and I asked who he represented. He again told me "Univeral Card Services" and that his name is Robert Johnson and then gives me the last four digits of his social security number so set my mind at ease.

Then he asks to go back to the credit cards and start over again, only this time he wants the entire 16 numbers from my Master Card. That's when I told him the conversation is over. He gets all indignant and tells me that i am losing out on a chance to save money and I tell him I would rather pay the percentage rate I am presently paying than give out the information he is seeking and he hangs up on me. Oh - and before he hangs up I also tell him I am a member of LifeLock, a identity theft company.

Then I sweat bullets for about five minutes and decide I had best call LifeLock.

when I explain what has happened the gal is most helpful. we contact my Master Card holder and cancel the card immediately as that is the card whose numbers he is after. it becomes clear that it would be that card because it is the card I use to make on line purchases and I have received "phishing" e mails about that account in the past.

So be forewarned. Do not give out any information at all on the telephone. I learned the hard way today. And it was that opening "save you money - lower your rate to 6 per cent" that blinded me.

Dumb, dumb, dumb!


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