"We're from BBB – Because of the bailout, we can offer you a low-rate credit card."
BBB warns the region that it is seeing an increase of inquiries being made regarding various questionable, deceptive and downright fraudulent pitches.
BBB has seen an increase in inquiries regarding phishing scams, telemarketing calls using the "bailout" to offer people "new low-rate credit cards," an increase in the mailing of fake checks nationwide to become a mystery or secret shopper, and an increase in advance fee loan scam ads and offers.
We are mostly hearing from people inquiring about these things before becoming a victim, and we applaud those who CHECK FIRST with BBB and Start With Trust. And that is a good thing!
The current "low interest credit card offer" pitch is a double whammy! It fraudulently uses both the name of the BBB as well as the "bailout" to try to hook you. Here's how it goes: Consumers report receiving a pre-recorded call from "Rose at the BBB," and/or "the BBB" telling them that as a result of the "bailout" passing, they are eligible to receive a new credit card package which will allow them to have a "lower interest rate" credit card.
A recorded message instructed them to push 1 if they wanted more info. Our consumers thought something didn’t sound right and did not give them any personal information. Instead, they did the right thing and contacted us to check things out.
BBB will never contact you to offer you this type of pitch! If the questionable pitch uses the name "BBB" or "Better Business Bureau" immediately end your call, and contact your BBB for confirmation or verification of the pitch. These are times to be skeptical of anybody cold calling or emailing you randomly asking for personal information, asking you to confirm or verify info, or telling you that your info is at risk. The questionable pitches are using official-seeming names, misusing official and legitimate names, and lifting completely legitimate profiles to create fake web sites and/or send counterfeit checks your way. Be wary! Tough economic times call for more vigilance and education and awareness.
Don't panic and don't let a situation take control over you. Use common sense and think before giving out any personal or sensitive information to anyone who randomly calls you. If you receive a check in the mail – no matter how official it seems, if you don't know why you are receiving the check or if the check comes from an unknown source, be very wary!
In these cases, we say don't believe them. Don't click on any hyperlinks embedded in an email from a place you don't know, and even if you do know the bank or financial institution, don't reply by giving personal information via email.
If called, end the call, and contact your bank or financial institution directly to see what they may need, if anything. More than likely your bank is going to say it is a scam. Don't reply or confirm. Report questionable scenarios to your BBB, and protect your personal information.