I would definitely call myself a nervous nellie when it comes to scams. If something doesn’t seem right, I question it. That includes all telephone calls that I receive from people that I don’t know. I don’t usually agree to anything over the phone and I never give information out unless I am certain the call is for real. Sometimes I feel like a ‘b’ with an ‘itch’ but nowadays you never know.
On Tuesday, I received a call but I was unable to catch it before the answering machine picked up. It turns out it was someone claiming to be from my credit card company and he needed to talk to me. He gave a number to call him back.
First thing I did was look at the caller ID. It came back “Unknown.” Hmm…
There are some scams out there that hope to get you to call back. So I didn’t. Instead, I took my credit card out and called the number on the back. I have to say, I’ve been having great luck lately with very helpful customer service representatives.
I explained to the woman that I had received a call and was given a number. I also told her how I am hesitant to call the number and I would like to see if she knew what it was about. I thought maybe it was because of my call a few days before when I requested to be taken off their marketing list.
The representative didn’t see anything on my account about them trying to contact me. So she asked me for the number I was given and she and put me on hold. She was going to try to look it up really quick. After a few minutes, she came back on and told me she couldn’t find it right off bat, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a number from their company. She said that their directory is many pages long. I believe it.
I asked her if there was anything that I can do to try to ensure that when I call the number, I am dealing with the actual company. She gave me some pointers:
Always get the representative’s name and their department. Asking for this information can narrow things down if you still feel uncomfortable about the call and want to call the number on the back of your card again.
The representative should be able to answer your question about your current balance and due date. If you are wondering about the validity of the call, ask the representative to tell you your current balance and your due date. They are allowed to give out that info, and it should be correct. If not, a red flag should go up.
By law, the company cannot give you your personally identifiable information over the phone. This is why they always ask you to verify your name and address. They cannot give you that information. You have to provide it to them. That said, they should not be asking you to verify your social security number.
Calls from their company (and likely many other credit card companies) will come up on a caller ID as “Unknown.” The representative explained to me that their phone system is complicated and it doesn’t show a number on a caller ID.
If you are still concerned, call the number on the back of your card and give them the information you collected. They will look into it and possibly report the incident to their security department.
In my case, the call I received was valid. As soon as I asked what department, they told me that it was for new card application division. I had just applied for a card, so it made sense. To seal the deal, I asked them what card I applied for. They got it correct. Continuing with the call, they knew my credit limits for the other cards I had with that company so I knew I was scam-free with this call.
It took me a few more minutes to question the call, but I found out some good useful info that I was able to share with you 🙂