Credit-Related Scams

30 Jun Credit-Related Scams

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett’s office released information regarding credit-related scams.  “Consumers searching for an easy way out of their credit problems are susceptible to a wide range of credit-related scams in addition to credit repair fraud,” the PA Attorney General’s office states.  Some examples provided are as follows:

Checking Account Scams

One of the latest scams making the rounds typically begins with a postcard advertising easy credit approval or low credit card interest rates.  When consumers call, they are asked for their checking account number, supposedly as part of a “certification process.”  This number can be magnetically encoded on a draft, which is forwarded to the consumer’s bank.  Sometimes banks pay out hundreds of dollars from the consumer’s account, not realizing that the consumer never approved the withdrawal.

Credit by Phone

Pay-per-call or “900 number” services have become a popular vehicle for phony credit schemes.  Television or print ads promise that “guaranteed” credit or cash loans are only a phone call away.  Instead, the caller might receive a list of banks offering low-interest credit cards or a booklet on how to establish credit.  Such calls can end up costing $50 or more, but consumers rarely end up getting credit as a result.

“Gold” or “Platinum” Cards

[P]romotions for “gold” or “platinum” cards…promise to get you credit and build your credit rating even if your credit hisotry is poor.  Although they may sound like general purpose credit cards, some of these “gold” or “platinum” cards only permit you to buy merchanidse from special catalogs and will not help you obtain credit from other sources.  [A]ds for these cards [may] direct you to cal “900” or “976” exchanges for more information.

(Source:  PA Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection)

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