Regular readers of The ZipDebt Blog know I frequently write about debt and credit scams, and today I’m posting this entry to warn consumers about a new scam that I hadn’t seen before. Perhaps it’s been around awhile, but this is the first time I’ve noticed it, so I wanted to get this warning out right away.
Here’s the pitch. “We erase your credit card debt by removing late fees, balance transfer fees, overlimit fees, annual fees, and interest charges. We remove fees no one else can.” There is a form to fill out, and consumers are asked to provide the following information:
Name, address, email address, credit card number, 3-digit security code, and Social Security Number and/or account password.
The contact information provided on the website is apparently bogus, with a state that doesn’t match the city and a phone number that doesn’t match the state, etc.
Of course, no one can call a credit card bank on your behalf and just magically get such fees removed! At a minimum, the bank would require a formal power-of-attorney before they would even speak with a third party regarding your account details. Otherwise, they would be in violation of privacy laws that carry steep penalties, and no bank would risk this.
So this is clearly an identify theft scam. The scammers are probably hoping they can fool a few desperate consumers into parting with their personal ID information, including credit card numbers, security codes, and SSNs.
I won’t provide the URL to this scam site because I don’t want them to obtain increased search engine ranking through a linkback. This particular site will also probably be shut down in a matter of days, I hope. But it will probably be replaced by another one at a different address within hours. Most scammers keep rotating website URLs and most likely are operating from a location overseas anyway.
Let’s hope there’s been enough media attention on the subject of ID theft in recent months that no one falls for this ridiculous come-on.