June 25, 2024

Have you ever received a call where an automated message assures you of a reduction in your credit card interest rates? If yes, you’re not alone. (And if you haven’t yet, just bide your time.)

To be clear, such calls are deceptive. Either they are guaranteeing something they can’t provide, or they intend to charge you exorbitantly for a service you could do yourself, or they’re after your confidential financial details to commit fraud. Or maybe all three.

What the con artists claim

  • They have unique associations with credit card providers, allowing them to convince these institutions to lower interest rates.

  • They can save customers thousands in interest expenses.

  • They can secure substantially lower interest rates, enabling customers to clear their credit card debt 3 to 5 times quicker.

  • The reduced rates are only valid for short periods, necessitating swift enrollment.

They aren’t performing these services out of charity, of course. There’s a fee for this assistance.

Prevent fraud before it happens

With an account on NerdWallet, you can monitor all your credit card activities in one place and quickly access your credit report to detect any suspicious activity.

What the fraudsters do

Once they have your money or your personal information, or both, some fraudsters will simply vanish. Others might proceed to contact a credit card company for you and try to negotiate lower rates.

But here’s the deal: There’s no “special relationship” for them to leverage. They have no better shot at getting an interest rate reduction than you would if you contacted the credit card company directly. And you can do that. You don’t need to pay anyone. Just call the number on the back of your card and inquire about eligibility.

How to ensure your safety

If you receive such solicitations, safeguard your personal and financial details:

  • Don’t provide a caller with sensitive personal details, such as your Social Security number, date of birth, or address.

  • Don’t reveal financial information to a caller. Always keep account numbers and passwords confidential.

You can contribute to protecting other consumers from being duped by reporting scams at 877-FTC-HELP or visiting this site.

Wanting to lower your interest rate the appropriate way?

Perhaps the most upsetting aspect of the scam is that the fraudsters are offering to do something you can do independently, at no cost. If you’re in debt, consider these steps:

  • Call your credit card provider and request a lower rate. If your first appeal is unsuccessful, ask to speak to a supervisor.

  • Consolidate. If your credit card debt is divided among several cards, consider getting a consolidation loan to merge all your payments into one. This isn’t just more convenient, but will likely offer a lower interest rate.

Bottom line: While proposals to reduce interest rates might appear enticing, a number of those promoting these services have hidden agendas. Don’t be tricked by a fraudster, and be diligent in protecting your personal information; ultimately, it could be your invaluable aid in legitimately reducing your credit card interest rate.