Beware of calls offering to lower your credit card interest rates

Warning: Have you been offered a deal to lower the interest rate on your credit card for a one-time fee? Some individuals and agencies are calling Canadians and claiming that they are calling on behalf of reputable credit card companies and offering to lower the interest rates on their credit card.

Be aware that a significant number of these calls are misleading and fraudulent. The callers in question have not been authorized by any type of reputable credit card company or financial institution to make these calls on their behalf.

What's happening: A recorded message will inform you that your telephone number was selected to receive a special credit card interest rate by a reputable credit card company. The originators of these calls will display a fictitious telephone number (a practice known as caller identification spoofing). Some consumers have also reported that their own telephone number appeared on their caller ID.

Once you answer the telephone you are asked to "press 1" in order to speak with a representative. Once connected, they will claim that they are calling on behalf of reputable credit card companies, then proceed to offer to lower the interest rates on your credit card for a fee. Consumers have reported that once the fee is paid, they do not receive the interest rate that was promised.

What you can do: We encourage you to file a complaint with the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) or call 1-866-580-DNCL (3625). You can help us investigate these calls by providing as much information as possible, such as:

If you are not on the National Do Not Call List and want to reduce the amount of unwanted telemarketing calls you receive, we also encourage you to register your number.

If you receive a call and are not sure of the caller's true identity, you should not provide any personal information, including your telephone and credit card number. Finally, if you receive a call that you think may be fraudulent, contact your local police or the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), a national service jointly operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Competition Bureau.

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