J.P. Larocque (jp_larocque) wrote,
J.P. Larocque

Cardholder Services is a firm specializing in scamming.

Here's one air-squirter now.
Cardholder Services is a machine that calls you, waits a few seconds until after you answer the phone, and then plays a recording to you about credit card debit "lowering your interest rates" and "something something set to expire." If you signal your interest to the machine by presssing 9 on your touch-tone phone, you get transferred to another machine that communicates to you by reading a script and squirting air through it meat into a telephone receiver. (You have to hold a few moments for this, since you're inconveniencing them by playing along.)

Cardholder Services doesn't have a specific or legal entity name. They are simply "Cardholder Services."

Cardholder Services explicitly claims to represent Visa and Mastercard.

Cardholder Services isn't headquartered in any particular city. C.S.:"We're out of Washington." J.P.:"Washington, as in D.C.?" C.S.:"No, Washington State" (which is where I live).

Cardholder Services denies having the obligation to add you to their "do not call" list upon request. C.S.:"(sigh) SIR, we're trying to HELP YOU here by LOWERING YOUR CREDIT CARD DEBT! We're not trying to sell you anything!" Or, they'll tell you that you're added, and then call you again within a month.

Cardholder Services does not respect the United States Do Not Call registry.

Cardholder Services will either berate you or hang up on you when it's clear you're not going to play along.

Cardholder Services breaks United States law by purporting to represent someone that they do not (your credit card company), and by not respecting the DNC registry, and by not maintaining and following their own DNC list.

Cardholder Services cannot be held accountable for their actions, since they cannot be identified. They dial anonymously with fictitious originating Caller ID, and they don't give you a callback number.

After several tries of civilly asking them to place me on their DNC list, this last call went something like this (roughly):

C.S.: "Blah blah blah $5000 or more in credit card debt and at least a 477% interest rate?"

J.P.: "Sure. But what's the real name of your company? How do I know you're legit?"

C.S.: "Oh I understand that blah blah blah, and we really appreciate your concerns. Now how much debt did you say you're in?"

J.P.: "$6200." (The last time I made up a number here, it was less than $5000, and that got me hung up on.)

C.S.: "And what would you say your interest rate is?"

J.P.: "Oh, I dunno, in the 30% range." (Why not?)

C.S.: "Gee wowzers!"

Proceeded to give fake name, DOB, last-four-of-SSN.

Then they get to the point where they ask for the customer service number on the back of your credit card, "for verification purposes." I've read that what they do is look up your financial institution from that phone number, then read to you what are most likely the first four digits of any credit card number issued by that firm, probably to carry along with the illusion that they have any connection whatsoever to your financial institution. In my case, I read them the customer service number on the back of the debit card issued by a small local bank. I guess they didn't have that number in their map, because they asked for the first four digits of "my credit card number."

(Hey, what's my Visa number doing here?)

He put me on hold for a few minutes to "verify my information," then took me off hold, pretended like he couldn't hear anything on his end of the call, and then hung up. Shucks.

I need to build a phone recorder. Since unfortunately Washington is a two-party recording state, I'll have to announce this whenever they call, but the responses to that should be amusing enough in and of itself.

Tags: scam, spam, telemarketer

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