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Heathers: the credit card sequel

By Janna Herron ·
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Did "Heather from card services" take your money? If so, you may get it back.

The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that nearly 4,500 credit card customers will get refunds after being duped by fraudulent telemarketers who promised to lower their interest rates for an up-front fee.

The victims of this so-called robocall scam will get checks worth between $31 and $1,300 depending on the amount of money they lost. The FTC didn't specify when the checks will be mailed out.

The FTC said the defendants of the case posed as "Heather from card services" or "client services" and claimed they could reduce rates on customer's credit cards if they paid up to $1,495 in advance. "Heather" guaranteed that customers would save at least $4,000, or they would get their money back.

However, "Heather" didn't negotiate a lower interest rate, nor did she refund money to unsatisfied customers.

The robocall scam underscores the importance of knowing who is on the other line when it comes to your personal finances. If you receive an unsolicited phone call from your credit card company, ask why they are calling, don't share any information, and politely tell them you will call back at a more convenient time.

Call your credit card company back using the customer service telephone number printed on the back of your card. Explain to the representative that someone from the bank called about a possible rate reduction, unusual charge, or whatever the scenario is. The representative should be able to tell you if the call was legitimate or not.

If the call is not legitimate, contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.

Take the same precautions every time you receive an email seemingly from your bank or credit card issuer. Never provide any personal information, such as passwords, addresses, Social Security numbers and account numbers in an email. When in doubt, call your issuer directly.

Have you received suspicious calls or emails lately? Have you fallen for the scams, or did you report them?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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