Like many people, I’ve been getting periodic calls from someone identifying herself as “Rachel from cardholder services” offering to lower my credit card interest rate. Never mind the fact that I haven’t had a credit card for a while now.
For the first few months I’ve just been ignoring the calls or hanging up right away. They usually come from out of state, California, Delaware and Florida seem to be the most common, so ignoring the unknown number is simple. Lately, however, I’ve decided to take a bit more active approach to dealing with them and picking up the phone.
This is how the call went…
9:15AM: Incoming call from 209-249-1930 (Caller ID says Manteca, CA)
[Rachel] Hello. This is Rachel from cardholder services. There are no problems currently with your account but it’s important that you act fast in order to reduce your interest rates. Please consider this your final notice (if only that were true). Press 1 to speak with a representative now about lowering your interest rate.
[Me] (press 1)
I wait a few seconds, then “Shawna” picks up…
[Shawna] And are you the primary card holder?
[Shawna] And what would you say is the approximate balance between all accounts?
[Me] About 10,000
[Shawna] And what’s the interest rate on the account?
[Me] Not sure exactly, maybe 8-10%
[Shawna] What is the customer service phone number on the back of your card?
[Me] 1-888-225-5322 (this is the FCC’s main number, next time I’m using the FTC’s number to report ID theft)
[Shawna] And the 16 digit member number?
[Me] You mean the credit card number?
[Shawna] That’s right
[Me] 4556793605830348 (this is a fake number, but conforms to the Luhn algorithm, aka MOD 10, used to quickly check for card number errors)
[Shawna] And the expiration?
[Me] December 2012
[Shawna] Of this year? (apparently there are multiple 2012s)
[Shawna] And what’s the last 4 digits of your social?
[Me] 0348 (same as the last 4 of my fake card number)
[Shawna] OK, please hold on the line for about 90 seconds while I verify the number
[Me] How long have you been working at this job?
[Shawna] 3 days
[Me] Is the turnover rate pretty high?
[Shawna] I don’t think so, it’s a good job
[Me] You’re scamming people
Right about now “Shawna” starts getting angry. I’m having trouble not laughing out loud.
[Shawna] You are wasting my time, you’ve wasted 8 minutes of my time and you gave me a fake card number and had me call the FCC. Your time is precious.
[Me] What company do you work for?
[Shawna] Your time is precious, I make an honest living, why are you wasting my time
[Me] Where are you located (remember the caller ID?)
[Shawna] I live in Florida, it’s beautiful here, how’s the weather in Wisconsin? (apparently she looked up my zip code)
[Me] Who do you work for?
[Shawna] You’re wasting my time, my time is precious, your time is precious, why are you wasting my time. I’ve been in this business for 5 years, I’m good at this.
[Me] I thought you started 3 days ago?
At this point she goes off about how my time is precious and her time is precious and finally hangs up on me, which is probably good because I can barely keep from laughing.
How about you, any stories of Rachel or other scam calls? Suggestions for the next call?
My Date With Rachel From Cardholder Services