Utah residents are being bombarded with calls offering to help them lower their credit card interest rates.
While not calling it a scam, the Better Business Bureau says the best reply is likely "probably not." And if you want to get your credit card interest rate lowered, you can ask yourself — you don't have to hire a company to contact your credit card issuer for you.
"Hang up" is BBB president Jane Driggs' advice.
"Supposedly, they will contact your credit card company and negotiate a better rate," Driggs said. "Most of the time now, you can't even do that yourself. But most companies are more willing to work with consumers than with another company."
Driggs said the BBB believes the caller is more interested in charging you for their supposed service than in trying to steal your credit card information, although they will ask you for your credit card number, the issuing company and other personal information.
Regardless of the motive, Driggs said, it's not likely to benefit the consumer.
The BBB has received a number of complaints. One described a request to provide information so the caller could see if she qualified to have her rate lowered. Then the caller added that it "might not cost her anything — the tip-off that it most likely will cost her if she decided to get involved with this company," Driggs said.
The BBB's advice is not to give out personal information to an unknown caller. When one consumer asked for the company's name and address, the call was suddenty disconnected.
The bureau issued a similar alert last year. It suggests that before agreeing to the "service," consumers look up the company's reliability report at bbb.org and verify company information. Always ask about fees — and get the information in writing.
Finally, be skeptical.