I consider myself fairly savvy when it comes to internet and phone scams that attempt to "phish" information from me electronically. I'm kind of a "know it all" who's always giving other people advice on what not to do. Still, I had a very close call today from a scammer who came very close to getting me.

I received a call on my cell phone from what was listed as a credit card company, which just so happened to be a card that I have. I answered the call and because I was sitting in front of my computer, I reversed searched the telephone number listed as the caller. It was a perfect match - it was the customer service number of my credit card company.

This was a pretty extensive phishing operation as it included more than one representative. The first person told me that because of the fact that my credit score is positive, and my payment history with the card is exceptional - I was being offered a significantly lower interest rate. This seemed legitimate.

The person claimed that she was calling from "card services" which is an approved affiliate of my credit card company. She needed to access my account and asked me to confirm what kind of card I had. I bit, and told her the card was a Master Card. She then said, she needed to confirm my expiration date. I resisted at that point and said I was uncomfortable giving out that information. She insisted that she need the expiration to confirm the card and that I was the rightful card holder. I gave her the expiration date.

Now, she congratulated me and said she was elevating my call her to her credit specialist who would handle the call from that point.

Next, a man came on the line and said my interest rate would be below 4%, and could possible be zero for a period of time. That's when he went for the big move. "Please confirm the card number starting with the number 5." Because I had told the previous representative I had a Master Card, this rep knew almost all Master Card's begin with the number 5. This is when I started step away from the call.

As I tried to get off the phone, the representative worked really hard to keep me on the line and assure me this was the only way I would be able to take advantage of this special offer. In the end, he said "apparently you're okay with maying a higher interest rate." I said, "I was."

I immediately called my credit card company to make sure I hadn't given too much information. He assured me there was nothing he would be able to do with the expiration date. Still, I was very close to buying into this scam. I should have hung up immediately, but this one was so good, with caller ID convincing me that it really was my credit card company. It just shows, how hard these scams are to avoid, especially as they get better and better.

The rule is, hang up and call your credit card company and confirm everything from there. It's very unlikely your credit card company will call you to lower your interest rate. They enjoy the profits way too much!

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