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Consumer Scam Review: Lower Your Interest Rate, Lower Your Credit Card Balances, and Work at Home

posted by Nathalie Martin

I have been meaning to write on several consumer scams so here are a few to avoid.

“We Can Lower Your Home Loan Interest Rate” Scams. 

We’ve all gotten the calls at home. “We can lower your interest rate.” “The banks got their bail-out, now get yours.” But imagine what it feels like if you really need that kind of help. The false hope these scams create is criminal. One of my coworkers has been going through a Chapter 13 in which her mortgage payments are really high. She got this card in the mail asking her to call 800-936-4400 and saying that they could lower her mortgage payment (currently over $1,300) to $611.01. She was very hopeful.  She called the numbers, which directed her to RMA Legal Network in Holbrook, New York, and RMA turned out to stand for Michael Alarcon. She spoke with a Bruce Thomas, a case consultant manager, who asked her for tons of very personal information. She then hung up and did a google search, which turned up a great deal of negative information on this company, including that they want $1,400 up front to even start to do a deal for you.  Red flag!

“We Can Reduce Your Credit Card Balances”

Forget it, it doesn’t work. If I’m wrong, tell me how and where you can get this help legitimately. If you have the time, follow the directions they leave on your phone and report back here.

Work at Home Scams

A third cousin got involved with one of these, and when I say scam, I mean Scam. Again, selling

false hope is big business, but here the Zaken Corporation sold nothing at all.  My cousin called 1-800-840-1060 and ordered the Zaken Corporations 90-day Risk free trial work at home kit plus special mystery gift. He was told he could not use a money order but would need to use a pre-paid card, which he got from Green Dot. This will be the subject of another blog. He order this kit on February 1 and as of May 8, he has received nothing.  I have spent two afternoons on the phone trying to get his $104 back, talking to real people who somehow managed to get away and not come back to the phone. They all said they’d return my call but no one even has. This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad and sickening. Zaken now claims that they have never heard of him. It is interesting because it looks like they are a real companyand that most people get their kits, though few make money from them.  Before you pay anything for a work at home kit, check out the company very extensively on the Internet.  There were lots of red flags there for Zaken, if only he'd have checked.

Comments

Friend of mine gets 3-4 calls/week from credit card scams. Worst part is the spoofed phone numbers which makes tracing difficult if not impossible. But when you get someone on the phone they usually DO give you a company name. I was listening in on the conversation when this happened. Friend got the name of Card Services National supposedly out of FL. I was on Sunbiz.org looking it up and, sure enough, it's an active LLC. So he tracked down one of the managing members at, I can only assume, his home in Pooler, GA and called him. Man was not too happy about the call. Boo Hoo.

Friend suggested that between the Do Not Call violations and other harassment issues that the state AG might be interested in taking a look at the situation. Managing partner suddenly started claiming that Card Services National was never designed to offer lowered interest rates and that the company was somehow "hacked" - an entire company? Friend suggested that they might invest in better security b/c if the partners were that easy to find it would be easy enough for a sheriff to serve them with litigation. Most humorous part is that he has zero credit cards.

When I get calls like that, if I'm in the mood, I play along. People on the other end don't usually catch on until I get to the $2500/month for horse meat for the pet tiger, monthly detailing for the MacLaren and various other adult toys...

Comedian Tom Mabe actually has one of the best ways I've seen to deal with telemarketers in general to date. Granted, everyone needs a job so they can eat... However... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBfsdkGeMc8&feature=related

Your friend's and your story are both hilarious, Mike. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully others will follow suit!

Mike, Nathalie, that stuff is all discussed on the prerecord-list. Lots of lawyers. And me. Heh.

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