The home phone rings, you answer the call, and you are greeted with a friendly voice telling you you've been selected for the Consumer Debt Reduction Program.
The caller ID on your phone shows 607-877-3243, which is a Binghamton, New York phone number. Is this a legitimate offer? Let's find out.
A friendly woman offers to help consolidate your debt because you've been selected for the consumer debt reduction program. Sounds too good to be true? Wonder why? She asks you to hold the line for just a moment as she will transfer you to a coworker who will help you with the process.
The call rings a few times, and a gentlemen answers and asks for your credit cards number. WAIT a minute, for what? He tells you that he is going to consolidate your debt. Ok, why do you need my credit card number? That is how it works. I am just doing my job. Then the warning bells start going off in your head; something is off about this offer. How again was I selected for this consumer debt reduction program? You were chosen for this offer by a random dialer program. Hmmm, if that doesn't seem a little strange, it should. Oh, ok. Can I get your name and phone number to call back? I don't have my credit card on me. The man on the other end becomes more insistent that he is just trying to help enroll you into the program and will just consolidate your debt. He just needs your credit card number. Sir, as I said, I just don't have my credit card on me now. Just give me your name and number I will call you back. The call continues to go downhill from there.
If a company cold calls you asking to enroll you in a program, why are they reaching out to you with a special offer? What makes you qualify over others? What red flags do you see with this offer? Suppose a company refuses to provide an employee name and a return number to call the company or organization back to complete the transaction later. In that case, that should set warning alarms off. Why would a company refuse to allow the transaction to be concluded later? The aggressiveness of completing the action now should send you running. Scammers will often be insistent that any action has to happen now because if a consumer takes time to think about it or talk it over with a friend or family member, they will have too many questions. The best advice is if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Cold calls offering debt consolidation are most often not legitimate. Debt consolidation can occur with a consolidation loan through a bank, which will run one's credit and make a loan offer after verifying employment and ability to repay said loan over a term agreed. Do not give out your credit card information to an unknown party that cold calls you!