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Avoiding Secured Credit Card Marketing Scams

Legitimate secured credit cards provide an option for consumers with bad credit to regain a positive credit history. However, in the process, they will more than likely spend money for the privilege and incur a higher interest rate. Consumers are aware of this and take it in stride. The numerous scams that exist, however, offering consumers credit cards no matter what their circumstances, are a definite problem.

How Can The Consumer Tell That It Is A Scam?

How can consumers tell that an advertisement for credit cards is a scam? Read the signs. They may be subtle, hidden, and cleverly worded. Clearly, however, scams generally have telltale signs that legitimacy is not what they are about.

In fact, the tip offs to secured credit card scams are similar to the tip offs to many other scams that have become such proliferating annoyances in our world. In all of theses cases, something simply doesn't seem quite right about the offer.

What Should The Consumer Look For?

  • Does it sounds too good to be true?
  • Do you need to call a 900 number to get more information?
Legitimate companies will insist upon reviewing your credit history report prior to promising you a credit card, secured or unsecured. A company that is willing to promise you a credit card without looking at your credit history is probably making empty promises.

In many instances, the individuals involved in the scam are simply trying to get consumers to place a phone call to a 900 number. For the phone call, the consumer will be charged on average anywhere from two dollars to fifty dollars. Additionally, the consumer will often receive a request to make one or more additional phone calls for which they will also be billed. Scam artists make some of their money in this way.

Where Do The Companies Promoting Scams Advertise?

Many companies that are involved in scams will advertise through television, newspapers, and radio broadcasts. While their methods will be deceptive, unwitting consumers may get caught up in their web of deceit. The Federal Trade Commission acts against companies that deceptively advertise credit cards.

What Do The Ads Neglect To Tell You?

  • What are the additional fees?
  • Will you be charged for the phone call?
  • Do you need qualifying income?
  • Is there an age requirement or restriction?
Secured credit cards have specific requirements that must be met in order to acquire an account. The consumer must have a savings account that can be linked to the secured credit card. Often, a higher interest rate is attached to balances on the card due to the fact that the consumer has a bad credit history.

Furthermore, an application fee, processing fee, and security deposit may be applicable for secured credit cards. Some scams may even go so far as to require a hefty application fee or additional expenses. Moreover, some cards require an annual fee. Legitimate companies will clearly delineate the fees upfront. The scam artists will choose to exclude this information from their advertisements.

What Can The Consumer Do To Guard Against Scams?

  • Avoid calling 900 numbers.
  • Avoid offers that promise easy credit.
  • Avoid applying for credit cards offered by credit repair companies.
Toll free numbers are an indicator of the legitimacy of a credit card company. Phone numbers with a 900 are clear indicators that something is amiss. No such thing as easy credit exists, especially for consumers who already have a history of bad credit.

A credit repair company that promises to give a consumer a credit card once their credit history is repaired is not being magnanimous. That company will charge fees to repair a credit history that the consumer can attempt to repair on their own. Even if you follow all of the directions and requirements, you may not even receive a credit card. In fact, in general, only time and good habits will restore a consumer's credit history in the first place.

Who Is Targeted?

Scam artists target individuals with bad credit or no credit. Quite often, these companies will target the elderly and the poor, as well. They make the offers as appealing as possible in an attempt to lure the unwitting consumer into immediate action.

Things To Remember

Secured credit cards can work positively towards repairing a consumer's credit history. However, consumers should be wary of companies that advertise free and easy credit, credit for consumers with bad credit, or credit for consumers who have no credit history. Knowing what to watch out for is the first step that consumers can take to protect themselves from secured credit card scams. Be alert and aware that scams and fraud have far reaching effects and guard your assets against them.

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Contact Us | Disclaimer | October 16, 2019