Credit card offers are a dime a dozen. Just open your mailbox, e-mail or answer the phone and you will find new solicitations from credit card companies.
Responsible consumers interested in getting a new card understand they should research the terms of each offer to find the best one, but unfortunately, many consumers take the first offer they can find. Even worse, many credit cards, particularly those offered over the phone, are scams.
The Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips on how to spot a fraudulent credit or loan offer. It could be a scam if the lender:
- Offers to overlook your previous credit problems, pitching, “Bad credit, no credit, no problem.”
- Promises no hassles and guarantees a loan before you apply.
- Has a copy-cat name similar to respected organizations.
- Is not registered in your state.
- Asks you to wire money or pay an individual.
- Holds you liable for more than $50 in unauthorized charges on your card.
- Tries to sell you credit card loss protection in case hackers access your credit card number. Legitimate card companies do this for free.
If you are tired of receiving prescreened credit card offers in the mail, you can opt out for five years or permanently by visiting www.optoutprescreen.com. The decision to opt out does not affect your ability to apply for credit cards in the future.