Local woman victim of credit card scamPublished 5:21pm Thursday, October 24, 2013
Most people hear about scams on the news and think that something like that would never happen to them, but one local woman discovered first hand that scams can occur at any place and at any time.
Red Bay resident Sherry Hubbard was at her place of work on Wednesday when she received a call on her cell phone.
“The person on the other end introduced himself as Ryan O’Connor and asked me if I would be interested in lowering my interest rate on my Visa card,” Hubbard said.
“Since I have a Visa card, I thought that sounded like something that would be a good idea so I continued to listen to what he had to say.”
Hubbard said after a few minutes, she was transferred to a different person who asked her for specific information.
“This person’s name was Jeffrey and he said he could save me $1,190 a year on my Visa interest rate, but to do that, I would have to pay a one-time fee of $840,” she said.
“I asked what the fee was for and he said it was a service charge for being able to get a lower interest rate and save the $1,190 a year.”
Hubbard said at this point in the conversation asked her for her specific credit card number and her social security number so he could process the information and get her lower interest rate.
“I remember thinking something didn’t seem quite right, but I gave him the information he asked for,” she said.
“He then transferred me to a person named Bill who said they represented Care Net Credit and he seemed to know a lot of information about my mortgage payment, my car payment and even my other credit card payments.
“At this point, I got even more suspicious, so I hung up the phone. But the man named Bill ended up calling me back on my work number.”
Hubbard said she said repeatedly that she did not want to participate in the service and to cancel anything she might have already done.
“He just kept telling me it was too late and I was already signed up,” she said.
“I told him time after time I wanted out of whatever it was they were offering, but he said over and over it was too late. He told me he could lower the fee down to $740, but it was too late to cancel it.”
Hubbard said once she got off the phone, she called and canceled her Visa card and alerted the bank to the situation.
“At this point, I don’t know if these people will get the $740 out of my account or if it will all be stopped since I canceled my card,” she said.
“I feel so embarrassed because I feel like I should have known what was going on. But even though it’s embarrassing that this happened to me, I talked to the Better Business Bureau and they told me it was important to let people know about this so it didn’t happened to someone else.”
Franklin County District Attorney said Hubbard did the right thing by telling others about her experience.
“So many people who are victims of scams decide not to come forward because they are embarrassed or ashamed that something like that happened to them, but this happens to more people than you think,” Rushing said.
“These people are very smooth talkers and seem to be offering a legitimate service, so sometimes it’s hard to determine if they’re telling the truth or not.
“But if something like this does happen, it’s good to let people know so the same thing won’t happen to someone else.”
Rushing said if anyone else in the area has received similar calls, contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office or their local police department.
Rushing also said the Federal Trade Commission offers free information on how to protect against scams for anyone who is looking to better educate themselves on the subject.
The information can be found at www.fct.gov/bcp or by calling 1-800-535-3232.
Consumers may also contact Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s Consumer Protection Section by calling 1-800-392-5658 or through the website at ago.alabama.gov/Page-Consumer-Protection.