Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson has issued a consumer alert after receiving dozens of complaints about a possible scam.
The attorney general's Consumer Protection Unit has received 61 complaints from Oklahomans who have been solicited for consolidation by either Card Holder Services, Card Services or Credit Card Services. According to the complaints, the company offers assistance to consumers who want to consolidate credit card debt.
“In the beginning, the calls are automated, Edmondson said. “The recorded message tells consumers to press a number to speak to a live person who can then consolidate and lower interest rates on any credit cards they have.
Edmondson said the live person then begins asking the consumer for information about their current credit card accounts including balance information and security codes.
“One consumer gave out her information and then received a call from her actual credit card company notifying her that a $1,000 service fee had been placed on her account, Edmondson said. “Additionally, the card number had been used to make a $760 purchase at Neiman Marcus.
State investigators believe whoever is behind the calls may be in violation of state and federal identity theft, credit card fraud and “Don't Call laws as well as laws restricting the use of autodial machines and caller ID spoofing.
The attorney general's office is investigating the complaints, but in the meantime, Edmondson wants consumers to be vigilant in protecting their personal and financial information.
“We think this company may be violating a number of state and federal laws, Edmondson said. “These people have taken great pains to hide who they are and how they operate.
State officials said they are exhausting efforts to find the people behind the scam. In the meanting, they are asking consumers to be extra cautious.
“You should never give out your financial information to someone who calls and asks for it, Edmondson said. “Anyone can lie and say they are from your bank or your credit card company. If someone calls requesting your banking information, hang up and call your bank. You should never freely give out the keys to your accounts.
Edmondson's Consumer Protection Unit has statewide jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute violations of the state's Consumer Protection Act.
Anyone with information regarding suspected fraud or scams can contact the attorney general's consumer protection hotline at (405) 521-2029.