3OYS WARNING: Scammers promise to lower interest rates

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Howard Davis says although he has been retired from the military since 1993, he still keeps busy.

A major project on his to-do list was to landscape his entire yard.

“I built a waterfall, and planted like 12 citrus trees and flowers, and made a patio," he said.

But Davis said one thing kept interrupting his project: the constant ringing of his phone.

“This problem has been going on for a while," he said.

Finally, Davis decided to listen to what the folks on the other end of the line wanted to tell him, so he answered.

“They say this is credit card member services and we can reduce your interest rate down to around six percent or whatever. The amount always varies,” Davis explained.

He said flags went up right away because he doesn't have a credit card balance.

“I have no debt. I pay off the amount all at once,” he said.

Davis said he played along to see exactly what the caller wanted. The caller then asked for Davis' date of birth and other personal information.

“And then he asked for the last four of my Social Security number, and I gave him a bogus number,” Davis said.

Thinking they were reeling Davis in, they asked for more.

“Then he asked me, 'Well, what's the first credit card?' And I said, well, I have a Visa. So he said, 'Would you mind giving me the number?' " Davis recalled.

Davis said they even asked for the three numbers on the back of the credit card, a huge no-no.
That's when Davis had enough, hung up and went back to work on his yard.

Although he got a kick out of turning the tables on the scammer, he realized there's a lesson for everyone.

“Well, they try to entice you with a lower interest rate of six or seven percent, and most people's credit card rates are probably around 15, 16, 17, 18, who knows, depending on their credit,” he said.

Once scammers have the information, they can pretty much take your financial identity.

“There's people out there that don't really understand, and they bite on whatever bait is out there," Davis said.