You may have encountered advertisements offering credit cards for those with bad credit or no credit. No matter your current credit circumstance, you are told to call a number to receive your very own credit card. However, you should be aware that such ads may only be trying to tempt you into calling with no real credit card offers available.
What Is a Secured Credit Card?
A secured credit card, just like an unsecured one, is used to pay for goods and services. Unlike an unsecured credit card, you must have a savings account as security under a secured card. If you do not, you will not be extended a line of credit. Other requirements for a secured card may include:
- There may be a required savings deposit (ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars)
- Interest on your deposit will be paid by a bank
- You may have to pay application and processing fees
- There may be an annual fee
- There may be a higher interest rate than for an unsecured card
What Does the Scam Consist Of?
Some companies use TV, newspapers, and postcards to deceptively advertise credit cards. The unsuspecting consumer is led to believe that he can get a card simply by calling a phone number. This number may be a 900 number and you may be assessed charges for calling. You may then be told to call other 900 numbers for more information, all at additional charges. The cost of calling the number listed may not be disclosed in the ad.
How Can I Avoid Being Scammed?
There are some things that you should remember when confronted with such an ad:
- Do not call ads with 900 numbers – After having to pay any fees incurred from calling such a number, you may receive no card at all.
- Be wary of cards offered by "credit repair" companies -They may offer to clean up your credit history for a fee. You do not need to go through these companies to clean your credit history. Instead, you should try contacting a credit bureau.
- Do not fall for offers of easy credit – You can never be guaranteed credit.
Do I Need a Lawyer Experienced with Such Scams?
An experienced estate lawyer can help you determine whether such an advertisement is a scam. However, the best advice is to make yourself aware that such scams exist. If you know what to look out for, you can avoid ever getting into any trouble.