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Written by: Mike Yang

“This is Rachel with cardholder services. It is urgent that you contact us concerning your eligibility to lower your interest rate and payments.”
If you’ve gotten a call from Rachel lately, you’re not alone. According to our latest report, “Top Consumer Phone Scams,” credit card interest rate scams rank as the number one phone scam affecting consumers in 2014.
Each year, thousands of consumers and businesses lose money to scams conducted over the telephone. These scams can cost victims anything from a few dollars to their life savings. Pindrop Security collected and analyzed consumer phone scam complaints during the first nine months of 2014 to understand the types of scams being conducted, their frequency and timing, and the methods and motives of phone fraudsters.
Key findings from the report include:

  • Reduced interest rate scam leads the pack: 18.5% of phone scam complaints tracked by Pindrop were related to scams offering victims reduced interest rates on credit card accounts.
  • Most phone scams involve government or financial services impersonation: 60% of all phone scam complaints involve fraudsters impersonating a financial or government institution, and two of the top 10 scams threaten victims with police action or arrest.
  • Fraudsters adapt scams to current events: Pindrop research identified a surge in complaints related to the popular “Microsoft Tech Support” scam following the announcement that Microsoft would no longer support Windows XP.