Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How To Spot A Credit Card Scam

Credit card scams are more common that people know. Often time, companies prey on consumers who have bad credit or less than perfect credit. For many, creditors are not knocking down your door, offering you a great deal on a credit card.

Unfortunately, the credit card offers that you may be receiving may seem like legitimate offers. Often times, these types of credit cards come with extremely high interest rates, inflated fees and other crazy terms.

These companies are hoping that you are trying to repair your damaged credit and want the conveniences of carrying a credit card with you. So what they do is mail out offers that look like legitimate offers for either a MasterCard or Visa. They first let you know that you have been pre-approved. Then they really get your attention by offering you a pre-approved credit card with a $5000 line of credit that requires no security deposit. In actuality they are usually credit cards that can be used at only specific catalogue clubs or store clubs.

Because you may be desperate to own a credit card you may ignore the fact the offer sound too good to be true and jump on any offer you receive in the mail. Make sure that you really read all the fine print in these offers you receive in the mail. Before you commit to anything look very thoroughly through the offer.

Most credit card scams start with a great opening line like, "you have been pre approved for a MasterCard with up to a $5,000 credit limit". They try to make it sound very simple. They ask you to check the printed information on the application and make sure all the information is correct. Then just sign the application and mail it back to them. Then they will verify your personal information and promptly mail out your new credit card.

However, if you thoroughly read over the document, you will realize that this is not a regular MasterCard credit card. Instead, you can only use this credit card to make purchase through a special online catalogue or in a special store. The credit card cannot be used anywhere else. The types of products you can purchase with these credit cards are off brand house ware products and electronics.

The usual catch to the scam can be found by further reading the offer. They usually require you to mail them a money order for $299 to activate the offer. They usually offer reassurances that you will get that money back with special offers or discounts from the company when you make your first purchase on your new credit card. Annual fees of additional hundreds of dollars are also added to the credit cards by some of the companies out there, and that is on top of the of the extremely high activation fee. Hopefully the more you read the less appealing the offer sounds.

Most of these types of credit card offers will charge you upward of 45% interest, which is obscenely high. So it is vital that you have read all the information contained in credit card offers.

The best advice you can receive for an offer like this is to just throw it out! Your money would be better spent on getting a secured credit card instead of paying their activation fees. You can easily get a real Visa or MasterCard with a security deposit. And by going the way of a secured credit card you will actually begin repairing your credit through the major credit bureaus. Make sure you keep this in the back of your mind when you find credit card offers in your mailbox.

Article Source: http://keywordbeast.com

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