Possible Scam? (somewhat long)

nelles_gwFebruary 20, 2014

Don't know if this is a scam or not, but I wanted to let my friends know about something that happened to me a couple of days ago.

I received a call from a company called "American Readers", with a 727 area code.

I was told that since I was a preferred customer, I was being given the opportunity to renew my Readers Digest subscription at an amazing rate. Supposedly, the rates would be doubled next month, but if I renewed now, the discounted rate would be good for three years.

Since Readers Digest is one of the few magazines I subscribe to, I told the caller that I would be interested in renewing at the lower rate.

This is where things got interesting.

I was passed to a "customer service supervisor", who again reiterated that I, as a "preferred customer", was getting an amazing subscription price.

The renewal would be charged to the Visa card that was "on file", and started with the number "4". The supervisor would give me a minute to get my card.

The reference to my Visa got me to wondering as I almost NEVER use my Visa for anything.

When I came back on the phone with my Visa in hand, the supervisor asked for the card number. I said that I wasn't giving her the number, to which she replied that "they (American readers?) weren't allowed to keep the credit card number, and it was perfectly safe - I was protected by the bank that issued the Visa".

I again reiterated that I was not giving her my Visa number, and that I wanted a bill sent to me. The woman said I was sent a renewal notice 6 - 8 weeks ago, but I didn't respond to it.

As I said, Readers Digest is one of the very few magazines I subscribe to, to it would be unlikely that I would ignore a renewal notice.

When I told the woman this, and again said I would not give her my Visa number, she quickly thanked me and hung up.

All this got me to thinking, and I vaguely remembered writing a check to Readers Digest. So I went looking through my checkbook, and, lo and behold, I paid Readers Digest for a renewal LAST SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!

Now, as I said, I don't know if this was a scam in an attempt to get my credit card information. But you never know!

REMEMBER, folks:

Don't give out ANY personal or credit card information on the phone to ANYONE who calls YOU!

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I have no doubt this was a scam. Good for you for not giving your number. I NEVER do business with anyone who calls me.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 12:33PM
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I did a quick goggle on that name but could not find out too much other that some of the businesses that have that name do have many complaints. They probably will start out with one mag, but then by deceiving you, end up charging you for many, some you may not even want. I got into that many, many years ago and had a heck of a time getting out of it. Had to go to the state attorney general because I was getting some I have never heard of. . You are right to warn us not to give out any CC information to anyone that WE did not call.
Thanks for the warning
OH yes, go to American Readers and read some of the scams people do get involved in--interesting.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:15PM
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When someone starts one of those propositions, I tell them, in case they plan to ask for my credit card number somewhere along the way, that I never give it over the phone.

That includes the ones who tell me that they can get my interest rate on the card reduced.

That stops the story, for many.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:45PM
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I am with Socks. I never buy from phone calls. Also, I get so many sales calls even though I am on the do not call list, that I hang up when I answer the phone and either no one is there or there is a mechanical noise but no one. Robo calls galore.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:04PM
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Reader's Digest always gladly will 'bill you later'.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:51PM
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EVERYONE'S Visa starts with a 4.
Way to think fast!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:22PM
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I got a phone call one day claiming to be publishers clearing house and wanted to know my birthday, etc. and I said why do you want that? plus had made a comment too that someone had sent or something and I said no one did that and when I wouldn't give up any personal information, they hung up.

I don't give out any personal informatin, they will try everything to get you talking and give it to them.

Hang up if you can't stop yourself.

Teach your elderly parents too to hang up and no giving out personal information at all to anyone on phone or door or anywhere.

They are so out for your information, your money,etc.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:04AM
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Yes, terri is right about the Visa card numbers. And Reader's Digest sends so many REMINDERS to renew, it's almost annoying. But I usually find better rates elsewhere than directly theough them...how odd!! They start asking you to renew about five months into your subscription. But I would never buy anything from anyone who calls me on the phone.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:44AM
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I never buy anything over the phone UNLESS I initiated (dialed ) the call. I hang up on all sales type pitches. My cousin was in phone sales and says it's a terrible job. She was in the collections dept for Sears store credit cards. She was taught to intimidate and threaten customers. She was often hung up on. And she heard terrible stories from the customers "What am I supposed to do- pay Sears or my mortgage this month?"

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:02AM
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This seems pretty clearly a phishing scam. Kudos for not falling for it and thanks for warning everyone here. The only thing I don't understand is why people even stay on the line long enough for them to get to the point of asking for any information. Whether they are a trying to run a scam, or are a "legitimate" telemarketer, or doing a survey or whatever, they are relying on you to be polite and courteous to allow them to work their way through their script to try to lure you in.

I prefer to switch to my own script:
Me: Hello (pause)
Them: Is this Mr. (my wife's last name)?
or: Is Mrs. (my last name) there?
Me: (sharply) What is this call regarding. (flat intonation)
Them: I'm from (somewhere) calling about (somethi...)
Me: (interrupting) I'm hanging up now.
Me: (continuing) Don't ever, ever, EVER call back!
Me: Do you hear me?! (repeat until they to start to respond)
Them: Yes I ...
Me: (hang up)

Yes this is rude toward the person on the other end of the line, however even if they are an otherwise friendly, pleasant person, they voluntarily chose to take the job.

I believe that everyone adopted this script, telemarketing (and phone scams) would end within a year.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:32AM
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It probably was just some company trying to get you to renew through them but good for you for sticking to your guns...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:40AM
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I agree - a scam. My now deceased Mother-in-Law used to give each of her adult children a subscription to Reader's Digest every Christmas. Of course each of the recipients was then targeted to buy another subscription. My mother-in-law died in 2007. Reader's Digest is still contacting all of the 5 children to get them to renew and suggesting that their mother is still alive. My mother-in-law died in early 2007.

Oh, my Visa starts with a 4 as well - and I am Cdn.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Any question over the phone asking about the number of my credit card would find my reply not "four-thcoming" ... or anything else about it, either.

o j

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:55PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

I feel that this is a phishing scam for a credit card number. I frequently have gotten this phone call over the last 5 years or so. I feel that they think enough people subscribe that they will get some good numbers out of some unsuspecting folks.

I always say "Nice try, but I have never subscribed to RD" and then hang up!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:13PM
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In these times of caller ID, why even answer the phone? If it doesn't come up as someone I know, I don't answer. I Google the number and return the call, if it's legit.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:49PM
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If I didn't generate the call there would be no way I would give a credit card number over the phone to someone who called me.. Glad you were smart enough not to give it to them

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:23AM
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I had to send a death certificate of my neighbour before Reader's Digest would cancel her subscription. I was helping her daughter with the estate.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:18AM
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