How the scam works:
There are two variations of this scam:
Scenario 1. Did you ever pick up a phone call and the first thing you hear is an automated message saying: “To lower your credit card rates, press 1”?
If you haven't, chances are you will soon. The automated call scam is quickly spreading all over the world, as victims are lured into pressing keys on their phone and allowing (giving permission by confirming) scammers to register them for shady premium text campaigns or even to give them their credit card numbers.
Scenario 2. This second variation of the scam involves unsolicited phone calls from fraudsters offering to apply for a low-interest rate credit card on a person's behalf, for a large fee. The criminal will request personal and financial information, including a person's existing credit card number.
How to avoid:
Just hang up the call if it is an automated message, regardless of what it is about: lower rates, free trip, bonus loyalty points, etc. For the second variation of the scam, consumers should never pay a fee to a third party for this service. Most financial institutions offer low-interest rate credit cards and consumers can apply for these cards on their own through the financial institution directly.