The Microsoft Scam Phone call

This is a fairly popular scam call that has increased lately in my opinion. Now you may ask what does that have to do with credit repair or credit education and I will explain towards the end of this blog or you can skip to the end if you want. The below is a breakdown on the call and what I did when I had a little time to mess with them.

 

HOW IT WORKS:

The first thing they do is “Spoof” the phone number of Microsoft so if you google the phone number it shows its Microsoft’s corporate office, which of course it’s not.

What “Spoof” means:

Spoofing, in general, is a fraudulent or malicious practice in which communication is sent from an unknown source disguised as a source known to the receiver.

*** Which means they can electronically make the number that shows up on your phone/caller ID as a legitimate phone number.

 

How they get your name:

Most of us have our names attached to our phone numbers somewhere on the internet with phone directories to have some basic personal information about you to help try to convince you they are legitimate.

 

So the phone number looks like it is coming from a known or legitimate place when actually it’s coming from a call center of scam artists.

They tell you they are from Microsoft’s technical support department and YOUR COMPUTER had sent them a “critical alert” and it needs to get fixed before your computer has more problems.

SO, I told them when I recently got one of these calls:

“C’mon, this is a scam, people know about this”. Then the gentleman giving me an obviously fake name begins his B.S pitch and says not it’s not a scam, their support department says a critical error showed up and they can give me the license number of my system.

I told them to call me back at 2pm as I’m on the road now as I planned to have a little fun with them in order to write this blog.

 

They call back around that time and I start hitting them with questions to waste their time and get them to think he has got me on the hook.

 

Q- So when did you get a critical alert from “my system”?

Their answer- A few weeks ago and he apologized for not getting to me sooner.

Q- Why didn’t my computer tell me there was an error in the system?

Their answer- this critical error is in the core of their system and has to be addressed from their end first.

Now at this point, I make the “ok, yeah” statements making him think he has me on the hook.

Q- Ok, so what type of computer do I have?

Their answer- we do not have the Hardware information on your computer just the technical critical error from the core system.

 

Then I say, guys I know you’re full of crap and scam artists and do you know how I know that for a fact?

His answer of course was no sir I am not, I am calling you about the critical error alert we received from your computer ( blah, blah, blah stick to the script)

So then I dropped a lie on him that popped his top… (try it and have some FUN!)

“Buddy I know you’re a slime ball and crook because I have had a MAC computer for the last 10 years (I don’t).

So tell me how the hell you can get a critical alert from a system that I don’t own”???

 

His response: Well why did you tell me to call you back to address your problem?

 

I told him since he was a piece of crap trying to steal people’s information I wanted to waste his time to stop him from scamming other people.

At this time he launched into and I kid you not a 45 second cursing fest at me and I do not know how he was able to not take a breath during that time so I was actually impressed that he went on such a rant for so long without taking a breath.

So to annoy him I just kept laughing not stop in an annoying voice for as long as I could to drive him crazy. It worked but I still had to just hang up on him. Then of course thanks to phone technology I blocked the number and I aggravated him so bad that he attempted to call me back 3 times that day but the phone automatically blocked his call.

 

So, now how does this have anything to do with your credit?
What these companies try to do is get remote access to your computer and like most people you have passwords, banking information and personal information on your computer or saved in browser history that could cause all sorts of problems for you if they got their hands on it and cause all sorts of problems for you now and in the future.

That is it for this week, I hope you gleamed some information and knowledge on this and remember that our phones are now the new “junk mail”. Companies set up robo calls and constantly call you with offers.

They have the “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” attitude and other than clicking on the “BLOCK CALL” on your phone that’s all you can do.

Reporting these calls to the “Do Not Call List” is nothing but a waste of your time as they can’t track anything since with technology companies can buy spoofing software as mentioned above so the phone you see is most likely not the number they used.

 

REMEMBER—  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

 

 

Feel free to contact me at wayne@waynethecreditguy.com and ask about my book “The Real World of Credit” to learn A LOT more of how the system works if you are thinking of fixing your own credit.

Understanding how the system works is half the job!

 

Credit Associates Flat out lies in commercials a MUST READ

I had originally posted this in December 2017 and then my awesome computer skills somehow deleted it so i am re-posting it, read as see for yourself!

 

As we get older we seem to fall into certain patterns or habits, so for me every morning I wake up and as I get ready for work I have the morning news on. This somehow happened to me a few years ago, I think it’s automatic the moment you cross over the age of 40.

One of the consistent annoying commercials is one from the debt settlement company called “Credit Associates”. I always get amazed at how TV networks don’t get sued for airing what is flat out lie to the public.

They start almost from the beginning by saying “there is a secret the credit card companies don’t want you to know, if you have more than $5,000 worth of debt you have the right to settle that debt for a fraction of what you owe”.

NOTE/LIE # 1: there IS NO secret…..

NEWSFLASH for consumers reading this ANY book, commercial or Ad if you even see or hear the sales person saying they have a secret that banks don’t want you to know it is such a lie it’s crazy. Example, how can it be a secret if they are advertising to tell you?

It’s a gimmick trick to get you to call so they have a chance of selling you so don’t be a sucker.

Back to my point….

There is no law that says any debt over $5,000 gives you the right to settle on the debt based on what they say in their commercials.

$5,000.00 is probably their bottom line that they can charge before they can make any decent sort of profit that is worth their time and expense on the consumer while dragging out the process.

While I have no clue how they get away with lying like this what I can say is I actually got a solicitation call from them so I jumped up for joy and pressed “1” to talk to a representative.

My representative was named “John” he did not sound like anyone I know named John. I will point out and I said I was interested but I was super curious as is my nature and wanted to know what was “the secret” or law that allowed me to save thousands like their commercial said since I was never aware of or heard about.

Wouldn’t you know it but John didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and went into his script.

I kept interrupting him to say I want to know first what this law is first before seeing what his company can “do to help me”. He kept trying to read through the script and I said “ hey if this information is above your paygrade then that’s no big deal so put me on hold or transfer me to a supervisor so I can get the answer and then back to you to move forward”.

I was giving him EVERY option available to get me the answer (if there was one) and he would not or should I can could not answer the question. I then started saying “listen your company advertises this so why are you not prepared to answer this question which is in the first 10 seconds of your companies commercial or at least be able to transfer me to someone who can at least tell me the answer”?

As I had some time at the moment and justified however long I dragged this out for utilizing the time for this blog I must have been on the phone for at least 15-20 minutes.

Towards the end of him trying to push past my question and finishing his script and I said to “John” that if your incapable or unwilling to answer the simplest question on the 1st sentence of your companies commercial it’s obvious this company is a scam company so answer the question the next time you speak or I am hanging up the phone.

Shocking result of what happen next? I hung up the phone.

What most of these companies do is basically take advantage of your unwillingness to talk to your creditors. The collectors can be jerks and some are nice. Once a bill has gone past the 120 day mark creditors are open to ‘re-discuss” the original terms of the agreement. Now of course to get to that mark your credit score is destroyed and you may be a candidate for credit repair but maybe not as your credit report is file specific. Think of the term different strokes for different folks.

Without any knowledge whatsoever you should be able to get them to give you a minimum of 20-30% discount off of the current debt owed. An experienced person in this industry can go much lower, I have gotten an average when helping clients with this issue anywhere from a 70-90% savings.

Quick story to end this blog, had a client ask me to look at what their in-laws got themselves into and said sure will be happy to give my opinion. It was a debt settlement program, they had several credit cards and they were paying $375 a month into a “pot” so to speak and when the funds grew large enough they would go in , settle one account and so on.

The issue was in all of the fine print and there was a lot of it but on the page with the fees etc it was CLEARLY marked that this “company” was charging “$221.00 a month” to take their money as their fees that they have not performed and would not perform until these particular clients had at least $1,000 to settle debt # 1.

So they were only saving approx. $154 a month towards settling their bills. They were in shock but I said I didn’t understand why they were as this was clearly printed and they said the person didn’t tell them that and they didn’t look at the paperwork and only signed where he said they needed to sign.

I then said, you mean the “Sales person”??

They got silent really quick, and I gave them advice on what to do but said they have no recourse as they signed the papers and the fees were clearly marked.

You can do this yourself and save some money if you want to or if you choose to hire someone make sure you get some solid numbers and make sure you’re getting some good savings. I had a guy who owe $127,000 in unsecured debt and got everything settled for less than $40,000 which included my fees so he saved over $80,000.

That was one heck of a job and time consuming but normally do not deal with something that large typically.

Moral of this story, READ what you sign and NEVER make an impulse buy/decision. If your being constantly called about your decision then it seems they NEED your money, go with the person who makes you feel comfortable, has a background that can be validated by outside parties and follows up with you when YOU ASK THEM TOO.

 

 

 

* Want to learn more about how the credit system works?

Or

Have questions about your credit where you may need my help?

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Buy my book for easy to understand concepts of how the credit system works and how lenders look at you.

 

email me today at: wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

If you email me, to make it easier as i am getting a lot of emails and i respond to all of them please provide me a summary of your situation. Include are you paying the bills on-time, have you not paid them in 3 months, how much you owe and what are the total monthly credit card bills you are paying.

MOSt of the people contacting me i am directing to places i have already vetted that i have identified as places that will do what is best for you and your family and not some company.

 

 

 

Update to Previous Debt Settlement Blog PART I

UPDATE to the PREVIOUS Debt Settlement Blog PART I

 

So welcome back, I have to tell you I have never received so many phone calls in regards to a blog than this one AND AFTER SOME OF THESE CALLS NEVER REALIZED JUST HOW SLIMEY THESE COMPANIES ARE.

 

So email me with questions and your experiences with companies and their names, I will review the email, make my own call to them to verify the kind of tactics they use and let all who read these know what is done and why they try to do it to you!!!

 

Let’s just dispense with the standard chit chat and talk about what has occurred and been asked of me over these last several weeks. And I will also throw out some specific information and company names along with some of the company’s ways they “explain” the process and what they tell and don’t tell you.

That information will not be coming from me but from people that have emailed me with their stories (keep them coming!),  so if a debt collector reads this if it mentions their company name you can take a leap as I have proof of what was said and it wasn’t me making up stories.

Now that I got that part out of the way, let’s recap and point out the one question you can ask that slaps “Credit Associates” (And most likely others if they say this also) in the face with a bold face lie on TV.

Their commercial says “if you have more than $5,000 in credit card debt you have the right to let us settle that debt for a fraction of what you owe”.

Now they also mention “there’s a secret the credit card companies don’t want you to know”.

So mini recap – Tell them that you have a question first before you explain your situation. What is the right/law/rule that allows you to settle your debt for a fraction of the money owed?

Possible answers:

1) The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA)

WRONG—- that has NOTHING to do with money you owe or settling it. It is in regards to the reporting and accuracy of information reporting on your credit file.

2) The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)

WRONG—- this is basically to protect people from unfair billing practices regarding billing statements NOT debt settlement.

3) The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

WRONG—- protects consumers from discrimination based on race, color religion, etc.

4) The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA)

WRONG— this deals only with Collection Companies and their practices when trying to collect debt and what they can and cannot do.

 

The above is just a few popular laws that may be quoted and how you can respond to them to see their response and I guarantee you will see them moonwalk backwards and get back to trying to SELL YOU and should be pretty apparent to you that they are.

 

I just recently spoke to a gentleman we will call MIKE, he contacted a company called National Debt Relief. Mike owed $20,000 on a business card he used and had 2 other cards in good standing totaling with the first card $29,000.

He told me the company said they would have to take all 3 cards to help….                           REALLY?

When he asked what they think they could help get it down to they said approximately $21,000.

WOW!  That is sad….. I just had a $70,000 debt a client had and helped get it down to $15,000.

 

INSIDE INFORMATION

What these companies don’t talk about or “forget to verbally disclose to you” but its most likely in the fine print of the contract is what this method would do to his good standing cards is not pay on them for 3-4 months (destroying his current 750+ credit score) .

Here how this works…..

This is basically a game of leverage, if there is too much month at the end of the money and you’re paying on time or going 30 days late every so often then if you think about it what leverage do you have? Why would they lower the rate, you’re paying them and they actually want you to pay for years as look at your statement. It should have how long it will take to pay off and how much money they will make.

Once the money stops coming in and they stop getting paid and you hit the 90 days late part they really start to worry about their business agreement with you so now they are interested in doing a settlement but they don’t tell you how the process works so they hit you with what they call their payback plan or whatever term they use which typically does not benefit you at all.

What you need to understand is you can ask for discounts, now of course someone who deals with these people all the time is better qualified than you. As the companies you’re calling are trained to do this so while yes, you can try to do it yourself and “wing it”. But it does make sense that the more you do this the more you know how each company works behind the scenes.

 

IF the companies brag about being an A rated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) then you may want to google the ABC investigation of the Better Business Bureau. It shows how they are a paid member and how members get more favorable ratings. The general public thinks this is done for free but it is a ploy, there are statements all over the internet where business owners say the “Sales” reps said we can help you with your rating if you become a member.

Most business owners hate the BBB as they have created the illusion of how they work for the public, but they just leverage their own made up “rating” system with what they think and just recently starting allowing consumers to rate the businesses.

Take me for example, the people who rated me 5 starts on the BBB site told me they and I have their affidavit’s saying so but as our business is filled with slime-balls even though I have 8+ years with NO Complaints and all reviews are 5 stars they rate me a C+?

I’ll keep you up to date as when I have a little time I will be suing them so that will be an interesting blog.

With the holidays coming I should be able to get in at least one more blog in but hoping for two so please email me your stories and experiences and if you need to speak with me my number is on the website.

I promise to give direct and straight advice, I may not be able to help if you do not fit the guidelines I use BUT I will point you in the right direction.

NOTE:

If you email me, then please send me a synopsis of your situation so i can be of more help to answer your questions…    =)

 

Want to learn more about how the world of credit works? Contact me today and get my book in full blown color. No nonsense direct answers and easy to understand.

                              How the “Real world of credit” works. wayne@ waynethecreditguy .com

(NO SPACES as that was done to prevent me getting spammed).

 

And of course if you need some credit work to increase your credit.

When Life happens (Murphy’s Law)

When Life happens (Murphy’s Law)

Murphy’s Law definition:

The rule that states, “If something can go wrong, it will.” An addition to this law reads, “And usually at the worst time.” The identity of “Murphy” is unknown, but the saying was first used during the 1940s.

So why mention this is a credit repair blog you ask?

Life of course…..

However in relation to credit which is my specialty and I can state I am an expert in the matter I want to talk about things I see that may be able to help you avoid people like me for this particular situation.

Starting out on the subject of life many times if you are making a certain amount of money ( or finally do ) for your income you start making a lifestyle that fits that income.

Many times I have people coming to me who end up paying the minimum amounts on these credit cards due to fact of several possibilities such as:

  • Income was cut either your own or a spouses
  • Job loss so not making what you were & took time to find another job so playing catchup.

Both of these are life changing events unless you have a healthy amount of savings tucked away that you can tap into to cover bills until your back on your feet. No one likes dipping into savings but at least it’s there.

Many people do not have this option thus the domino effect starts.

As a life example many, many many years ago (probably longer than I care to admit) I joined a direct sales company (aka: network marketing) they became publically traded and was solid so I joined. And actually they had a product a few years later which became the catalyst for getting me into the credit industry.

Regardless of those details I met an airline pilot for a major airline and we became friendly. This was around the time that the airline filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and many were laid off and incomes cut. At the time he was making $300,000 a year and was cut 30% to $210,000.

When he told me that the look on my face at the time basically said, “Yeah, you still make over $200,000 a year”.

He saw the look at you could tell it wasn’t the first time and said the problem I have is I have a lifestyle that needs a 300k income to support.

SO THAT IS TODAYS BLOG TOPIC FOR THIS WEEK!

Many times I have clients come to me with so much credit card debt it sometimes blows my mind. I have seen some credit reports with people owing $7,000 to Macy’s or JCpennys. And I think how can you buy so much from a clothing store or let it get to that high an amount?

Ultimately it comes down to discipline. Many consumers just do not have it and it’s something you may need to work on if this blog applies to you. You cannot negotiate with the credit card companies as they have all the leverage.

If you want to settle with them for less you have to trash your credit. Until they have not received a payment for 90-120 days they will do nothing to help you.

I have a friend who lives paycheck to paycheck and have all of her credit cards maxed out so she is a good example of a possible game plan. She finally got a standard 3% raise which only gives her an extra $50 per paycheck but it’s better than nothing.

Her company finally put together a bonus plan if they reach certain goals set for them.

She hit them 2 months in a row totally at moment $1,200. She needed to catch up on a few things, treat herself as well and put a money back into a separate account to start building her savings again. I explained to her which she hates when I do this but she knows it’s needed, if she gets an average of $600 per bonus and does that every other month at least but she expects to hit that every month she needs to put half of the bonus in savings and the other half towards her credit cards starting with the small cards first to get rid of them quicker.

She has 3 credit cards with approximately $600 on each. So within less than six months she can have those 3 cards paid off. Then when she gets excited at how that is progressing she may decide to start taking the full bonus towards paying the bigger one and have that one paid off in a few months.

In her situation she could have all of her credit cards paid off in a year depending on her discipline and goals.

Now in order to get her to focus on that goal other than the freedom of no credit card debt she has a certain car that is her dream car.

I told her after assessing her finances that  these cards are paid down her credit score will jump up tremendously and she could qualify for that car easily.

NOTE: it’s going to be a 1 year pre-owned which she won’t care about as the mileage will be low and will still be exactly what she wants.

This is what you need to do to yourself. Other than being debt free you need to have an additional goal or treat if you want.

Many times it is just not enough, everyone will be different so it has to be something you want so you have to decide on what will give you the determination to be discipline enough to focus on paying down your debts.

As I always say to all future credit repair clients, “I will tell you the truth whether you like It or not”. One of the reasons why I have such a good reputation in the industry is I’m honest and direct.

That combination is not really found in our industry, plus combined with the fact I have been doing this over 12 years the odds are if I can’t help you can’t be helped in the credit repair industry so I may need to guide you towards a different professional to do what’s best for you and your family.

Want to learn more? Contact me at the email below to buy my book “The Real World of Credit” or go to www.bn.com and get the digital version.

Any questions just contact me on the number at the top of my website or email me at: wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

Cell Phone Contracts vs. You = You Lose

Cell Phone Contracts vs. You = You Lose

This week’s blog we are going to talk about what you really sign when you sign a cell phone “agreement”.

I say that as if you have noticed most if not all TV ads say they no longer have “contracts”.

So, first thing is first….

All TV ads are basically lies, or you could say, they omit many important things that would give you the full story and if you knew everything you probably would not go to that company at all. When I do a seminar and it consists of mostly college kids who have come of age (18 yrs old) I tell them you are now legally allowed to get screwed by companies whose name you put on any “agreement”.

Let’s first discuss the B.S statement of “we no longer have contracts”. Obviously a lie, as they say you will take the full price of a phone and divide it into 24 months’ worth of payments where you do not have the option to make the “monthly phone payments longer for you”.

AND, if you do not complete this and leave to go to another company you are charged a “cancellation fee”.

That sound like a “contract” to you? It should because that what a cancellation fee is used for, screwing you over to make extra money (in my opinion).

Don’t pay the fee? It then goes to a collection company who reports it on your credit file and can damage you credit report anywhere from 60-90 points.

Now that we have made that “GOTCHA” to open your eyes to this sneaky tactic clear let’s go into the next one.

“ADD Additional Lines/Family Plan”:

Have more than one person in your family? Add several family members and save money!

UNLESS you have to cancel the service then EVERY added line counts as one service so you are penalized for the following:

  • The rest of your monthly fee owed on your phone (average cost $700).
  • The cancellation fee of an average cost $275-350.00 (PER LINE).
  • Your typical final bill (most people do not pay at average $100.00)

OVERALL money owed per line $ $700-1,000.00  PER LINE!!!!

See how quickly that can add up if you have a few lines as the original plan  you had for saving money by switching?

Now imagine how angry and frustrating it would be to be told by some lender that the cell phone bill collection(which could be from $1,000-$4,000) is hurting your credit score enough for you to possibly not getting the home you want for your family or just yourself and a future family.

MORAL of the story: DON’T CANCEL the “NOT A CONTRACT” until the new cell phones you purchased are paid off!

YOU WILL ONLY LOSE this battle….

TIP:  GET THE INSURANCE on the new phone, at an average of $10 per phone it’s a better deal and protects you for when you do break the phone.

The GOTCHA you don’t think about:

You “Help” your friend or family member get a phone or you add them to your cell phone plan.

When you sign your name to “help someone get a phone” you are signing a contract that obligates you to everything we have spoken about so far.

It does not matter if you never had any of the service you signed your name to. It in fact is absolutely meaningless if you had no relationship with that cell phone company other than helping that family member (for example).

What does matter is by signing that agreement and piece of paper you said to that lender/cell phone company, if this person does not pay the bill I WILL!

The same thing for adding your friend or family member to your cell phone plan. Remember it is YOUR CELL PHONE ACCOUNT. Which means the responsibility is yours and yours alone.

This is the same way you have a credit card that is yours and you add someone as an “authorized user”, this allows that person to use your credit card as if it was theirs but have no responsibility to the credit card company. That credit card company gave the card to you and for you to use as you see fit, any mistakes in judgement or use of it is your responsibility. If that party over uses it, while you have the right to sue the party who used it to pay you back for what they spent if that was your agreement. The credit card company has to claim against that person as you gave permission for them to use is and thus it is your financial responsibility.

The final gotcha:

“Switch now and don’t worry about cancellation fees. We will pay them for you”!!

Sound familiar? You should it’s on a ton of commercials, I have heard this story so many times it crazy and its mostly from consumers who have in their eyes already been screwed over since it’s on their credit report.

This is how it works, YOU cancel the old contract, and YOU get the final bill including phone charge fees, cancellation fees and the last month’s bill. THEN you send a copy of that to the new company who said they would pay for it and they will send you a pre-paid debit card in a month or so.

Can’t pay all of that in one shot or at all? Not the new carriers issue….

Is that someone you want to be a customer of? I wouldn’t. Did the sales person not tell you that? Did you ever hear the phase it’s not what is said but it is what you sign.

The sales person there makes commission, would you have signed up if they said this is how it really works so let’s get you signed up. I would not sign up after hearing the truth.

Just like my book The Real World of credit, this is how the Real World works.

So I hope this gave you some insight as to how something as simple as “changing cell phone companies” without paying attention can cause more problems than you realize.

Want to learn more about how the credit system works? Go buy my book online at here at : Barnes and Noble The Real World of Credit

 

Or contact me directly for a full blown color copy to truly grasp the real world of credit.

And of course have a question on credit for yourself? Contact me directly at: wayne@waynethecreditguy.com