I have been receiving a call once a day for the past week on my cell phone. The caller ID says it is 513-573-8739. I don't pick up numbers I don't recognize, and thought it was strange that the same number was calling me daily, so I googled it. Apparently, a bunch of people have received a call from the same number connecting them to people claiming to work for Macy's collection agency and ask for their account numbers in order to look up their information. I do have a Macy's card that I haven't used in over a year, so my first thought was that someone got ahold of my credit card number, went on a shopping spree, and never paid the bill. I found my credit card and called the number on the back to get my account information. My balance is $0.00. Why is the collection agency calling me? Is it a scam?? I did call the number back and got an automated voice telling me that the office was closed because of the holiday. Anybody else getting the same calls?
^ That's what I thought at first, but some of the people who posted on the website I found said that it was in fact a legitimate phone call because they did have running balances on their Macy's card that were overdue, while other people were claiming that they didn't even have a Macy's account....?? That is what is causing my confusion.
It is called "phishing." As in fishing, casting out your line in a lake full of fish. Maybe one will bite.
Look at it from the phisher's point of view. Macy's is the biggest, most famous department store.
Around the Blessed Shopping Season, more people will be visiting Macy's, In fact, if they visit only department store, chances are it will be Macy's.
All stores encourage people to get store credit cards. At a time when many peoples' other cards are getting maxed out, they will be more likely to get one. Store cards are easier to get, upping that likelihood even more that out of any 1000 random phone numbers, at least some will indeed have a Macy's card.
And in the current economic situation, chances are increased that of those who have Macy's cards, they, like people who do not have Macy cards, are upset about money, and thus more likely to panic, maybe not be as careful with strangers on the phone as they might be, if that stranger utters words that make them even more emotional, like, in this case, "Macy's," and "balance."
Even if they know that they don't owe a balance, they may give the caller the number, so that it can be established that while they may have an overdue balance on their VISA card, which has them worried sick, they do not owe Macy's money.
Of course, once they give out that account number, they will indeed owe Macy's money within a matter of days, and they will have a hell of a time proving that it was not they who made the charges. They may be successful, and they may not be.
So while it might sound like a long shot, remember the phisher - the caller - is also desperate for money, so he is willing to put in the effort for even a small "catch."
Of course if he is a little smarter, he will use an automated dialer with a recorded message, so he can make more calls, and thus get more fish in his net.
Anyway, the thing to do, whenever you receive a call like this, even if you really do have an overdue balance, is do not tell the caller anything AT ALL, just hang up, and then call the company directly, with a number you get from their official website or the yellow pages, and use that method to do any talking about your account!