HOW TO: Fight Fraudulent Credit Cards, Like CCA

Thomas got scammed.

He thought CCA was offering him a credit card with a limit of up to $8,000. Sounded great to use for his new home business.

Turns out it was a total scam and CCA got his SSN and bank account info and auto-deducted three charges of $99.99. A fun ride of dealing with rude and sarcastic reps and unsuccessfully trying to cancel and get his money back ensued.

Inside, his story and our guide to fighting back against companies like CCA or any a slew of other similar scam companies, like CCS, First National Card, Capital Credit Alliance, American Credit, Capital Credit, Capital Choice, Titanium Blue, or First National Credit…


1) Close the bank account they have access to
This prevents further unauthorized charges.

2) Get your money back
Go to your bank. Tell the bank manager a fraudulent company took money from your account. Demand the unauthorized Automated Clearing House transaction reversed immediately. Escalate as many times as necessary.

If your bank is reluctant, RipoffReport advises:

Tell them that you did not authorize the debit, DEMAND that they reverse the ACH transaction in accordance with NACHA and Federal Regulation E rules, and let them know you wish to sign an affidavit of unauthorized/fraudulent account activity. Make it clear to the bank that if they do not assist you, legal and other appropriate actions will be taken against them.

3) Report the crime
File reports with the FBI, FTC, State Attorney General’s Office, and your local police.

4) Next time some bank you’ve never heard of mails you an $8,000 credit line out of the blue, tear up the letter.


Contact info for CCA
CCA Credit Services Division – First National Card – Capital Credit Alliance
Address:
P.O. BOX 461001
Las Vegas Nevada 89114-6101
U.S.A.
Phone Number:
702-734-1212


Thomas writes:

    “Recently I signed up for a service known as CCA.

    Originally when I got this offer, i was completely misinformed. I was told by a sales agent over the phone that the card was just a credit card, with a high credit credit limit up to $8,000.00. I agreed to this considering it was going to be something useful for a home business i was starting. After a half an hour of questions i had about the company I was blind transferred to a supervisor for reasons unknown to me. The supervisor knew nothing of the service. I asked again in assurance that this was just a high yield credit card, the supervisor said yes. After finally figuring out that i was a card that would charge an annual fee of 99.99 I figured that it was a good deal and continued on. I agreed to the verbal agreement, and waited to get my card. I called back 7 days later wanting know when my card would arrive. The lady on the other line, informed me that it would arrive in the next 7 days, she also informed me that it wasn’t a credit card. It was a membership card only to use for their services. At this point I was confused and a little frustrated, the rep assured me that i would get the card, and that the service was great, and convinced me to stay. I waited, and again no card, I called back waited on hold for 20 minutes to get a rep that insisted that the card was lost and they would send another one. This happened 2 more times before I fed up and demanded to cancel everything. The rude female rep on the other line informed me that it was too late to cancel service, then told me to have a nice day and hung up. Even further annoyed I attempted call back. From that point forward for about 2 weeks i was unable to get in touch with them.

    Finally, I got my membership card, and some magazines that they sent me of there products. I briefly looked over the items and decided that I would maybe use this as an idea for Christmas. I called up excited about the service, and got another irritated rep that wanted to have all of my information. My Credit card number, my bank acct number and my entire SSN just for verification. I hesitated but continued the activation.

    About a month later I received a bill, with 3 charges. one for 99.99, one for 99.00, and another for 99.99. The bill didn’t explain the charges, at this point I was concerned that they made a mistake in their billing, so i decided to give them another call. The hold time was endless, finally I heard a break in the hold music, but nothing in the back round, I kept asking if anyone was there, and then the call disconnected. Thinking that was odd, I decided to call back, and 20 minutes later the same thing happened. Finally I got a rep on the line, she was very kind, and asked just for my name for verification and was able to pull up my acct. I asked her what the charges were for and she explained that it was 99.99 for the annual charge, 99.00 for insurance, and an additional 99.99 for some other additional service. At this point I was completely done with this company and decided to cancel service right away, the rep asked me to be placed on hold very politely and then hung up. Out of time now, I decided to give it a rest and call back the next day. This time when i called back another kind rep. I asked if i could cancel service and she stated that I was unable to cancel service at this time, that the charges have already processed. I pressed on demanding to cancel my acct, the rep then stated that I would need to write a letter to their office expressing cancellation. I asked her why we couldn’t do it over the phone, and came back with “I don’t know sir that is just they way it is! Thank you for calling customer service” I then interrupted, and asked what the address was so i could cancel. She rattled off so fast i couldn’t understand it, then when I asked her to repeat, she sarcastically repeated it back.

    Now upset I decided to write the letter to send to them, noticing now I didn’t have my membership number on me. I decided to call back on 12/18/2006, dreading every minute of it. The rep again was rude from the beginning. “can i have your social security number, and name please?” thrown off by the question i asked if i could just verify the last four of my ssn. She said “Sir I need it for verification!, then she sighed. “what is the last four” I gave her the information, and then she asked for my date of birth billing acct number, I asked again why I needed to give such information. she then just asked for the membership id. I told her that, that was what I was calling in for, she rambled it off, I asked her to read it off slowly and in groups of three. she sighed and read it back sarcastically slow. I told her that I was trying to cancel service, she then hung up. At this point I am at my wits end, I canceled my debit card, in hopes that they wouldn’t withdraw from my acct automatically again. I am sending CCA a letter as well explaining my request for cancellation. Any help at all would be appreciated.”

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. weave says:

    My wife got one of these. The fine print did disclose the fees and that it was only usable through their own catalog, although it also claimed it would credit her for $199 after the first purchase, if I remember correctly.

    It’s of little help to you, but your hassle can serve as a warning to others. ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT CAREFULLY.

    Sorry I don’t have the info with me anymore, but there was a clause in there about being able to cancel, although it was REALLY bizarre. It was a variable length of time ranging from 8-14 days from when you called to accept, the length was based on what day of the week you called. So something like Weds was 14 days, Thursday was 13 days, down to Tuesday for just 8 days.

    It also said that they were not responsible for delays in the mail to get your materials and the clock started ticking on your first call to them.

    Good luck.

  2. steinwaytony says:

    I’m going to go ahead and put 95% of the blame on the doofus who signed up for a credit card that turned up in his mailbox unsolicited.

    With the internet, there are minimal acceptable excuses for such ignorance.

    Do your research and be active about shady stuff like this — that is, toss it out unless you actually find information confirming that it’s not a scam.

    I still await the day when the old warhorse that starts with “if it’s too good to be true” is proven wrong.

  3. mackjaz says:

    As a weird sidebar to this kind of situation, I have to feel some sympathy for these calltakers. I’m guessing the dirtball company who sends these “credit cards” out just contracts for x number of phone lines. The reps probably have no idea what is going on – it’s probly a call center in Poughkeepsie NY or Spooner Wisconsin, and they have scripted responses, or more likely, no answers for basic questions.

    Now, that having been said, there’s really no excuse for sarcasm at the level this guy is reporting.

  4. Skeptic says:

    “I’m going to go ahead and put 95% of the blame on the doofus who signed up for a credit card that turned up in his mailbox unsolicited.”

    “doofus” AKA, **”victim.”** Yeah, and how about those women who dress all sexy and then get raped? That 95% their fault, too? Of course not.

    In many cases, the victim would not have been scammed if they hadn’t been suckered into participating but that doesn’t in any way alleviate blame from, say, a hypothetical **knowing scammer** who sets out deliberately to mislead people by burying the the details of the scam in fine print to make his scam harder to prosecute.

    Just because buyers should beware doesn’t mean that the sellers aren’t guilty.

  5. jacques says:

    It’s really quite simple.
    Step 1) Opt out of any pre-screened credit cards. Info at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/prescreen.htm . You may need to call a few of the more insistent jerks like Citi/AA up and demand to be taken off their list.
    Step 2) Anything that then comes in the mail, don’t sign up for it.

    At this point, if you still need a credit card for a home business or whatever, you can go directly to the source for credit.

    Oh, and not reading the fine print makes it your fault. Even in the print at the top it says “Merchant Credit Card”. And there’s no visa/MC/whatever logo. It’s scuzzy on the part of them, but know what you’re signing (or cavalierly giving out your SSN/B-date – jeez, maybe you should start checking your credit report for other fraud).

  6. andre060 says:

    Jacques is right-on about the Visa/MC logo. I got several “offers” from these same companies and after noticing the lack of Visa/MC logo, I read some of the documentation and it was clear it wasn’t a real credit card.

  7. Trudyjh says:

    I notice that this seems to be based in Las Vegas. I wonder if they are the same as the “credit card services” people who keep calling trying to get me to pay them to negotiate lower interest rates on my credit cards with the credit card companies, like I couldn’t do that myself.

    The first time they called, callerid showed a las vegas number that it turned out they had ripped off from some attorney, after that no phone numbers showed up.

    I tried to get Verizon to at least help me stop these calls (eight so far, and the callers hang up when I say to stop calling), the first time Verizon told me about call trace and said they’d make a fraud report, when call trace didn’t work I called Verizon back and got some snotty person who insisted “credit card services” was legiimate and I must be a deadbeat.

    Is there no law enforcement agency that can get these harassing cretins?

  8. ord2fra says:

    My first red flag was a credit card based in LAS VEGAS. Any “offer” that comes to me from Vegas or Arizona, I triple-read and Google them before I even think about signing up. I don’t know why, but it seems like a lot of really shady businesses set up shop in NV or AZ.

    And for a credit card, you should NEVER have to pay an annual fee. Even Amex green card is only $55 a year. If your credit score determines that you pay an annual fee, you probably shouldn’t be getting a CC.

    In short,
    o Look for the Visa/MC logo
    o Look for a NV/AZ address
    o Check the fees!

  9. Yes, there are things the victim should have done in this case to better protect himself. Hopefully he won’t be so turned off by all the assholes in these comments blaming him for getting taken, that he fails to learn the lessons he needs to learn, and pass them on to all the many, many people out there without access to the Internet or other means, and who through no fault of their own are desperately in need of educating on these important subjects. (To arseholes: When your grandma gets taken by one of these, make sure you call her a doofus really loudly, okay? She’s hard of hearing.)

    To this guy: If you aren’t having any luck getting your bank to reverse the charges, consider calling a lawyer. This is a big mess and it could be really tough to get your money back at this point, but lawyers have a way of getting people to jump. And besides the other good advice about about reading fine print, etc., add this one: DON’T EVER GIVE OUT YOUR FULL SSN OVER THE PHONE. No person in a call center needs it or has the right to it, period. The people who have a right to it are a) your bank, b) your employer and c) the IRS. That’s IT. Now, you don’t know who those people really worked for, but you know they were mean and they now have all the personal information they need to get any credit card in your name that they want (or just sell your info on the black market for probably ten times what they make working in a call center). You now need to monitor the heck out of your credit report for at least a year, preferably two. Consider this a hard lesson in not giving out your SSN! (If you can’t stomach constantly checking your credit report, consider signing up for a service that does it for you — I use PrePaid Legal’s ID Theft Shield myself; it works and it’s only $13 a month.)

    Good luck getting your money back. Now make sure you tell everyone you know about these evil people and how to avoid them. Educated consumers are the only thing that put slimeballs like this out of business for good!

    -PD

  10. Optimistic Prime says:

    I learned this lesson about ten years ago right out of college. I figured, sure I can use some credit. It had the Visa logo on the papers, and it was only thirty bucks. Boy was I surprised when I got a card with no Visa logo, no contact phone numbers, and could only be used on their special website. Not only that, the prices of things were Rent A Center prices. No way in hell I’m paying $50 for a $10 toaster.

  11. humphrmi says:

    ord2fra, just a “FWIW”, American Express is based in AZ, many credit issuers (shady and legit) incorporate there to take advantage of more liberal interest rate limit laws.

    I really feel for this guy, unfortunately it takes one (or sometimes sadly two) of these sorts of events to teach you about scammers the real world.

    The details that Thomas gives aren’t terribly usefull for helping resolve this. He says he got a bill for three charges… were these on his bank statement or a bill from CCA? If they are on a bank statement, you need to chase up with your bank. If it’s a bill from them, you need to send a specifically-worded letter challenging the charges and demanding protection of your rights under the law. In any case, you need to learn one lesson here: Do not, under any circumstances, accept credit offers that come to you in the mail. There are plenty of legit credit card companies who will issue you a credit card if you call them or via their website (even if you have bad credit – for instance WaMu, Capital One, etc).

    Make yourself this rule now and promise never to break it: I will only obtain credit when I need it, and I will only accept credit from companies with whom I’ve initiated first contact.

    Now go buy yourself a decent shredder.

  12. Mr. Gunn says:

    Hey Thomas – I’ve got a proposition for you but you must promise not to tell anyone. See, there’s this guy I know in the Nigeria Ministry of Finance…

  13. $8k is a “high” credit limit?

    $99/year is a good deal for an annual fee?

    I have to agree with some other posters here, that at least some of the blame must be put onto the poor sucker that signed up for this…

    For less than $99/year, you could have gotten an Amex Gold card, with no limit…or a Blue with no annual fee and a limit higher than $8k, unless you recently filed bankruptcy or something…

    Not only that, but the moment a person seems disinterested or the slightest bit rude when signing you up to be a new customer, you should probably quit while your ahead. If they treat their new customers that way, you can infer how they’ll treat you later on down the road.

  14. bld71167 says:

    I just got something in the mail from them too,Thanks to all of you im not making the same mistake

  15. tcp100 says:

    If the OP thought *any* of this was a good deal, he must have been hard up for credit. If he was hard up for credit, he should be a little more suspicious of offers that are so “generous”.

    Nothing that the OP described as a “good deal” was even close to one, and man, did you not have enough red flags waved in front of your face?

    1. Offer out of the blue
    2. Representatives reluctant to give info
    3. “Not a card, but a membership”
    4. $99 annual fee
    5. No talk of rates or terms at all
    6. No Visa/MC/Discover/Amex Logo
    7. Refusal to cancel

    And you STILL gave them your SSN and BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER AFTER THIS? This also didn’t clue you in that they didn’t have your SSN already, so they offered you this “$8,000 credit card” without even checking your credit?

    Jeez man, my Amex and Citibank Visa don’t have my bank account number, and I certainly wouldn’t give it to a rep over the phone.

    I’m gonna take the other side here.. People who are yelling about “blaming the victim” should reserve their own judgement a bit; if there weren’t suckers like this out there, these companies wouldn’t thrive like they do.

    People need to get more educated; it’s not only for your own good – but it’s socially irresponsible to be so naive.

    Regarding another poster’s example.. NO, it’s not the victims fault (like the woman who gets raped for dressing skimpy.) However, lack of fault doesn’t mean that the “victim” did not make a bad decision and put him / herself in a bad situation.

    Please people, nobody’s going to get anywhere with these scammers here as long as everybody remains so politically correct and defends dumbness.

  16. AshleighHoefs87 says:

    Hey! Well I am in the same boat as this man whom got scammed. I am a stupid 19 year old with twin boys on the way and struggling to make it in life. So when I got a card in the mail saying I would get 7500 out of it I jumped to the offer. I finally received my cards in the mail today, the cash card and the credit card. I went to get a bite to eat, and well it didnt even scan…why? This so called credit card didnt even effin work! I have now ruined my fiances bank account, putting it 200 in the whole plus 99 more later.And I figured I could pay off a few bills, and now we are looking at the loss of power, our nice car, and our house. So call me stupid, which I was, but damn, why do people do this?

  17. Suspicious1 says:

    Hey can we or should we go to the MEDIA(20/20,OPRAH,DOCTOR PHIL,etc.???).I didn’t accept or get involved with this scam.I guess the old Addage “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true” applys here.In these cases Too bad for all unsuspecting consumers it is “TOO BAD IT IS TRUE” I almost called this number(800)-277-7056.I am a PAUPER and I live on a fixed income.To someone like me this seems so wonderful especially since I do not even have transportation to get to doctors appointments.But I am over 50 years old and it just seemed suspicious to me;All the good stuff and conditions they were describing.I thought to myself “there has to be a catch”. I kept reading and rereading and realized they wanted my PERSONAL INFORMATION for a service that they were going to deduct fees from my checking account for eventually.So I sure am glad I decided to check it all out on the Internet first.I thought about taking the letter to my local post office and decide they would think I was Looney Tunes…..I am also going to check out another letter I have been receiving in the Postal mail.I did send this one a check for $10.00(ten US dollars) but I do not believe anyone can buy their way into HEAVEN nor pay Religious tighes and receive huge amounts of money or blessings of other types. The name of it is:PRAYER BY LETTERS,SAINT MATTHEW’S CHURCHES,PO BOX 22148,TULSA OK 74121-9909.hOW ABOUT YOU? (JUST A QUESTION IN GENERAL ; no need to answer; only to yourself.)And why are we all so gullible?

  18. cberry1 says:

    Thanks to everyone who posted a commet. I received a credit offer from CCA today, after reading it several times I thought this sounds like a SCAM. I also noticed the lack of a Visa/MC logo on the card.
    After several googles I came across this site.
    I will listen to the warnings and shred the card. Thanks again and anyone that was SCAMMED, dont feel bad, there are people that will learned from your mistakes.

  19. lingpo says:

    I also received this card like many others. I called the toll free to find out why they sent me the card without my asking. I thought better and ended the call without activating the card. I tried calling from a pay phone to get a real person. No luck. I filed a report with the postal inspector. If you really want to hurt them, call the toll free from a pay phone (1-800-277-7056). You don’t have to deposit coins or pay anything. Their telco will charge them .30 to .40 for each call. Imagine if they got a million such calls.

  20. dslilmama says:

    I have a question- my boyfriend just recieved this card in the mail. Obviously I didn’t know anything about it cause he knows I would have killed him for it. Like many of you have stated “If it’s too good to be true….”. My question is will they still bill you for the annual fee if you don’t activate the card?
    Reading the fine print- sounds like they bill you whether the you use the card or not. Someone please help before I have to collect on a life insurance policy. :o)

  21. revmark says:

    In reference to the St Matthews Churches scam, I am going to try to handle this on a pastoral level, but if at all possible, of anyone has any more information on them, besides the mailing address, it would be greatly appreciated. Such as phone numbers, email addresses, or fax numbers.
    You can email that to me at, artos01@comcast.net
    Thank you.