Yesterday, I found myself in a rather concerning situation. It all began with a phone call offering a 7-page signing for a supposed debt consolidation. However, when I finally laid eyes on the documents, I quickly realized something was amiss. Instead of debt consolidation papers, what I held in my hands were forms for information review, information authorization, and credit card authorization, all totaling a staggering $8,491.00. There was not a single piece of documentation pertaining to the promised debt consolidation. My instincts immediately raised alarm bells.
I proceeded to the signing appointment, where I encountered an elderly couple. The woman appeared highly agitated. As she delved into the paperwork, a barrage of questions arose, prompting her to call “Experian,” the company that had purportedly been assisting her with debt consolidation. While the wife conversed with a loan officer over the phone (who, it’s worth noting, had a foreign accent, a simple observation), her husband took it upon himself to inform me about their activities. However, the wife swiftly admonished him, insisting that he remain silent and cease any interaction with me.
Throughout the signing process, the loan officer remained on the line and eventually requested that I send pictures of the documents immediately. At this point, my suspicion grew more pronounced. There were no accompanying documents explaining the mechanics of the debt consolidation, and none of the paperwork bore the name “Experian.” My phone signal was subpar, necessitating that I send the documents after I had left.
To add to the growing strangeness, the loan officer informed the wife that he would call her back once I had departed. This struck me as highly unusual. Consequently, I decided to inquire about the nature of these papers and the woman’s intentions. She visibly bristled at my question, but I reassured her that my intent was not to pry but rather to address my deepening concerns about the transaction. It was then that her husband intervened, disclosing that “Experian” had explicitly instructed her not to divulge any information about their actions.
Fearing for her financial security and well-being, I suggested that she contact her credit card company. She had already provided them with three credit card numbers, along with expiration dates, CVC numbers, her Social Security number, and a plethora of other personal details. We successfully deactivated the first credit card over the phone, and she and her husband left to visit the bank and shut down the remaining credit cards.
Upon my return home, I promptly contacted my local police department to report the incident. I implore everyone to remain vigilant, especially when dealing with loan consolidations, and particularly when elderly individuals are involved. Trust your instincts, and if something feels off, don’t hesitate to seek help. I also reached out to the AARP fraud line, who confirmed my suspicions - this was indeed a fraudulent scheme. Please, let this be a stark reminder to stay vigilant and watch out for one another.