I just received a call from a lady who claims to be affiliated with you using a regular mobile number. She rattled off a long spiel about card protection, card errors, etc. Because my Mama raised me to be polite, I listened to her, although I was in the thick of writing a documentation report and wondering where this call was leading to since it didn’t seem like she was giving me a sales pitch but an education on how to be a responsible card user. I was asked if I have experienced any problems using my card. I told her no. Were there instances where, during a purchase, I was asked to complete the transaction manually since the card swipe machine bogged down? Again, no.
Just as I was about to ask her if she would like to take a pause for a breath (she must have had quite a set of lungs on her, it was one long-winded chatter), she asked me to verify my basic information to her (my full name, mother’s maiden name, address, etc).
That’s when the red flags quivered. I told her why would she call me to ask me to verify my identity to her. After that long speech, she was not sure who she was talking to? She said a verification was required. (This was when I realised there was a sales pitch somewhere in the middle of that long speech.)
I told her that if Metrobank doesn’t have any problem with me and my payments, then there’s nothing else for us to talk about. If she was selling me a service, I am not interested. I told her I don’t feel comfortable giving information related to my card that others might use illegally. The fact that she’s calling me using a regular mobile number is already fishy for me. She was insistent, and forceful and tried to interrupt me several times but my Mama also raised me to 1 – trust my instincts, and 2- be steely and unrelenting whenever necessary.
The point in this letter, Metrobank, is to ask, as one of your “valued cardholders”, if I was right to trust my instincts. Should I have given my information to her over the phone? Are these telemarketers under your employ? And if they are, is it SOP for them to ask cardholders to verify personal information? And do they call using regular cell numbers?
If ever I’m wrong in being suspicious and that phone call was legit, I ask for forgiveness. I’m afraid that in these times when scammers and hackers abound, being over-cautious have become a necessity.
But If I’m right, then may this open letter serve as a warning to other cardholders that they shouldn’t just give their information, no matter how basic, to strangers over the phone or just about anyone claiming to be from their card company.
I apologise in advance if this is all uncalled-for paranoia on my side. My Mama raised me to be this way, too, you see. (Could be the reason why I’m still single. But that’s another [kilometric] story.)