You get a call from someone called "Account Services." It can be tough to decide whether to answer or what else you should do. Discover the ideal steps to take.
Most calls with a caller ID of "Account Services" are scams. However, there is a collection agency called Account Services. It is also possible that one of your accounts is truly calling you. If the caller claims to be from [company] account services, don't answer and call that company directly. When in doubt, ignore the call and wait for a voicemail.
While calls from account services are usually scams, giving you an idea of what to do, there is more to know about these calls. We'll take a closer look at the scam, the collections agency with the same name, and what to do if you suspect the call is legit.
Account Services Call: What to Know and What to Do
In today's world of caller ID, most people only answer the phone if they know who is calling. But you also want to answer important phone calls, especially ones related to your accounts. This makes it difficult to decide whether to answer a call from "Account Services." It seems like it might be important, but it also doesn't give you enough information to let you know the call isn't a scam. Take a closer look at what an account services call means and what to do.
Who Are Account Services and Why Are They Calling Me?
There are three possible answers to who account services are and why they're calling you.
- It's a scam
- It's Account Services Collections, a collections agency
- It is one of your accounts calling you
Take a closer look at each of these situations.
The most common scenario when you receive a call on your phone from "Account Services" is that this is simply a scam. Scammers know that having their name appear as Account Services increases the answer rate, as people may think they are legitimate.
The scammer, on the other end of the line, may try to collect account information from you. They could pretend to be from your bank, credit card, or another account and ask you to "verify" information for them. In reality, you would be giving them that information, not verifying it.
Or they may want you to answer the phone, so they can verify the number belongs to someone. If that is the case, you would likely get added to the phone lists of other scammers and see an increase in scam calls.
The Collection Agency
Another possibility is that the call comes from Account Services Collections, a legitimate collections agency. If you have outstanding debts, your creditor might have sold your debt to this agency.
This collection agency is based in Texas and has been in business since 1970. While it is a legitimate company, there are also complaints against it. If this is the Account Services calling you, the phone number should start with a 210-area code.
The collection agency has the right to call you to collect your debts if they have bought them. However, they have to follow the law while doing so. This means that it can't call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They also can't call multiple times each week, use abusive language, call your workplace, repeatedly call for the wrong person, or threaten you.
If you think the call is from Account Services Collections, you may want to answer so you can work out a payment plan or settlement. But you also don't have to answer the initial phone call. You can wait for them to leave a voicemail. Or you can check your credit report to see if the company appears there to confirm they are legit. You can also directly call the collections agency.
One Of Your Accounts
Although rare, Account Services might be the account services department of one of your accounts. This may be your credit card account, bank account, or any other account type.
If this is the case, the caller ID likely won't just say "Account Services." It would say something like "[Company] Account Services" or just "[Company]."
But just because the caller ID says one of those things, that doesn't mean the call is legit. Even if the number seems legitimate, remember that scammers can spoof numbers.
Whenever you doubt whether a call from Account Services is real, don't answer. If it is a legitimate call from your account and urgent, they will leave a voicemail or contact you in another way as well. At the very least, they will call back.
In the meantime, you should look up the contact information for the account or company in question. Then directly call your credit card company, bank, or another type of company you have an account with. Talk to a representative and say you recently got a call from someone claiming to be their account services.
The representative will be able to tell you whether the call was legitimate. If it was, they will either be able to tell you the reason for the call and help you resolve the issue or transfer you to someone who can do so.
The fact that you call the company is crucial here. It ensures that you are talking to the right business. Ideally, you want to get the number directly from your credit or debit card or account statement or the company's website. This prevents you from finding a fake number online that would take you to a scammer looking to get your information.
Is Account Services Legit? How to Tell It's a Scam
So, if a call from account services is likely a scam but not always, how do you tell? There are usually some warning signs that the call is a scam and not legit. Most of these require answering the call. Answering is not usually bad, as long as you don't give the scammer any information they don't already have. So never share personal or account information unless you are positive the call is legit.
They Aren't Specific About Your Account
One of the biggest giveaways that the call could be a scam is if they aren't specific about the account in question. Saying something like "your bank account" or "your credit card" is a giant red flag. Even if they say it's a Visa or MasterCard, that isn't enough. After all, you didn't get your credit card directly from Visa or MasterCard. You got it from a bank, airline, gas station, store, or another company.
By contrast, they will be as specific as possible if the call is legitimate. For example, they may say your "[Airline] Visa" or your "[Bank] MasterCard."
They Don't' Know Any Of Your Card Number
In addition to not knowing the exact type of card you have, another sure sign that it is a scam is if they can't tell you the final four digits of your card. Your credit card company or bank will have this information in front of them.
They Don't Know Your Name
Your name is the most basic piece of information that any legitimate company would have about you. If they don't know your name, it is a scam. Just remember that the opposite is not necessarily true. Scammers may know your name, as that information is easily accessible.
Their Number Is Blocked
If the call comes up as Account Services and the phone number is blocked, this is a very good indication that it is a scam. Nevertheless, a legitimate company may block its number if it cannot receive calls. An example would be an outbound-only call center.
However, if both the name and the number are blocked, it is a scam. Similarly, if it just says "Account Services" without a company name and the number is blocked, it is likely a scam, although not necessarily.
They Get Rude When You Say They're A Scam
You can also sometimes tell whether it is a scam based on their reaction to your suspicions of a scam. If a legitimate business calls and you tell them you think they are a scam, they will be polite. They may reassure you that it is not a scam and offer to remove you from the list. Or they may encourage you to reach out to the company directly if you suspect a scam.
By contrast, scammers don't like being called out as a scam. Some will get rude or snide. Others will hang up.
What To Do If You Suspect A Scam
If you think it is a scam, the simplest thing to do is not to answer the phone. You can always contact your credit card company or bank to see if they tried to contact you.
If you decide to answer, don't give them any extra information until you confirm the call is legitimate. It can also be helpful to tell the person on the other line that you are legally required to let them know you're recording them. Even if you don't record the call, the threat of being recorded is frequently enough to get scammers to hang up.
Most calls from "Account Services" are scam calls. There are some exceptions, including a collections agency called Account Services Collections. When in doubt, never give scammers personal information. Instead, hang up or don't answer and call the number on the back of your card.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.