If you are struggling with debt, chances are some of that debt is being carried on your credit cards. Millions of adults have credit cards and use them on a very regular basis; it can be a very slippery slope from using them effectively and falling into serious debt. Sometimes all it takes is one missed payment or penalties that are a little too steep for someone to get into a hole that’s too hard to get out of.

However, credit card companies don’t necessarily help the situation. In fact, some companies go out of their way to do things that make it harder for people to stay out of financial trouble. Recently, for example, Citigroup got into some serious trouble for practices deemed illegal by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Some of the tactics used by the credit card company included:

  • Charging for products or services positioned during customer calls as “free”
  • Using misleading questions
  • Interpreting vague responses as approval to sign a customer up for a product
  • Signing up customers for services the weren’t even eligible for and then charging the customer anyway
  • Misleading customers into paying an often-unnecessary fee when making a payment
  • Misrepresenting products and services on sales calls

These are just some of the deceitful tactics that credit card companies use in order to get more money out consumers and increase the chances that people get stuck overpaying on their credit cards.

The CFPB monitors and regulates the tactics used by credit card companies so that they do not violate lawful practices, but they may not be able to act quickly enough to save people from questionable or unlawful actions in individual cases. In the case with the Citigroup, for instance, about 7 million customers were affected by the illegal tactics before the CFPB handed down penalties to the company.

If you believe you have been the victim of a credit card scam or believe you were lied to by your credit card company, you may have some serious concerns about mounting credit card debt as a result. You can discuss the situation as well as your legal options with an attorney who understands the importance of seeking a remedy for this type of debt.

Source: Crain’s Wealth, “Don’t fall for these 7 credit card company tricks,” July 23, 2015