Ask Consumer 6: Should you give out information over the phone?

Tuesday, August 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

This week's question involves a loan company trying to get your business. We also tackle the question of what you should and shouldn't tell someone over the telephone. Many companies offer loans. Some are legitimate, others are not. Companies often use mass mail and/or the telephone to get customers.

One viewer told us he had a problem when one company called him. He wrote, "A lady who proceeded to tell me about the loan asked if I had a checking account. Then she asked for my social security number. I don't know if this was a scam or legit?"

Consumer 6 doesn’t know the specifics about this particular company, but we do know that the Better Business Bureau, and the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office both say you should never give your social security number or bank account number over the telephone, unless you initiated the phone call and are familiar with the company.

If a company won't send you something in writing first, that is a red flag that they may be hiding something. If you have a question for Ask Consumer Six, you can call our tip line at 732-6111 or send an e-mail to