Critics Are Concerned About The Way Credit Card Companies Approach Social Media Users

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As credit-card companies turn to social-media sites to engage with customers, some consumer advocates worry the virtual may replace the physical pitch on college campuses.Credit-card lenders are mining their customers’ “likes” on Facebook and scouring tweets on Twitter as they look for new ways to entice existing customers to use their cards more frequently and raise their appeal among younger consumers, avid users of social media.

American Express Co., the largest credit-card lender by spending, has rolled out merchant deals to customers through Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. J.P. Morgan ChaseDiscover Financial ServicesCapital One Financial Corp. and other lenders also have done tie-ins with Facebook or built presences within social games like FarmVille and CityVille.

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