FTC stops robocall scam

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Tired of robocalls? The FTC just shut down Payless Solutions, a scam using illegal robocalls to lie about lowering your credit card interest rate.

Here’s the scam: A robocall – often from “Card Services” – says that you qualify for a special program to lower your credit card interest rate, save thousands of dollars, and pay off debts sooner. If you press a number, a representative might tell you they work for your bank or credit card company. They don’t. 

It gets worse. Next, they ask for your credit card information and Social Security number. Then, they charge $300 to $3499 for their interest rate reduction services – often without your permission. Most of the time, you don’t get a lower interest rate. And you lose your money.

The FTC and the Florida Attorney General filed a lawsuit to shut down this scam. Why? Payless lied about lowering interest rates, lied about working for consumers’ banks, and unfairly charged consumers’ credit cards without authorization. And those annoying robocalls? They violated the Do Not Call rules.

How can you guard against phone scams like this one? Here are some suggestions: 

  • If you get a robocall, hang up the phone. Don't press 1 to speak to an operator or any other key to take your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
  • Keep your credit card, checking account, or Social Security numbers to yourself. Don't tell them to callers you don't know – even if they ask you to “confirm” this information. That's a trick.
  • Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry. If you’re on the registry and get a sales call, it’s a scam.
  • You can also sign up for a service to block robocalls, like nomorobo.com, which won the FTC’s 2013 Robocall Challenge.
  • Report your experience to the FTC online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

Looking for ways to lower your interest rate and pay debts? Consumer.gov has tips on managing debt and using credit. For example: when comparing credit cards, don’t just look at interest rates. Also ask about the annual fee, other fees, and the grace period for late payments. Want more help? Check out the FTC’s advice about choosing a credit counseling service.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

it's 2019 and they're still calling

THANK YOU!! I've been getting these calls for 5 years! I hope this is the one that has been calling me. Sounds like it. They always hung up on me when I asked questions.

These folks drive me crazy. Rachael, from Card Services.Press 1 to speak to a live person. So, I finally did that, and he could hardly speak English. He asked some question, and I said, I don't have a credit card, are you going to give me one. He hung up on me. She called again today and today, I called the do not call registry and reported it, yet again. Looks like the only thing to do is have my phone disconnected. I would love to be able to file a legal law suit against these people.

I thought it was a legal thing to do. Isn't it called the telemarketers who needs a day job to pay their bill? I used to follow a telemarketer forum where people complained about their scams, and a telemarketer answered, hey we got our family to feed... Hummmm, common sense tells me that no one should be that stupid to share their social number and credit card info over the phone to a stranger. I would think that they obtain your info through a hacked internet system. Sounds more realistic to me. And so you know, there's always those answer machines you can install to your phone that shows you where the call is coming from and if you don't recognize the number, go to trace phone number, it's a free service that will tell you if its a spam call, scam call, or a reported fraud phone company by you guys, the Federico's. Thanks for the run down, I hope my comment helps you too.

No, it's not legal to charge someone without their authorization and to not carry out the service advertised. That's fraud.

Now you want me to check my answering machine and take the time from my day to clear it, etc? We are the folks who signed up on the NO CALL LIST...That's what makes it illegal. Many older folks still believe in honest telemarketers. That's why they give their info, I suppose. Trace their phone calls? If you dial #69, you get the no such number message. What honest telemarketing company needs to do this? My suggestion... get another job before the company gets closed do to illegal calls. Do your homework and good luck to you. Those calls drive me nuts.

"Hummmm, common sense tells me that no one should be that stupid to share their social number and credit card info over the phone to a stranger. I would think that they obtain your info through a hacked internet system. Sounds more realistic to me. " ----- I'm sorry, but you make absolutely no sense at all. You need to get out of that box you live in. I would school you here, but I don't have that kind of time. Please do yourself a favor and have a conversation with someone who can give you some perspective.

Thank you so much.

Great job that's one down 1 MILLION more to go! If u would help pass a law making caller ID spoofing illegal then u wouldn't be so swamped with complaints from me.

Nope. They're still at it. The FTC hasn't done anything to stop them.

Hello, I'm getting calls stating I owe loans and if I don't pay they're coming to my door serve me and send me to court. I asked for the information on the loans, they never privide the information to me. How can I find out if these are scammers? I did in past take a loan but I'm sure they're paid back.

If you ask him in writing, the debt collector has to give you verification of the debt in writing. It's against the law for a company to not give you proof of the debt.

Report problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The article Fake Debt Collectors provides tips to help you handle calls like the one you describe.

That just happened to me. I was persistent about getting the information about this loan I didn't pay back in 2008 when I lived on Melrose. I haven't lived there for years and years. He hung up on me and said something like "well you will find out who it is when you get served". I just called my bank to alert them. Thank you for posting. I have been searching the internet to see if this is a scam that has been tried on other people.

Thank you for this very timely advice. Although we are on the Do Not Call Registry, we still get lots of robocalls, and I did not know how to deal with them, other than to hang up on them.

Good going! After over 3 years we've already seen a downtrend in the robocalls we get.

Good ,should have been done along time ago.

Thank you for stopping the "Card Services" scam. This has been going on far too long. Please keep doing this. Now start working on those who call saying they are from Windows Technical Service.

So do I get scammed?

Nice, Thank you.. but what took you so darned long to do it. It was so obvious a scam.

This is great, I get these type of calls all the time, different numbers, etc. I never give any information, and in most cases hang up, the usually do I ask them questions. great job done on robo calls.

I no longer accept interstate phone calls because of your lack of enforcement. The second call without a voicemail gets the caller blocked.

I have been receiving telephone calls from a person with a heavy Eastern/Asia accent asking for my e-mail address in order to "FIX" a problem I am having with my computer. I asked where the call was coming from. The caller said Chicago. I asked the name of the company: Global Tech. I asked for the caller's name: Danny. I asked for the telephone number and the caller replied, "I cannot give you that". I told the caller adamantly: "DONOT CALL THIS TELEPHONE NUMBER AGAIN. I DID NOT REQUEST HELP FOR MY COMPUTER". I see that the caller's is 844-732-8398...no answer.

Got call from 970-650-3912 This is all the info I could find without paying a fee to get more hope you can track this down. See as follows: Landline Commpartners,LLC-CO either in Plateville, CO or Gilcrest, CO BandwidthSMSEnabled VOIP in Gilcrest, CO

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Blog comments don't go into the database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Dee, I get these all the time. They say that there is something wrong with my computer and it is Windows Security. I tell him that I have a Mac and hang up. Three calls per week.

these computer calls keep coming at least one time per month ; I now tell them I tell them there is no computer in this home . These callers either move around a lot or have the ability to indicate differant areas of USA . Glad to have this info .

The FTC deserves gratitude for shutting down this operation. I am an elder lawyer and I tried unsuccessfully to find the source of these calls, but lacked the subpoena and investigatory staff of the FTC. You see, the ones who most often lose the most are the elderly who have cognitive impairments which affect reasoning. It seems that even the most active adults undergo this change, and it is the responsibility of society to protect them from from harms like this

This same scam is still going, now under the ID "Consumer Services". Our land line gets 2 or 3 per day from all different numbers and our cell phones one or two per month. All these phone nubmers are registered so what good does it do? The one time I went through all of the paperwork to file with the FCC they came back and said there was not enough evidence. Really? When the internet is full of blogs complaining about the same phone numbers?

I just got the same robocall from 302-724-6955

The robo message says they are "Credit Assistance".

Caller ID displays "INFO SURVEY" and when you pick up the call the robo call immediately goes into the economic stimulus recording asking the receiver to press 1 to take advantage of their offer. There is a sense of urgency that this is the last time they will call.

I just received my daily call from Info Survey, 217-210-0347. They have called almost every day for almost 8 months. I must have been the only one that saw on TV last month the Federal government was making it mandatory for your phone carrier to block these calls. Apparently AT&T does nothing. So tired of these calls

I have call blocking on my phone at home. if I don't recognize a number, I don't answer. If the caller doesn't leave a message, I block the number. Seems to work as I get fewer calls every week.

No. you did NOT block them! Now they're targeting cell phones. Received robo call from Heather from Card Services just two days ago. Back to the drawing board.

On 6/26/15 and 6/27/15 received calls from Card Member Services from 800-847-2911 and after getting their names, Winnie James and Daphne respectively and telling them to put me on their do not call list (they stated they could not) now am continuing to get their calls from a different number 214-974-9635 on 7/22/15, 7/24/15 and 7/27/15. There has to be a way to stop recorded calls to individuals. FTC prohibit prerecorded calls to individuals!

When you get illegal sales calls or robocalls, it's best to ignore them. Don't interact in any way. Don’t press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person. Don't call back. That can lead to more calls.  If you're getting a lot of calls, you have useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint.

Still getting calls from "Card Services". It's not resolved. Got a call from "IRS' saying they are sueing me and to call back to a number. Also got a call from "Life Alert' wanting to mail me a free system and also wanted my C/d card. The guy got made cause I told hime I didn't have one and he told me 'go yet your f'ng card.. or get my check book. I know you have a banking account and it's fed law when you open a bank account that they give you a debit card, so please...go get you f'ng card. I have a very bad temper'........and on and on... This if for real.

The "Card Services" scam is still alive and well. In the past 2 weeks we've received calls nearly every day on our landline as well as on our cell phones. Just too irritating for words.

I really want to know which department can help the internet scame victims. I went to FBI 2 times, police office 3 times, sent my file to Secrect Services, Postal investigation depart, IC3, and UK police and EFCC, all they only said they can not do anything for me, or no response, I feel bad is that everybody told me our IC3 is the right depart to send my file, but IC3 only sent me a NO_ERPLY email(you even can not reply to that email), I try to call IC3, but in their website, I even can not find a phone number to call, I emailed few additional emails to ask them to call me or email back to me, no respone at all! I feel dispointed deeply, our goverment can not just keep warning people, need to do something for victims! They want our file to only get a big statistic number, that their job, not do investigation for us! I have to hire private investigate teh scammer's hiden IP address and phone location, finially found he is in Nigeria (he said he is in USA and UK)

Calls have come to me with recordings saying your bank accounts have been frozen, and to press 1. So I don't.

These calls are still happening; they just change the caller ID info. I am constantly getting calls from "info survey" and "Florida Call" or "California Call. So, I guess this company has not been shut down.

I've been getting calls from these people over the last 3 days (I think I've been getting calls for over 10 years, in spite of being on the do no call list). I went to file (yet another) complaint, and it asks what time the call came in. To my surprise, none of the calls in the last 3 days appeared in my cell phone's call log. I'm not sure how they are doing it, but I am sure that was purposeful on their part. Verizon Wireless & Andriod phone, if that matters.

It does no good to block a number for robocalls because they will just make up a different number (it's called "spoofing"); they can even use your phone number as theirs. The government "no call list" doesn't work for these calls, either, because you need a good phone number and company name; you will have neither one. Also, IRS doesn't call you on the phone for legal problems - they will notify you by mail. Microsoft Support won't call you out of the blue, either - you need to call them first if you have a problem.

every day around 10-1030 i get a call from consumer assist for about 2 weeks now so either there back or there a new one with the same script. we need a law that all the workers get fined too no employees violating the law no calls

Credit card scammers call me almost daily Monday through Friday from 248-215-0437. In fact, online research reveals calls began from this number at the end of June 2015. Ridiculously, the Microsoft/Windows scam has revived and is now as active as ever.

I have been getting calls every 20 minutes from some company called Vexaros for the last 15 days. I cannot get them to stop they start at 9 a.m. and go until 9:30. I have not answered the phone except one time when I had had enough and told them to stop calling me that I was on a do not call list, I didn't want to get a mortgage, didn't want a credit card, wanted nothing from them but for them to stop calling me. I contacted the local District Attorney's office and they said they would try but they were not hopeful. I have been ill the entire time and have been trying to get some rest but the phone calls just keep coming. I finally just took the phone off the hook so I could get some rest and try and get well. Verizon and the other big phone companies should step up to the plate and stop these calls.

I just got called by one...
I like to press 1, talk with a fake accent, and waste the person's time... after about 10 minutes I ask them if they feel good about what they do, call them a scammer and hang up on them lol!

They are still calling me under the auspices of Rachel,Carmin etc, under the name of Card Holder Services. I just hang up. My phone company which is owned by Wind Stream still refuses to install FTC contest winner's NOMOROBO. What can I do ?

I hate to tell you, but the Credit Card Services scam is still operating as of December 2015. A lawsuit may have been filed, as stated above, but how long does it take to get a ruling? We fell for this scam. We even signed the electronic payment contract, but then immediately got cold feet and closed the several credit cards whose numbers we had given them. Our credit union assisted us in closing my husband's checking account from which their "first of four payments of $200" was to have taken place on 12/29/15. They will not be able to get any money and they did not provide us any service. We wonder why they waited so long to try to get payment as we "authorized" it on Dec. 4th! But they have our electronic signature, and one follow-up phone message stated mildly (at that point) that if they could not collect their fee they would turn the account over to a collection agency. We hope we have heard the last of this. We did not even print out the supposed "contract" (available to download for only a limited time) because we feared greater damage. So we do not even have a paper copy of what we agreed to. We are hoping this outfit does not want to involve the court system and is just using scare tactics, but only time will tell. We also hope we have protected ourselves adequately by closing the affected accounts. My husband has always been a total skeptic about these calls, but they are very slick and he fell for it. I am a college professor who walked in on the middle of the conversation and believed he was talking to someone legitimate with whom we usually do business. ANYONE can be a victim, eventually. We will be VERY gun shy from now on. If anyone knows whether they will actually employ a collection agency, please respond.

Did they ever sent you to collections? I never signed any agreement nor did I agree to such terms for they didn't do anything. They in fact told me to go along with their lies to the credit cards.

We can complain, issue complaints, file complaints all over and all we get is the daily calls from them again and an email from FCC or do not call say thank you we will look - - - in other words - BAU for goverment

Still active as of Jan 14, 2016. I received a call from a NY number identifying themselves as Credit Assistance Program as the "final notice" to be eligible to lower interest rates under a gov't program. Their first question was "Do you owe more than $2,000 in debt?". I simply asked for their company name, which they did give (so it may be fake). No, I i didn't fall for anything, but they did violate Do Not Call, as well as WA State consumer law. There must be a way to go after them. I've filed numerous complaints at FTC and WA authorities and never get any sort of response or follow up.

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