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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

Just received one of these calls to lower my interest rate. This scam came from (517) 208-0392 in Britton, MI. I didn't hit any numbers but knew this couldn't be right. Either someone else took this liars spot or this isn't shut down entirely. January 19th, 2016.

I just received a call from them, today Jan. 29, 2016, So they are calling again. Their phone number is 407-376-0921. Wanted to lower my interest rate due to my excellent credit. they hung up on me when I started give them a hard time about all the questions they were asking.

Got a call from Credit Card Services today, 2-8-2015, at 10:58AM. Caller ID said "Restricted", so it seems they've gotten bolder.

They have not stopped. Now it's Heather or Bridget, same spiel. Used to just call landline, now getting calls on cell. I block one number, they call back with another. This needs to be stopped once and for all!

They have not stopped. I must have had hundreds of calls from them in the past year!

No FTC, you have not stopped the robocall scam, it's 2016 and we're still getting them!

I get a calls on my cell from Sarah at consumer services daily, along with other robo calls from spoofed numbers, Its to the point that i don't trust anyone that calls anymore. FTC, please stop this.

This won't stop the calls but it's very satisfying. Answer the call and engage the caller in conversation for a bit. Then... Blast them with Vincent Price's spooky laugh from The Thiller by Michael Jackson.

I get this scam call at least once a week. The number changes almost every time, Oklahoma, Florida, today Iowa(515-460-2739). Consumer Services, robocall, nothing wrong with my credit card, push 1 to speak to a customer service rep. I push 0 and a male voice says that I will not be called again, but next week same thing from another number. I have pushed 1 and when I say please remove me from your call list, they hang up.
This is my cell phone, it's total BS. Unfortunately, this is why we need regulation, it needs to be tighter.

If you get a robocall:

  • Hang up the phone. Don't press 1 to speak to a live 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.
  • Consider asking your phone company whether they charge for blocking phone numbers. Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.
  • Report your experience to the FTC online

I just got a call from them too, from 563-579-5562. I had to laugh when I read this article, the calls haven't slowed down one bit! They're even calling my cell phone now. As usual, the FTC is asleep at the wheel, only concerned with torturing law abiding citizens.

352-348-2633... claimed to be Consumer Services... same as described above. FTC, keep up the great work.

You have NOT taken effective action. These schemes and calls continue unabated.

we are being harassed by the same spam here in Mich. I have called the FTC 3 times now and it seems like they are getting worse. they need to do something about this, it is getting ridiculous. please start helping the citizens who pay their taxes.

You may want to sign up for a service to block robocalls, like nomorobo.com.

Yeah, the article attached to this comment talks about how the FTC "shut them down", so why am I still getting the exact same call? Twice in less than 24 hours, and more than 8 times in the last week...I don't even HAVE a credit card!

The number they used on me today was from Texas. 832-435-4904. Said they represented Experian.

Just got a call from "vexaros". The FCC is useless and run by more than useless politicians. Our government "watchdogs" looking out for us. Yeah. Right!

"Vexaros" was calling up to six times a day last year. Very annoying. Finally when I saw "Vexaros" on the caller ID, I picked up but didn't say anything. An apparently live female voice then began to greet me, but I just said "Please stop calling us" and the calls stopped...until a few days ago. Today when they called I picked up, saying "Please stop calling us. This is the second time I've requested that." We'll see what happens. (We are on the National Do Not Call Registry.)

Ok. I'm getting two calls a day from this scum. I've reported the calls. I've asked to be removed from their lists. The agents that I have talked to have informed me that the FTC can't do a thing about it. C'mon guys, how hard can it be to shut these groups dpwn? Don't you have any pride in what you do?

Received a call today from a local phone number of 847-804-2688. When a rep got on the phone saying he was from credit services to lower my rate, I knew it was a scam. I refused to give him the info he wanted. He used vulgar language and hung up on me. This call came to my cell phone.

I am getting the calls from Consumer Services constantly and have lodged numerous complaints on the Do not call register. It is a pain but it can get you paid "sometimes for you troubles" if there is ever a law suit. I had a similar thing happened before with a mortgage refi company and was included in the settlement because of the Do not call list. I also stopped the calls by sending a letter informing them to stop calling or else I would take them to court. I made sure the letter must be signed for so I knew they received it. Unfortunately in this current case the is no address for Consumer Services.

You stopped nothing, i get called from them every day. What a useless organization.

This is still going on. I get multiple calls a day!

THey're still going

Want my vote for president? Promise to get rid of Heather and her kind. And don't tell me it cannot be done.

Robo call from spoofed # 501-473-9285, this is Sarah from Consumer Services.... Searcy AR

I've been on the 'DO NO CALL' list for years. It in itself is a scam that I'm sure tax dollars are funding the program. These Robo calls are illegal and could and should be stopped. Maybe a guy like Trump as President would do something about it. SOMEONE STOP THE MADNESS!!!!

Called me a few minutes ago-I did not answer. I only answerbcalls from mine/my wife's family. All other calls are ignored.

Can't they be stopped? They call me every day! Send them to prison!!!

Nope, they didn't stop them they are 218-316-6037 & 218-297-0718 in my area. They are ruthless & I had to fix my blocker due to them.

Stopped huh - well it is April 28th, 2016 and I just got ANOTHER one - they have never stopped only the phone number this number was 315-000-1234
sound weird. How about telling India to stop them or no money from U.S.

You (the FTC) are apparently just as bad as they are. You make claims that aren't true. You have not stopped this company from making their fake calls. I still get them daily and every one is from a different phone number. There is no way to block them. Why are you powerless to stop them?

2 calls today.4/28/16 Looks like the FTC did not shut them down permanently....Glad to see we have a judgment against these scum bags. Too bad we will never collect any of the funds. Not much of a penalty when these companies never have to pay...

Of course folks, the only reason they are still operating is because there are ignorant people who willfully give them credit card info. TROLL THEM! I constantly get the calls too, but if I'm not busy when they call I go as far as I can pretending to be interested in their services. Today I had the guy on for 30 minutes. That's 30 minutes of their time that they could have spent scamming someone else. Instead of hanging up, he launched dozens of expletives at me, to which I responded in kind :)

No I believe they still get away with this scam is our wonderful employees at FTC won't do their jobs!

CAlled me today and I did the same thing, I hit 1 and played along. When I asked questions about why they needed cetain information the Haggie asked me if I was stupid to which I replied the stupid one will be him because I told him every time they call me I will act like I ame interested and waste as much of their time as possible. At that point we exhcange not so nice pleasantries and I told him he could swear at me all he wanted because the more time he splent on the phone talking to me the less time he had screw somebody else over. He swore at me for about 5 minutes until he hung up.

I tried registering with Nomorobo, had second thoughts about registering and tried to delete the information I had entered. After some more thought I decided to go back and register but now I cannot do a proper registration because it says my phone number already exists...I've private messaged them on Facebook and they said they will correct the situation. It's been a month and a half since I first contacted them and, to date, they have done nothing to remove my phone number from their database or allow my phone number to be associated with my name.....It seems Nomorobo is as worthless as the Feds National Do Not Call List.

How do you stop this outfit from calling you 6 or 7 times a day and then not saying a word?

For all those complaining about the ineffectiveness of the FTC you should be calling your congressperson and getting involved in your government. Over the past 30 years the FTC has been underfunded and understaffed (thank you President Regan) so if government doesn't work for you on this level imagine what it would be like "smaller."

Actually the FTC is WELL funded. In fact they have changed their directive and are now only taking notes so to speak. Unless a company actually steals tens of millions they won't go after them. Instead the just make lists. Once a company steals billions they will do nothing..they are like the banks then.

Do NOT blame conservatives at all. Blame Congress for NOT MANDATING criminal prosecution, incarceration and PERSONAL fines for the owners/operators/managers/officers of these companies. I guaranty that if you send 20 to prison it will stop. Word gets around quickly and I think that 3 years is a reasonable time..just for the call....any criminal fraud another 3-12 years.

Your lawmakers are the ones that need to MANDATE the arrests and convictions of INDIVIDUALS. Remember that companies by definition can NOT break the law..it is not possible..and therefore only fines against companies happen. It is INDIVIDUALS who violate laws...and they can be criminally tried and convicted....from the sales person to the CEO...and they should be.

this scam is alive and well,i was a victim, some times you have to take things into your own hands, the ftc should be ashamed of there selves, ps are you hiring, who wouldnt want a job like yours embarrasing, help theses people find some of these scumbags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've a concern about an outfit called HFS. They call and just hang-up. No one says anything. I think it's a Hacker of the Black Hat variety. Anyone have a solution or answer for this problem please contact me.

This Consumer Services has not been stopped. I get them weekly from different numbers. They even SPOOFED my number so it looked like I was calling myself. Report to FED's too many times and still NO action.

Got another call from em today. And Dan rather than throw more money at a dept that is accomplishing nothing. I plan on calling my congressman and senator to ask why we are funding the ftc at all. Typical alphabet agency response every time they fail to do their job "we need more money" I wonder how my employer would respond if I told him I can't do my job anymore cause I don't have enough money.

I am sick of getting calls from HFS several times a week. When machine picks up they hang up. This is obviously a scam! As much of my hard-earned money goes toward taxes (which pays salaries to federal government agencies) it looks like they could be more diligent in trying to figure out a way to stop these unwanted calls.

Please do your job and bust these people. I get at least 5 calls a week from robocall scams. It's ridiculous that this has been going on for a decade and you still can't get it stopped!!

I have been getting calls from 252-302-8559 and when I start asking questions or don't "properly reply" they hang up on me! What can I do!! "No" my phone doesn't have the BLOCK feature. :(

I've been getting these calls VERY OFTEN and they only hang up when I ask to be taken off of the Do Not Call list. They call from different numbers. I'm on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Please advise. This is my work phone as well so I can't just not answer unknown numbers.

You have options for blocking robocalls and other unwanted calls. Please see our brand new publication, Blocking Unwanted Calls.

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