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

I finally decided to press 1. I got transferred to an "Indian" sounding individuals. The questions that I asked resulted in a "closer" to get on the phone. They ask you for things like the last 4 digits of your social security number. They ask for an expiration date of a credit card. Then they ask you for the credit card number as which point I laughed at him. He did not like it. They swore that they were not phishing for information but just needed to confirm the information with what they have for security purposes. FCC, this is a robocall problem along with an illegal venture.

I'm still getting these stupid calls myself. Several a week. FTC has done nothing to stop them.

"Credit Card Relief" called today, from 757.245.0147
Press 9.. Blah, blah.

I'm so sick of these rubbish calls!

I've been on the donotcall registry for years. I honestly feel like they do very little to find and fine these jerks. -_-

To add insult to one's irritation, they abruptly hang up on you rather than apologizing and properly disconnecting the call.
..Rude, scamming, (insert choice word here)!

I'm still getting them on my cellphone...sometimes 2-3 times a day from different numbers. I immediately add the numbers to a blocked contact on iPhone, but they just turn around and use a different number. #FTCFAIL #donotcall.govIsAJoke

Just received this call from 248-989-7635. I've been receiving them from various phone numbers on both of my phones for the last 3-4 months. In total, I've received 6-8 calls in that 3-4 month time-frame.

The recorded Heather call that this FTC site says has been stopped recently by FTC filing on Payless Solutions is back in full force. I am called at least once a week but today alone I got one on the land line and 2 on my cell. Calls are coming from 406-315-4172 Montana and 442-256-8015 USA 908-664-1029 NJ, 323-593-7885 CA 708-490-0016 IL 978-350-8012 MASS in 4 days on my cell.On the 12th of Jan. 442-282-6026 USA 323-540-5157 CA I hope the FTC reads these blogs.

The FTC hasn't shut down anything. I continue to get calls from Heather on a daily basis. Some calls are about my "Current Credit Card Account" (which one? I have several cards and they are all current). Other calls are about my "Vehicle Warranty that is about to expire" (my newest vehicle is a 2006, what warranty?). These calls are always from a different phone number so blocking them doesn't work. If you try to call the number back it's a non-working number. So much for the do not call list; it's not doing anything for me.

Yep, it just continues. Two from "Heather" of "Credit Services" in two days! I've used the online complaint form to report these to the FCC - for over a year! And the same company is still at it.

This if Feb 2017 and they (Credit Services) ARE STILL CALLING! Weird, different tel. number every time. Today - a "private caller." Called TWC/Spectrum. No help there.

Receiving multiple calls a day about lower interest rates or my warranty expiring, different numbers sometime even shows up as my own! Sick of this!

I don't feel I should have to pay for a service to stop robocalls. We should have this done for free from our phone companies.

Likely, your phone company does. TMobile has scam blocker. Dial #626# to engage I believe

It is only 12:30 pm and I have received 3 calls from "Heather from Account Services." Every time I hang up and block the number but just like everyone else says, they call from a different number. Something needs to be done!

Annoying calls from Heather - Robo Call - Card Services, getting more than 4 calls per day, and it is just bothersome. My wife's mobile phone is also getting 3 to 4 calls per day.

I received 3 robo calls today all from Heather from Account Services all from different numbers, one even from a town just 10 miles from here where I live in SC but the other two from Florida and Texas. This is ridiculous. Have never pressed a number or spoken. Always hung up. I also received today 5... 5 different calls from people that want to sell or get me involved with Stocks/Bonds that always greet me with my name, "Hello <name>" and they've always got some great stock or bond investment.... they obviously get people with this kind of crap, otherwise it wouldn't be economical do this.

Getting 4 or 5 calls a day from credit card services. Please shut it down!!!

5 calls so far this week from "Card Services" to my private unlisted and do not call registered cell number that only my children, grandchildren and close business associates have the phone number of. Every time my cell number rings, I answer it because the call is important and this means I usually have to leave the meeting I'm in. The call today was from 575-746-6585, but they are likely spoofing a number to appear in caller ID. If the Do Not Call List function will not work, why can't it be possible to jail any business caller for at least a year if they spoof other people's phone numbers, refuse to inform you truthfully of the company they represent, accurately explain the service or product if they insist on calling about and/or representing, promoting or selling fraudulent services or scams.

These calls and I get them constantly on both my home and cell phone, are a direct result of our democrat leadership that is more interested in bringing these lying scum into the country than helping taxpayers. These are total scams eminating from India. The last one I got came with a caller I'd of our police department. No call list do nothing against them. The new ones I get are now coming from "member services". They are scum dogs who want to prey on the old and poor.

Heather is back... calls me every day. Too bad Trump plans to shut this agency down.

I generally tell them I know this is a scam and they should be ashamed of themselves. What would their mothers think? What if this happened to their mothers and they lost all their life savings? I like to think I might be shaming one person into changing their ways, but I doubt I am. Sometimes I enjoy putting one of my kids on the phone with them.

I've been getting scam calls for over 10 years now. Phone companies need to get involved, not just the Feds. Can't believe we can find new planets in our solar system but we can't/won't stop these criminals from harassing us daily!

The agreement you signed to open the credit card account no doubt contained a clause giving permission to the company to telephone you using a robo-call or automatic dialing telephone. The Telephone Consumer Protection Acts of 1995 (TCPA) prohibits the use of robo-calls or automatic dialing telephone unless "express written consent" has been given by the customer, and gives a "civil penalty" of $1,500 damages for "intentional" robo-calls. Your only recourse is to allege the multiple calls constitute "civil harassment."

Where "express written permission" has been given to the credit card company to make robo-calls, The TCPA is not available.

You are stuck with a lawsuit for "civil harassment" based on the number of calls made. Sadly, proving actual damages from these repeated calls is difficult and the court have not set a standard for the number of calls each period for the calling to rise to the level of "civil harassment."

Again, the American consumer is screwed by huge corporations lobbying Congress!

Don't even bother with the FTC, they're as useless as the robocalls. You fill out the complaint form, they compile them, sue them, and reap the benefits. You never see dime one of the lawsuit, instead you get a header at the bottom of your response telling you you can sue the offender in court for $2500 per offense. Funny, they don't tell you if you file in your state, the state the offender is located in, or how you actually collect a judgment against them. Sure, we all have time to file lawsuits don't you? But wait! You can also sign up for a service to block robocalls, like nomorobo.com, which won the FTC’s 2013 Robocall Challenge. Hum, pay for a service the FTC is supposed to be providing for free? See the big picture now?

Nomorobo is a free service. I use it.

No telling how many scum scammers are calling me now for at least 9 times a day every day most all with the same routine about lowering credit card interest rates. I do not even have a credit card. Now I also starting to get several daily of other type of phone scam calls too.
Used to be our gov protected us from this illegal crap on a phone line. Failure! The FTC nor the FCC does nothing. No point at all filing a complaint about receiving a redundant scam call with no tracking information. The number is hidden from caller id or a false number is used.

Every day! Now they spoof my area code and exchange! Why do these idiots continue to call knowing you're not interested, and why in the world can't the FCC shut these clowns down???

Receive 1 - 3 calls a day usually originating from SC from "Card Services" claiming an urgent matter and steps need to be taken to "reduce the issue".

Today's call was from 803-630-3715

Our government is a joke. These people call me every day. I've tried getting off the list. I've tried threatening them with death. I've recently resorted in keeping them on the phone asking stupid questions for up to 30 minutes just to waste their time, and no one in our government will assist in stopping this. I can't even call VZW and ask for the real number that is calling me because of the rules our government has put in place decades ago to protect these people who are harrassing me. Pathetic. If you think Florida or any other part of our government will ever do anything to stop this, you're kidding yourself.

If they shut them down then how come 8 years later I am still getting the same phone calls about the same thing ?

Rachel is still calling and so are her other predators.
LIES of this world and deception and fraud, STOP it now, it is your JOB, you get paid to not let this go on and on and on...

two or three times a day from various numbers. So much for FTC clamping down

If they closed them down, why am I still getting calls from Card Services?

It does not matter if you have a credit card, or pay yours off every month, they will still call. they are just calling banks of numbers , one right after the other,does not matter if you are on the Do Not Call list. It is very hard to find these scam artists.

I am getting Chrissy. I hang up but wish these calls would STOP! So irritating and of course I just hang up. What else can I do to stop them?

I have asked this group (credit Card Services) to stop calling 7 times now. They just keep switching cell numbers. Same Robo call in front then switches to human. Usually the same voice (young, Eastern accent, polite until I tell him again to quit calling, this is on the national do not call registry). I usually hang up but it forces me who deals with public service to be rude. i don't like that

I have been receving calls from this so called company (CREDIT SERVICES) about lowering interest rates. I'm really tired of these calls from them. My number is on the do not call list but i still get there calls and sometimes several in one day. Please do something with these scammer. Thank you

I received robocalls saying, "Hi, this is Heather. Your vehicle warranty is about to expire...." from different spoofed phone number each time. I followed instruction tried to get a live person in order to find out what company is behind the call. but can't. Their computer hung me up eventually.

One thing is certain... the slugs at the "do not call" office continue to collect their inflated checks.

The newest scam is a call from Sarah stating, "I see you were just on our job website."
As soon as you ask a question she hangs up.
Don't give out any information to these scam artists.

Just hang up. Don't waste your time with the "Do Not Call" list, or reports to the FTC. The FTC doesn't care, the Do Not Call list is a joke (Criminals don't follow laws , no do they?), and the fraudsters will just keep changing numbers, spoof local exchanges, and keep calling. This will stop when stupid people stop answering and giving out their SSN and CC digits to criminals.

These scammers don't care if you're on the "Do Not Call" list. You're an easy mark, and they make money whether or not you give them your info. It's the more gullible ones that keep these thieves in business.

I want to report a case of fraud. The fraud is that the FTC is claiming that they are doing anything about these ongoing scammers. Prosecuting one group a few years ago is not enough to be claiming credit for having done much when millions of these calls continue to happen everyday.

In the past 3 days they have called from 3 different numbers
Want to lower my interest rate My last chance so they say
I wish!!,

we don't have credit cards and been hounded by cardholder services for years, and keep telling the person that finally answers to remove our number. being on the don't call list is a joke, as I don't want political or non profits call us either.

I'm 83 y.o. Some days I get 3 of these from credit interest modification to police beneficial to stock market tipsters.

The robo calls won't stop as long as the politicians use them.

They're certainly not out of business. I get many calls in a week and often more than one in a single day. I like to waste their time and usually talk to one of their 'representatives'. Today I asked which company he represented......Card Services. I thanked him and explained that I would now filed a complaint for violating the Do Not Call provisions. He said I can't complain because he is calling from outside the USA. He also admitted to spoofing the number he was calling from. I suggested he get a legitimate job and laughed as I thanked him for allowing me to waste his time.

YES THEY ARE STILL CALLING!!! I've had 3 calls today already and I DON'T HAVE A CREDIT CARD! They refuse to stop calling. Yes, they spoofed a local call, and yes, they think it's funny to call and bug people. I told him to rot at his fake job and that karma always comes around.

Consumer Member Services is probably the same (dare I say) “idiots”! Being on “do not call” registry for Florida & with the government is laughable. I’ve been on both sense they 1st started, even reentered my information a couple of times. These idiots & mortgage lenders, as well as others, continue to call. Over & over again & again. I’m really fed up with them.

Card Services is still making calls stating that they can lower your interest rate on your credit card.

can't take FTC seriously. You do nothing to go after scammers. The do not call registry is worthless. Always called by credit card services and despite being on the registry, They continue tho harass me. FTC is useless.

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