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

Rachael has changed to Cindy. I received four calls today on my cell and home phone. Blocking doesn’t do any good. They just use another number.

December 2017 and these calls are still coming in. Worse they are spoofing local phone numbers so my call blocker doesn't work. FURTHERMORE one of the numbers they are spoofing is a local hospital. This is a SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE.

Get on it FCC!

This is still going on. I get up to 4 robocalls a month from "Consumer Services". I am absolutely sick of this. Most often they use the number 773-787-1983 but often they use other numbers which supposedly are "out of service". Why can't the FCC or the states attorneys do something about this?

Just got one of these again for the third time this week. will it ever end?

and now more this morning. have blocked calls too.

I had gotten the same call and I called back the number and it had been spoofed. So the next time, I pressed 1, acted excited to lower my rate, and answered the broken English speaking representative's questions with made up numbers, including a made up SSN. After keeping him on line for about 20 minutes, he told me to hold while he confirmed things, probably to charge my credit card. I then told him that I knew he was calling from a spoofed number and the information I provided was made up. He cussed me out, hung up and called me back on a international number,hung up again and called me back on another international number. That was the last time I received a call from them.

If you ever get a robo call from 800-945-2000 it is Chase Bank. I can't believe that the FTC has not gone after them for violating the Do Not Call Registry. This doesn't look good for them as it appears that they're allowing Chase to get away with it. Lobbyist giving out some $$ to look the other way.

you haven't shut anything down. I just got a call from Heather at Account Services. 279-635-8199

The FTC exists for themselves - their salaries are a free ride on our tax dollars. They are going to do absolutely nothing - you waste your time by calling them.

I too just received a call from Heather at Account Services. There's just no stopping this until there is more pressure on the Telecom companies to restrict this activity. Putting a stop to caller ID spoofing and fining the account holders that originate these calls should help.

I don't think telecom networks have enough security to stop the spoofing, and they can't do much about it until they upgrade their infrastructure. That's what we should be leaning on legislators for. Damn that Heather!

Phone companies make money from these crooks because they install multiple phone lines used to scam people, so the phone companies will never do anything until they are forced to.

So after a threatening voice message of last chance to lower my credit card bill I pressed one, "Peter Parker" from Visa office in London Ontario called and said I don't need to know where they are I asked them not to call again, he as rude, insistent and clearly NOT SPIDERMAN. Something needs to be done by all governments or telecommunication companies to disallow the existence of such 'businesses'

I keep getting calls from local folks who say MY NUMBER just called them and gave the 'Card Services' scam. Does anyone know what is happening and, more importantly, how to stop it? This goes beyond annoyance - should I hire an attorney?

A scammer might be using technology to make your number appear in the caller ID when he calls people.

After people get a call (or message) and see your number on caller ID, they call you back. You can tell them that a scammer is spoofing your number, or use your answering machine if you don't want to answer the calls. Often, a scammer will spoof a person's call for a while and then move on to using a different number, and you will stop getting the calls.

How on earth can we stop these calls. They are all clearly fraudulent. The issuers of my cards are the only ones monitoring my accounts. The same call comes in from multiple numbers because they are spoofing the caller-id. I have even received calls from myself...how is that for spoofing. Never once has pressing 3 resulted in getting my number removed. Asking for removal or a supervisor results in being hung up on. I would love to waste their time running through what ever bull they think they have to offer...but the is the job of both the FCC and the SEC. Someone will unwittingly fall victim to this scam and lose everything. Would it be too much to ask our government agencies to do something?

This scam appears to still be operating. I received a couple of calls on my mobile phone today - 02/15/2018

I recently had to replace my phone since it broke. After 3 weeks I received my first "crap" call which is really interesting since my number or carrier did not change. With my old phone I was getting on average 5 to 6 crap calls a day more on the weekends. I would really like someone to explain that one.

When is something going to done about these robocallers.
It doesn't do any good to block their number because is spoofed.The caller id showed my wifes number so i answered it and it was card member services. This has to stop.

The only way to stop telemarketers is to talk to them. Most of the call are from overseas, our laws don't matter.
The only tool we have is to waste their time.
I always talk to them and I am always polite. When they ask me for my credit card number I say "please hold on, I have to get it." They will hold up to twenty minutes, sometimes they call back and I make them wait for another twenty minutes. This saves at least a dozen people from getting this call.
This does not waste my time, I always get something done while I talk to them.

If only a small percentage of people did this they could not make money, telemarketing would dry up and blow away.

is there not a good doozy Lawyer out there some place that can stop these calls and punish these people. Add up all the wasted time we all spend answering these calls,

These calls originate in India with spoofed numbers. The reason being is that India doesn't have to abide by our FTC rules and we are powerless against it for now.

I get these calls daily. They mask their real number by using other people's numbers (looks like a local call). They do NOT remove your number if you ask and they call regardless of whether or not you are on the Do Not Call registry.

Its 2018 and card services is still robo calling. Obviously scammers are smarter than the FTC.

It appears they have moved to Salisbury, North Carolina.

The FTC needs to actually do something. Calls every two hours, all day long, 6 days a week
WHEN ? Because so far, NOTHING IS STOPPING THESE CALLS!
these constant calls are harassment and stalking.

Complete nonsense. FTC is not doing a thing to stop this fraud or harassment

FTC brags about shutting down one credit card interest rate scammer. There are dozens, I get 3 to 5 calls a day from these crooks. FTC is a joke.

The FTC is doing nothing. Just another federal agency spending millions of taxpayer dollars and we get absolutely nothing for it.

The FTC could stop most of this if they would require the phone companies to not allow the spoofing of phone numbers. It would be easy, just software change but phone companies make money from this as well.

The FTC should be abolished. Clearly it is a waste of tax dollers

Unfortunately they are still running this scam and making endless calls. Please warn your family and friends, and never give out personal information over the phone from an unverified number.

I just dont answer a call that I dont recognize the caller ID. Just hit the button on the phone to turn off the ringing and go back to life. If it's someone who is real, and they leave me a message, then they get through to me.

I figure in the long run that will waste the least amount of my time

There is a REALLY fast and easy quick fix that modern day computers and phone services can do to fix this but you will never see it.

A feature the should be required on for all phone companies by the federal government (and free) that we currently do not have. It would force all phone services to provide it. Customers can opt out of it if they really want.

Here's how it works. When you receive a phone call your carrier (ATT, Verizon, whomever) runs a back trace. It takes a split seconds now days. If the number comes back as "not in service" then the call is automatically blocked and it doesn't even ring through.

I do this now but I can't auto block the number. I have a work cell phone and a personal cell phone. When my work cell phone gets a call it is always from the area code I am working in so I have to answer it. I let it ring while on my personal phone I call the number calling me. It ALWAYS comes back as not a working or blocked number. HOW? it is calling me! Oh that's right it's a spoofed scam. I don't answer.

Why in the heck is this not done automatically by all phones companies?? I bet it is because the robocalls on fake numbers is a "feature" that telemarketers are paying the phone companies to use. That's where the FTC should start going next. Go after the phone companies that are allowing these scammers to do business. It is so simple to stop.

i am not sure which is a bigger hoax. The card service calls or the FTC claiming to have ended it. Its too bad they cant or wont stop the harassment.

i am not sure which is a bigger hoax. The card service calls or the FTC claiming to have ended it. Its too bad they cant or wont stop the harassment.

So now these damn calls are starting at 5:45am.... and it's my day off! I have to keep my phone on because I'm on call and now this. Are they in India? Is that why no one can stop them?

Why can't the real credit card companies just black list these companies and not accept their charges? It would seem to me that if the REAL MasterCard rejected attempts by these companies to charge anything to a persons credit card the scam would be stopped dead.

I've been receiving credit card services for over a year... As of today.. Its so far 15 times today... I've been on the "DO NOT CALL" list since 2005 July... These call happen daily.... If I hang up they call right back within 5 minutes.... Getting as early as 8 am and as late as 7:30 pm....I just received #15 today at 5:45pm...I do not give info.at all especially over phone or on line.... That's credit card services.... Also now getting calls to call a number cause IRS is coming to arrest me that I owe them....lolol I don't know how to make them stop.... I've told them I know they are scammers..... Phone #they give you if you ask are not theirs.... 1-800-922-2911. 1-800-854-7647....these are survey numbers... Not credit card service numbers... There are more numbers they use.... I want it to stop.... Like yesterday... Thank-you

So I blocked calls from 215-999-1525, then I added in 1526, then 1527. Today I got calls from 1529 and 1530! I am limited on the number of blocks I can use. I answered the last call to make them go away and they tell me I went to their website. I told them I was on a do not call list, and that by visiting a website, it doesn't give them permission to call me. Besides, I never put in a phone number so their excuse is invalid!.

Just got a robo call from "Chase Card Services". Some idiot with an indian accent began mocking me & demeaning me when I asked why he called me. This is pure harassment. I do not understand why these scammers keep calling me as I do not have any credit cards. My best guess is that they are a bunch of weirdos spoofing the real Chase Card Services number.

Seems that the FTC did not shut down this scam. Got a call less than an hour ago.

You have well define your blog.Information shared is useful.

I just got a call from "Heather". I get these calls daily. I am on the don't call registry. Typically the numbers are spoofed. It's ridiculous.

FTC, please shut these people down for real. At the very least, change the title of this article because they are not shut down.

Lisa is giving out $100 reward cards now. Ask them if they are aware of the do not call registry - Click

I get this call most days, between 9am and noon.. I made the mistake of pressing to be removed, that's when it went up. Its now 1-3 times a day. Next time, I am going to press 1, and drag the call out as long as possible! Maybe it will be my new name.

I once answered the #1 and when the person came on line he asked how I was, etc. and how he could help me. I said I understand you can lower my interest!
He said, "What are you paying now?" I said I have never paid any interest for I always pay on time. Do you have a minus three or four percent for me? He hung up!

I've been getting the same recorded message: "JP Morgan Chase, (then in Chinese) your account is about to be closed, press 1 to...." The numbers are different each time and I would save and block it. This last time though, I happened to be in a Chase bank doing some depositing. (note: I do not ever bank with my cell phone). a 917 number called. block. Then when I walked outside, 10 minutes later this number called me! 1 800 935 9935, which is the same number chase lists on the back of their bank cards as the number to call to access your account. But it was the very same recording as I'd described earlier. Now what?! Have they hacked into JP Morgan Chase? Is it an inside job? I hung up, and called the number, went through a few prompts before I could speak to a real person. He was not aware of the other two numbers I said called me. He attempted to get me to give them my account number, which normally I might have done. Not this time though. I'm afraid someone hacked into their system to be able to appear to be calling from the real JP Morgan Chase. This is a real number, whereas the previous two numbers were fake, and don't connect. (They are 1 800 969 1181, 1 917 338 8265, in case someone else gets them, too.) So, i'd like to know if they are just spoofing the caller ID, and making it appear to be from some number? Or is it an inside job from JP Morgan Chase ?! Anyone else have the same problem? The real number 1800 935 9935 has been around for at least 20 years. it's a number I know by memory, and now they've gotten it to robot call me!?

Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake or “spoof” caller ID information. They can make it look like they’re calling from a different place, or from your number or from your bank. Scammers use this trick as a way to get around call-blocking and hide from law enforcement. They hope you’ll be curious enough to pick up.

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