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 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.

These people call me 20 times a day how can they be stopped Do not call registry doesn't help

Seriously? shut down...hahahahaha They just get a new phone # and BINGO...back up and running just like the call I got today.

I have been getting these calls from "Credit Card Services" or from "Visa Mastercard Services" saying that (roughly) "I qualify for a zero interest rate on all your credit card accounts." These calls used to be from a real person. Now they are recordings. They commonly use the same first 6 digits of my own phone number. I am signed up for do not call.

Please fix this. Thank you.

Guys, you're not doing nearly enough about this. It should be fairly simple to "Follow the money" and shut these clowns down.

3 years since Payless and I am sure it is these SAME people still at this CRAP!!. That action was COMPLETELY POINTLESS and a waste of time.
...
Let's simply GET RID of PHONE NUMBER SPOOFING. Kill that Software function into the phone system ALL TOGETHER.
DO NOT CALL is also useless since they ignore it.
...
Now I push 1 to get the person and insult them telling them: "if they got a decent education, they could have gotten a real job as a positive influence on society instead of bothering people."
STEP UP the pressure Folks. Kill Spoofing, PERIOD.

Constantly getting robo calls from Card Services on LOCAL NUMBERS here in Utah. So you haven't stopped anything.

Is it true these phone scam kings extort politicians with threat of tens of thousands of defamatory robocalls if legislators try to write laws to effectively stop this fraud and abuse?

Everyone is in bed together...the phone companies sell your number for profit. Then If u fall for the scam the interest rates go up on your account and the credit card company wins. Guess who lobbies the FTC. Guess who's influence weighs more. There is no relief in sight. Until the people of this country stand up to our government.

I get several robo callers on my cell phone, even though I am on the do not call registry. An aggressive one that calls at least once a day from a local exchange, but always from a different number, says: "Hello, this is Sarah. Are you suffering from back pain?"
Of course everyone has a little bit of back pain, so it's a scam.

Since there is still little or nothing that will shut them down:
1. Waste THEIR time with made-up nonsense.
2. Use an air horn, sport whistle, duck call, etc.
3. If you answered thinking it was someone you know, just hang up.
4. Try not to get mad. It isn't worth risking an anurism.

You say you have shut down robo calls? Why do I get 4/6 daily. Most are wanting to lower my interest rate. Please shut them down.

Just what I was looking for, regards for posting.

December 20 2018 still calling. if caught every person in the org mgr,owner,anyone in it, hr,accounting ,anyone who speaks to a customer needs to be charged. all know what they are doing is wrong so all need to be punished and of course the higher in company the higher charge. but its a criminal operation

These Robo Calls are using valid Mobile Numbers. They Enter the Outgoing Number on the Telco Syststem to display phone numbers like 815-262-xxxx to mask their true phone number. Any Telco Engineer would be able to support this action.

These numbers are most often from Verizon Wireless Customers. My phone number begins with 815-262-xxxx and I'm a Verizon Wireless Customer.

I've called these numbers back and a real person answers the phone. My phone number is also a victim of this scam. I have people call and tell me that I've called a wrong number. Often from the same people.

Verizon is unable to do anything about it because it's hard to track down who's abusing these phone numbers. Verizon's suggestion is to change your phone number. I don't want to change my phone number.

I also battle with blocking some of these numbers because I receive valid 815-262-xxxx numbers.

I get at least 10 to 15 calls a day on landline even though I am on the do not call list. They start at 7:30 in AM. Not answering but,so annoying. Answered one for instance that said Wiliamson County Jail or one that says Round Rock ISD. Got call blocker & now have over 300 numbers blocked. They just argue with no matter what it is all foreigners. WE have to pay more just to get them blocked or try. Just is not right. Thanksgiving was nice with all the scammers.

Got caught up in the scam. Should know better. They just seemed to have enough info. to convince me they were legit- until the end when the fee came up. My phone rings a lot and I don't answer unless it is in an area in which I have customers. This one happened to be my own local area code. I have just spend most of the morning cancelling credit cards, notifying the credit agencies, adding phone numbers to do not call and now throwing a blog on to FTC. Live and learn. Never too old to be fooled.

Stop robocalls

Lately the robo calls have increased dramatically, I'm getting several a day starting about 7am. All with the same spiel for reducing credit card interest, believe there's 2 companies. 1 with what sounds like a stretched out tape from an old phone recorder machine.

Its gotten to the point I prank them every call, giving them phony information including made up credit card numbers. In an effort to waste their time & perhaps costing them a little money if they do indeed run the credit cards. Actually I don't think they really do anything with the info - but I've never gotten to the part where they ask for a fee as others report.

I still get these calls I'm tired of it sometimes multiple times a day. Nobody can stop them? They spoof local and 800 numbers. Lease make it stop. It's been years.

Every time they call I act like I want the service but inform them that because I don't want to use the credit cards anymore due to the cost I've put them away so I won't use them I put them on hold to retrieve them and leave them there, wasting their time as they waste mine. If I'm feeling really good I'll come back on the line to tell them I thought I put the cards one place but realize that I put them elsewhere thus wasting more of their time.

The only way we'll ever stop the phone scammers will be to reinvent the phone numbering system by building it on a "SHA256" blockchain, such that only FCC authorized phone providers can issue new numbers to phone accounts, with 2^256 possible numbers (so random dialed numbers are statistically impossible to "hit" a valid destination number), with the blockchain recording the identities of the owners of call originating numbers, and the carriers only accepting call requests from "public keys" corresponding to valid numbers in the registry. This would make it mathematically infeasible to guess a number that can place a call, and then mathematically infeasible to guess a random number to call, and super easy for anyone receiving a scam call to register a complaint which could quickly disable any offending source number.

TL:DR? We CAN control call origination , authentication, and abuse, by issuing numbers on a blockchain shared only by phone carriers and FCC. Until we do, we show that we "tolerate" scammers...

I received two calls from "BANK OF AMERICA" 03/28/19 & #04/02/19 started with recording stating about my excellent credit, push #1 to get 0 interest on my bank card. I couldn't believe that, so I hung up. phone # used was 800-421-2110

1/3rd of the way into 2019 and Card Services continues its relentless siege on my phone. They're not the only ones, of course..

Da ya think Card Services might be the same people willing to sell you software to block robocalls?

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