FTC stops robocall scam

Share This Page

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

AS OF JUNE 29, 2015, I JUST GOT A CALL FROM AVA FROM CARD SERVICES.

Calls quit for a while, the week of 11/15/2015 started up again. Same, exact robocall message from before-sounds like it is starts up mid-message. Pressed '1' to talk to a person- she said they are "Credit Assistance". Of course she hung up when I tried to ask another question. Why can't the FTC stop them for good??

I've been getting them this week as well.

I got a call from them this morning. When I pressed 1 and told the guy with a foreign accent that I have complained about this company to the do not call list, and asked him to remove us from their call list, he hung up. Then I tried to file a do not call complaint, and the website went down. I don't have any credit card balances, and it is so annoying to get these calls. I was wondering if the company is connected to Citi Bank or Chase, because it seems like that is how I make out the check when I pay off the balances each month. If it is, I will close out those cards and replace them with some obscure local bank that may have nothing to do with them.

I just got one of these calls, too. I hung up after it said "press 1 to speak to...". FYI: If a legitimate company you do business with is calling you, they will identify the company they are calling from and they will abide by the Do Not Call list or your "opt out" selections. Additionally, they do not need to speak with you to change your interest rate (up or down). Unfortunately, these scams are like a game of "whack-a-mole"; as they bust one another pops up under a different name/location. It sucks.

YES YES YES YES YES IT IS!!!! I know for a fact these companies contract with your credit card companies, that is how they get your number!!! It is not some random robocaller. CHANGE THE PHONE NUMBER ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD! Boom, calls stop.

Uh, no. Your telephone number is publicly-available information. Even if it's "unlisted", marketers can still get the information through a service the phone companies offer. Your phone number is not "your" personal information in any case - it's the phone company's, not yours.
You can change the number on your credit card as much as you like - you will still get the calls.

I don't HAVE any credit cards. So how can they get my number from the credit card banks?

Same here, I do not have any credit cards either so where in the world are they getting that we do. I also get automated calls telling me that the warranty on my car is expiring. I have a car that is over 20 years old and is paid for and has never been under any warranty whatsoever. There are many other automated calls from other businesses coming in on my cell phone that it's just getting so ridiculous. Somethings gotta give here cause they are wasting my cell phone minutes. Oh, and I just started receiving text messages too. Wonderful huh? Just plain wonderful.

I get them constantly at work on a phone number that is used for a help desk, so several phones ring. And there are a few offices that have sequential phone numbers close together... they all get calls around the same time. So annoying.

I work for the Attorney generals office ! It's s scam they do not work with any credit card companies ! They just want to scam you !

FTX doesnt do squat on individual call reports. They send a message saying that they will "include it in the database" to "access trends" that guide their enforcement. This is really almost a scam by the FTC to make us think they're actually doing someting. A scam with the same phone number for five years is still operating. Wow - our FTC really helps protects us...

I agree, I have placed numerous complaints wirh the FCC, they do nothing. This part of the government should be dismantled, they do nothing to protect the citizens of the USA. Our elderly get scammed and absolutely nothing is done. It angers me so,Ftc, you should hand your head low, you get paid for doing a horrible job.

I've been getting harassed by these calls several times a day. They are spoofing their numbers and so blocking them does absolutely no good as the next time it just comes from some other random number. This has obviously been going on for way to long! I've done a reverse phone lookup on almost every single number and the comments go back years.

This company, Consumer Services is still at it. I get calls daily from different numbers. HELP

Got 1 today and when I asked a question they hung up on me and I called the number back it didn't exist. If our government can tell when we flush our toilet why can't they stop this? I mean they do get plenty of funding for it.... I say cut thier funds by 90% until they prove useful again....

AMEN. I totally agree. They could stop these calls if they wanted to.

I have received at least two calls daily from 'Triple V' but when the recording starts it is from 'Credit Card Services'. I have several different phone numbers and all of them have different area codes. So frustrating~

It is May 16, 2016 and these calls are still coming. FTC's action hasn't made a bit of difference.

I started answering all my calls at home. I keep them on the line just as long as I can. I tell them all kinds of silly stuff. I make a game out of it because it won't stop so I just have fun!!

I do the same. So far I've kept some schlub on the phone for 21 minutes. It's an art to balance how long to make 'em wait while you "find" your credit card versus not wanting them to realize they're being plonked.

That's funny, I do the same thing...sound really interested and keep them on the line as long as possible. Then eventually inform them that I hoped to have wasted as much of their time as possible.

Thats funny. I do the same thing...My wallet is in my backpack in my car...they sit and wait...I pick up the phone after ten minutes and tell them im back.....and hang up...

Sept 2016 getting hundreds of credit card services calls. I think they are using the do not call register as their calling list because they know they can't be stopped. I only started getting after I registered my cell number.

Now when they call, it states hit #9 to talk to someone so I did. The broken English speaking lady asked me, how are you doing so telling her the truth I say, you woke me up because I just had a heart cath done today so she hangs up on me, well the next time they call I will have a air horn for them. They are also changing their phone number, I live outside of Detroit, Michigan and me area code is 313 so my caller ID showed a Detroit area code 313 and a Detroit number.

I just received a call from a "Sarah" from "Card Services" seeking to let me know how to lower my credit card rates. These calls were supposed to be banned by the FTC in 2015.

Got a call yesterday from these people. Blocked the number. Got a call today from a Texas number. Blocked that one and just got another call from United States. Last one had a different woman speaking same message.

Me too. I told them to call back later. Gonna mess with them when they call back.

I got the same Sarah from consumer services call today with a disconnected number. It seems our complaints get us no where.

Yep, the same "Sarah" is calling on January 9th, this time from Texas (probably a spoofed number).

I've kept my phone number(s) in the Do Not Call registry for as long as it's been around. Doesn't seem to help much, so I end up with a giant list of blocked numbers on my phone. Aggressive action by the FTC (instead of whatever it is they do or don't do now) and long prison terms with no parole might help.

Yes they are back again! they have called everyday for the last 3 days. Calling from 605-651-1178 "South Dakota". I don't answer but they leave a long message on our answering machine. Between these fools and the Auto Warranty scammers, I must get about 15 calls per week..and thats on a slow week

These calls are showing up from *fake* phone numbers. I'm simply not going to answer any more calls from a number not present in my contacts...

As of 1/17/2017 - Just got my fourth call this week from different numbers.

As of 1/17/2017 - Just got my fourth call this week from different numbers.

I get seriously 10-15 calls a day for everything under the sun. My home and my cell are business phones. I am on all the do not call lists. When is the government going to stop this harrasment? It's a shame!!!!
What I do now is I make the company come to my house....say for windows and as soon as they get here I send them home.....boy do they get mad, but I tell them to blame their lead router service.

it is absurd that companies, even companies that you do business with sell your phone number. all this hoop la about privacy act is a bunch of baloney. They even have your birthday so as with my problem I am now getting plagued with calls and mail wanting to sell supplement insurance because I just turned 65 and eligible for medi care.Could it be that Social security gives out your address? Also sick of all the lawyer ads on t.v. every 5 mins.

FTC needs to do their jobs or close down and save tax payers money. I have been on the list for a long time and as of 4/10/17 still receive 3 to 4 calls per day.

The FTC has seen a significant increase in the number of illegal robocalls because internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world, and to hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.

To date, the FTC has brought more than a hundred lawsuits against over 600 companies and individuals responsible for billions of illegal robocalls and other Do Not Call violations.

The FTC also is leading several initiatives to develop technology-based solutions. Those initiatives include a series of robocall contests that challenge tech gurus to design tools that block robocalls and help investigators track down and stop robocallers. We’re also encouraging industry efforts to combat caller ID spoofing.

For more information, please see Robocalls.

Yesterday 6 calls from member card services and today so far just one!! PLEASE stop it! I will be forced to cancel the home phone.

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.

Pages

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.