"VersaDebt" Telemarketers Behind Rate-Lowering Robot Calls?

The company behind “Possible Credit Card Scam Alert: We’ll Lower Your Rates, Purrs Robot Message…” is called VersaDebt, according to one reader who was able to string them along long enough to find out.

Consumer reports on various scam-watch sites allege that what VersaDebt does is charge you $900 to call up your credit card company and negotiate a lower interest rate, but never even delivers on this specious-sounding promise.

A poster on Rip-Off Report said the company never responded to any calls and kept disputing her credit card chargeback. Some internet users say VersaDebt is behind a telemarketing phone number (954-689-7681) complained about on 800 Notes. This number is also mentioned on whocalled.us as using auto-dialers to pitch extended car warranty coverage. They also say VersaDebt has gone through several location and name changes, being alternately known as “Debt First.”

VersaDebt’s website looks thrown together, and one of its pages is broken. Doing a WHOIS on VersaDebt shows it was registered by a Burt O’Donald of Miami Florida, President of “Innovative Business Marketing, Inc.” Perusing his site showed “IBM” was involved in of exciting business opportunities, like selling online pharmacy merchant storefronts, and offshore power generation.

Remember, when a robot calls, no matter how tempting his offer sounds, hang up. These robots are no friends to the human.

PREVIOUSLY: Possible Credit Card Scam Alert: We’ll Lower Your Rates, Purrs Robot Message…
(Photo: Table Of Malcontents)

Comments

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  1. Alvis says:

    When you get a call from a robot, try to transfer to a live operator and string them along for as long as possible. Don’t give out any useful info, keep asking questions that keep them on the line, and only when you sense they’re about to hang up, tell them “This is what you get for cold-calling me.”

    There’s no meaningful oversight for such companies. The only way to send them a message is to hurt their bottom line, by tying up their phone banks and operators.

  2. homerjay says:

    We’ll probably see this story on Dateline or something like that at some point.

  3. Bay State Darren says:

    So this is how SkyNet starts.

  4. dirty foreigner says:

    @Bay State Darren: If you keep talking to the robots they’ll become self-aware.

  5. n/a says:

    Ben unless that is Niero from Destructoid in a photo posed for the Consumerist, does the site credit the image location if it is indeed him?

  6. Taed says:

    I, for one, welcome our new VersaDebt overlords.

  7. pdxguy says:

    damn Cylons!

  8. ju-ju-eyeball says:

    Is that Mr. Roboto or Kilroy?

    Secret, secret, I got a secret?

  9. Xabora says:

    Heh, thats the Destructiod mascot from http://www.dtoid.com

  10. emona says:

    Old people, lock up your medication and credit card numbers.

  11. nursetim says:

    @pdxguy:
    That must be what they talk about at the beginning of the show when it says they have a plan.

  12. Trai_Dep says:

    Ah, Florida. Land of frauds, tropical fascists and bankrupt con-men – second in the nation only to Texas… Expect for the groovy, pot-smoking, collegiate, non-mouth-breathing ones, of course.

    “IBM”? For real? Gawd, that screams quality.

    If it’s legal for these guys to call the nation, tying up our phone lines, is is legal for us to use some net-based autodialer to call their line? I like the idea that they’re kind enough to have an 800#.

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    With a head that big, how does he perform fellatio? Curious minds and all of that…

  14. Trai_Dep says:

    Oh, Ben – how did you track down this info? Was it based on their 800#? Amateur sluths await your reply with baited breath…

  15. Ben Popken says:

    @trai_dep: Reader tip about VersaDebt -> Lookup VersaDebt on RipOff Report -> Google VersaDebt -> Find posts linked to certain phone # on telemarketing phone # complaint site, note the M.O. sounds the same as what Consumerists have complained about Search by that phone # on another telemarketing # complaint site -> WHOIS VersaDebt -> Google phone number on domain registration, lookup website suffix of registrant. Process -> write -> post.

  16. Trai_Dep says:

    Kewl. Thanks!

    If you just had the 800#, can you look those up reliably? I tried on a couple and reverse lookups on 800 #s got squirelly. Be nice if there was a way to find company, address based on these.

    They’re like vampires – need to be exposed to the light so we can watch them scream and die. :D

  17. kabuki104 says:

    Wow, [ibmi-us.com] is just an open book. Take [ibmi-us.com] for instance. You can get all sorts of personal info in there of people they’ve conned.

  18. Ben Popken says:

    @trai_dep: Try whocalled.us and 800notes.com.

  19. Tzepish says:

    @kabuki104: One of the saddest things ever.

  20. ShadeWalker says:

    @D3Anon: @D3Anon: @Xabora:

    my theory is that consumerist is trying to subconsciously demonize dtoid’s mascot considering it is a competitor of kotaku (also part of the gawker network)

  21. Tzepish says:

    A couple of questions concerning the information posted by Kabuki104…

    Can we get this “company” in legal trouble for these scams, and/or posting sensitive customer information online without security? Can we use these files as evidence against them?

  22. Chris says:

    On their website, in the products section, if you look closely at the application screenshot you can see that it is a screenshot of Adobe Photoshop.
    By the way, Artists Against 419 can help, if you wish to get the site shutdown. Or you could send a message to the host who runs their site.

    I’ve ben getting these calls every week on my cellphone, and once a month at home. For now, I can’t help with the phone call issue.

  23. kabuki104 says:

    @Tzepish: Oh my. I actually went looking instead of just clicking around quickly.

    [ibmi-us.com]

    Just look in the 2 Pending, 3 Completed, and 6 1 Recurring directories. Unbelievable.

  24. n/a says:

    @ShadeWalker:
    actually what i have read before that destructoid which has a horrible site and really uses flash anally, and kotaku are actually pals i think niero has a friendship with crecente etc.

  25. Tzepish says:

    @kabuki104: Indeed. I was literally horrified when I saw all the names, and then I listened to one of them and my fears were confirmed. Honestly, they need to be shut down, if only for the website alone.

  26. I contacted one of the people and informed them about the recordings. I also intend to contact 1 a day and inform them of this happening (and let them listen to the recordings).

    I consider it my good deed for the day. :)

  27. Tzepish says:

    Located here ([ibmi-us.com]) and under “Fax’s” you’ll find a whole bunch of “fax’s” sent by Burt O’Donald to various other people and companies, many of which use different company names in the header (“New Life Health Services” “Marketing Innovation Group, Inc.”, etc.).