Reader Brian says that he’s getting weird scammy calls about “lowering his interest rates” and would like to know what he should do about it.
The recorded message said I urgently need to talk to someone about my credit card. It then assured me that there was no problem with my accounts, but I need to talk to someone about lowering my interest rates. All very serious business. It then said my options were to press 1 for a rep or 2 to be removed.
My phone number has been on the do not call registry for years. I’ve tried telling them that before, and they just hang up. So this time, I asked for information about the company. The rep said I had to join their services to get that. So I asked for a manager. The rep said “ok” then hung up on me. The only information I have now is the phone number, and a company name of “Card Services” or “Card Service”.
Can you clarify what rules they’ve broken (auto-dialers, pre recorded messages, grossly misleading messages)? What can I do better to get myself removed from their call lists? Pressing 2, threatening with the do not call registry stuff, etc doesn’t work.
Well, without knowing which company is calling you, its not possible for us to tell you for sure which rules they’ve broken. Basically the rule is this: If a company doesn’t have a business relationship with you, it can’t call you. If it does have a business relationship with you it can call you, unless you tell it not to — at which point it has to stop calling or face a fine of up to $11,000 per call. It doesn’t sound like this outfit is selling anything legit — (What kind of company makes you sign up before they tell you what you’ve bought?) So it’s definitely time to start reporting them.
First, since you’re on the “Do Not Call” list, you should report them. You can do that here.
Secondly, you could contact your state’s attorney general or department of consumer affairs to report a possible scam. If your attorney general has a “fraud hotline” you can call it and see if they are interested. It’s possible that other consumers like yourself have reported the same company, particularly if they are as shady as you say they are.
Unfortunately, unless you’re willing to take the time to figure out who exactly is calling you and file a lawsuit against them, that’s about all you can do.