Reputable companies that sell personal emergency alert devices might air disturbing TV ads, but at least they mean well, don’t lie in their ads, and–here’s the important thing–don’t bombard America’s seniors with robocalls about the “free” alert system they’ve been given. The attorney general in Florida and the Federal Trade Commission have teamed up to stop this scam further up the food chain. [More]
Imagine if, instead of just getting annoyed when the phone rings and it’s a telemarketer or robocaller, you were delighted. Not because you were eager to speak with them, but because you gave out a toll number instead of your real phone number, and telemarketers had to pay to call you. One man in Leeds, England is living that dream. [More]
Ah, the cherished dinner hour. Peace, quiet and if that stupid telemarketer doesn’t stop calling I am seriously going to throw my fork really violently at something. If that sounds like you, you aren’t alone. Even with the “Do Not Call” registry, there’s been a spike in complaints against telemarketers, especially those pre-recorded phone calls that always seem to come when you don’t want them to. Although, does anyone ever really welcome a telemarketer’s call? Doubt it.
According to a new list of most-blocked telephone numbers, the only people more tenacious than debt collectors about making non-stop calls to consumers are bogus debt collectors possibly looking to steal your information or trick you into making a payment.
John picked up a phone call that seemed to be from his wife, but discovered it was someone even more adept at nagging and less affected by indifference — a robocaller. He says he was the victim of caller ID-manipulating trickery by credit card marketers.
Here’s a weird possible scam going around. Our reader Chris writes, “Every day for the past week, I’ve been getting an automated call that asks me, ‘This is Survey 2010. Do you have a small dog?'”
Doug, who sent in this photo of what showed up on his caller ID when a roboscammer rang him up, possibly has the most effective phone screening system ever. Or maybe it’s just that the scamming company on the other line is at least honest about how it defrauds people.
UPDATE: Here’s the video. If you live in the DC area, tune into ABC 7 tonight at 5:45 pm to see a Consumer Alert I shot with local reporter Kris Van Cleave. Apparently, this morning like six of their reporters all got scam robocalls on their cellphones with a recording saying their ATM card had been deactivated and they needed to call the bank back. Hello, scam!
Three companies that made claims that they could help consumers reduce their credit card interest rates — and then charged fees of up to $1,590 — have been shut down by the Federal Trade Commission. “The last thing debt-ridden consumers need is to be deluged by illegal robocalls – especially when all the calls are offering is a scam,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
So, all telemarketing robocalls magically vanished a few months ago when the FTC banned them, right? Um, not quite. There are still companies out there exploiting their metallic minions in the name of feeding deceptive information to consumers. This month, the FTC filed suit against three companies that were pumping out “hundreds of thousands or even millions” of calls offering questionable interest-rate reduction services.
Today the FTC banned pretty much all telemarketing-based robocalls starting Tuesday, September 1st, 2009. At that point, “violators will face penalties up to $16,000 per call,” notes the Los Angeles Times.
The Better Business Bureau and Senator Charles Schumer are warning the public to be skeptical of any calls promising to lower your credit card interest rate. While nowhere near at the public annoyance level of the recent car warranty robocaller scourge, they’re still out there, automatically dialing people and promising to lower your rate for a hefty up-front fee. The only problem is, they can’t do anything you can’t do on your own, and unless you’re crazy you’re probably not going to charge yourself a thousand bucks for the service.
Spammy “discount health care” pitches are hated by anyone who owns a fax machine, but now scammy health insurance vendors have taken to robocalling people, too. Reader Dustin was annoyed enough that he decided to track the calls to their source.
First they pissed off Verizon, then they pissed off the internet, the attorney general of Indiana, and Congressmen Mike Doyle. Now the group of companies responsible for the car warranty robocalls have annoyed New York Senator Chuck Schumer by calling him during an important meeting about health care.