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What's Up With This?

posted by Bob Lawless

A financially savvy Credit Slips correspondent--but aren't they all?--wrote with the following story: "Just received a robo-call telling me that my credit card interest rates were going up, and I should press '6' for more, live information to do something about it. (Of course I pay in full each month, but I was curious.) When a guy came on the line, and began by confirming that I had pressed '6.' He immediately hung up on me when I asked him how they knew my interest rates were going up."

I got a similar telephone call (although we're on the FTC Do-Not-Call List) but was annoyed enough that I did not punch through. At best, this has "hard sell" written all over it, and at worst, it sounds like a scam. Anyone know what is going on with this one? Is it something that a state attorney general or FTC staffer should take a look at?


Maybe they did not know your rate was increasing.

Maybe they called to offer you something and just said your rates were increasing. If it turned out to be true, maybe you would be interested...

I used to get lots of robocalls, claiming to be a "second notice" that my auto insurance was about to expire. I don't own a car. I'm sure this is a similar scam.

I used to get a variations on what you report (for credit cards). They'd also leave messages with 800 numbers.

I followed up a couple just to see if I could figure it out. I could not get an explanation of why they were ignoring the do not call lists, but it seemed clear they were a scam, though I never tried to figure out what the ploy was.

My sense from the accents of (as I remember it, all of) the people I talked with, is that these calls may originate from outside of the US, and hence are not subject to prosecution under the Do Not call legislation.

I get these call ALL THE TIME. I notified the FTC and called the telephone company about tracing the call who told me to call the local police. The local police laughed at me and told me they certainly don't have the resources to track this down (scam or not). They also suggested that these are very common complaints and that what evidence they do have suggests that these call in fact originate outside of the US and therefore there is very little that they could do even if they identified them.

This is the downside to ultra low international or VOIP calling rates. I think it's time someone invented a call spam remover.

Where are the May stats Mr. Lawless?

I get this calls frequently.
Recently I typed the phone number that appeared
on my phone into Google.
There are a whole lotta people that are complainig about these calls.

Bonnie, do you remember the number?

Bob: I have gotten several of these lately: "Don't worry, there is no problem with your credit card account, but we are calling to offer you the opportunity to lower your interest rates...." Time before last, there was actually a "push 9" if you want removed from our list. Must not have worked, because two days ago, same thing. So I pushed "1" to talk to a representative. I asked her to take me off their calling list. Her response: "We don't do that." I asked for the name of the company for whom she was working. Her response: "Oh yeah, like I'm gonna tell you that." And she slammed down the phone. We probably get these same calls 3-4 times a month. Debb

I wish Andy Cuomo would use the many, many, many resources at his disposal to route this bugaboo instead of shaking down one industry after another. I guess this 800# call generator is too busy robo-calling to attend political fundraisers, thus the scurge not important enough for Andy and his NAAG ilk

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.