CONSUMER ALERT: “Card Services” Robocalls Return with a New Hook
July 1, 2014
Media Contact: Jerad Albracht, Senior
Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Jim Dick, Communications Director,
MADISON – It has been nearly two years since “Rachel from Cardholder Services”
was Public Enemy No. 1. The automated robocalls using “Rachel’s” voice were an
illegal nuisance, falsely promising consumers nationwide that they could lower
the interest rates on their credit cards for a fee. Similar operations are
still calling, and now they are using a local angle to entice Wisconsin
consumers to pick up the phone.
“Consumers are reporting an increase in robocalls from ‘Card
Services,’ ‘Cardholder Services,’ and similar callers that offer lower credit
card interest rates,” said Sandy Chalmers, Trade and Consumer Protection
Administrator. “In this latest round of calls, the consumers’ caller ID
displays are showing the incoming call as almost identical to their own
For example, a call to a resident at 555-555-5555 may show on
the caller ID display as coming from 555-555-5570. The similarity in numbers is
causing consumers to pick up the calls for three reasons:
calls appear to be local
similarity in numbers piques consumers’ interests
- Because the displayed number is similar in structure to
a consumer’s own number, it may belong to another member of the community.
That community member’s name may appear with the number on the caller ID
display rather than a business or general name like “Card Services.”
“Criminals can use technology to make a caller ID system show
whatever number or message they choose, so don’t trust the name or number on
the display,” said Chalmers.
If you receive a robocall about lowering your credit card
rates, hang up immediately. Taking any action by pressing a key on your phone
will likely lead to increased robocalls, regardless of what the automated
message tells you. Also, remember that these calls are part of a scam. The
“service” being advertised in the call cannot save you money. In most cases,
the real goal of the call is to collect your number to sell to other scammers
or to charge your credit card with phony fees.
For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the
Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call
the Consumer Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.
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