Return of the Credit Card Telemarketers

July 31, 2009

The credit card interest rate scammers have been calling me about once a month for the last few months.  I’ve been trying figure out what their angle is and each time they call I get a little more information out of them. 

They’ve simplified their inital automated call.  Now instead of talking about President Obama and credit card companies they simply say:

“This is your 2nd and final notice to lower your interest rates.  You should have gotten the first notice in the mail, this is your last chance to lower your rates. Press 1 to lower your interest rates now, Press 3 to be removed from our special list.”

They’re also a little more specific about who they’re after since they follow the intro up with:

“To qualify for lower rates you must have at least $4000 in credit card debt. Press 1 to speak with a representative, Press 3 to be removed from our list.”

So of course I pressed 1 to see what dirt I could dig up on them. A real person actually answered this time, here was our conversation (her questions are in bold, followed by my responses)

Hi, this is Alicia.  Did you press 1 to lower your interest rates?

Yes, I’m sorry what company are you calling from?

I’m Alicia with Universal Card Services.  Let me ask you a few questions. Do you owe more than 2500 in debt?

Yes

How much credit card debt do you have?

$5000

Are your interest rates above 12%?

Yes

How many credit cards is the debt spread across?

Two cards

Are you in good standings on those credit cards? Are you paying your bills on time?

Yes

Are you over credit limit on either of those cards?

No

Congratulation, you qualify for lower interest rates!  I just need to get some basic information.  What is correct spelling of your first and last name?

At that point I hung up.  I had already fibbed about having credit card debt just to keep her talking and wasn’t fast enough on my feet to make up a name, address, etc.  Next time I’ll have a fake name and address ready so I can dig further.

I did a search on Universal Card Services online and did find a reference on the Business Week site:

“Universal Card Services, LLC, was formerly known as AT&T Universal Card Services. The company is based in Jacksonville, Florida. As of April 2, 1998, Universal Card Services, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Ctibank South Dakota N.A.”

According to the Business Week site the company is located in Florida. The calls I’ve been getting have been coming from a 419 area code (Ohio) but of course they could still be coming from a Florida based company.  It could also be that some other company is falsely using the name of Universal Card Services just to cover their spammy phone calls.

They’ve called the last three months in row so I imagine I’ll be getting another call next month and I can dig deeper to find out who they are and what they’re trying to sell me.

Last updated by .

Ben

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Ben
Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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4 Responses to Return of the Credit Card Telemarketers

  • Mike Wilkerson

    I just got a call from them as well. This time, based out of Phoenix, AZ. There was a “Qualifier” that I talked to on the phone first, and asked how they got my phone number. She said that she “was just a Qualifier” and that I’d have to talk to her supervisor. I did. “Mark” stated that it would take between a week and month to remove my cell number from their call listing, at which time I told him that I would charge him $100 for each minute my cell phone and personal time was taken. He said he would expedite my request.

    Cest’ la vie.

    Bonferiffic at best.

  • Dorothy Martin

    I got a call from this company today… They asked for specific credit card information… They asked me to call my credit card bank for balance and interest rate information and asked that I not tell the bank that they were also on the line!!! Even though I have less than $2500 in total balance across two cards, they told me I was eligible and that they could save me thousands of dollars, possibly as much as $4,000 through their program. Of course, there is a charge of $100 for their experts to negotiate the new interest rate of at least 9.9% APR. If they could not negotiate lowering the interest rate, they would IMMEDIATELY refund my $100. I told them I wanted to see something in writing. They offered to email the invoice to me within 10 minutes with the refund guarantee. I did receive an email from “megan”. The number I was supposed to call her back with payment information was 1-866-243-4106. The original phone call came to me on my cell phone from 406-351-4183. I was able to obtain an address of: changeyourdebt.com, but when I tried to pull it up, it was no longer a viable address. Megan told me their ‘parent’ company is Brite

  • WRC

    I have gotten this same call the past 5 or 6 months now. All 419 area code. Until today each time I tried to get information concerning their company the caller would hang up on me. Today I was given their website: http://www.changeyourdebt.com and their phone number is 866-243-4106. The person I spoke to today said she was in Phoenix AZ. From what I’ve read online they are known as Universal Card Services as well as Brite Days Debt Relief.

    So much for being registered on the DO NOT CALL list.

  • Anthony

    It’s good to know these folks are out and about again in force. I’ll be sure to watch the caller ID.

    419 area code? Seriously? That’s funny on SO many levels …

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