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?
How much credit card debt do you have?
Are your interest rates above 12%?
How many credit cards is the debt spread across?
Are you in good standings on those credit cards? Are you paying your bills on time?
Are you over credit limit on either of those cards?
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.
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