Cardmember Services Robocalls

Today I received a robocall from (202) 768-7192 and a pre-recorded voice announced an offer from “Card Member Services” to lower my interest rates. When I pressed one to be connected to an operator, a fellow who claimed to be named Mark came on the line.  I immediately asked for the name and address of the business he works for. He claimed that I called him when I pressed one, and that he was at an inbound calling center.  I asked what state he was in. He said Florida. I told him that caller ID showed the call as coming from the Washington D.C. and asked how that could be. He repeated the line about me pressing one.  I asked him for the physical address of the boiler room in which he was working. He replied: “I am not at liberty to tell you that information. There is nothing you can do.”  Someone owes me at least $500 for violating the TCPA. I thought the FTC shut this operation down already – apparently not.

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Stopping illegal robocalls is a top priority of the Federal Trade Commission, which recently announced the  FTC Robocall Challenge. Read on to learn about the contest:

Are you up to The Challenge?

  • By Kati Daffan
  • October 18, 2012 – 4:42pm

If you or your company comes up with a technological solution to the scourge of illegal robocalls, you could earn national accolades — and, under the right circumstances, $50,000.  Yes, you read that right.

At today’s FTC summit, Robocalls: All the Rage, experts examined the problem and discussed a variety of potential solutions.  Then Bureau of Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck threw down the gauntlet and issued the FTC Robocall Challenge.  College students, doctoral candidates, engineers, business people, and entrepreneurs:  Apply your creative spirit and expertise to craft a technological solution to the problem.

What’s in it for you?  For individuals, teams, or small companies (fewer than 10 people), a $50,000 prize — and National Hero status as the innovator who helped silence illegal (and annoying) robocalls.  Organizations that employ more than 10 people won’t be eligible for the cash, but  will compete for the FTC’s Technology Achievement Award, which as David noted, will still make you a National Hero.

The FTC Robocall Challenge is free and open to the public.  The deadline for entries is January 17, 2013.  The prize (either the money or the Achievement Award) will go to a person, team, or corporation if a solution is developed based on the following criteria… the rest of the post is here.

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