Burnsville, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Better Business Bureau of Minnesota (BBB) reports a number of consumers are reporting they are receiving illegal marketing calls that display their own phone number on caller ID.
Though it is natural to be curious about such calls, BBB advises people to ignore the calls or let them go to voicemail - and then delete the messages.
"This is another clever ruse scammers have devised to get people to answer their phones," President and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota, Dana Badgerow, said. "You look down, you see your own number on caller ID...obviously you want to know what it's all about. We're advising people to override that instinct."
Since the start of summer, BBB's across the country have been hearing from worried consumers who are confused - and annoyed - by these calls, which are often dialed by computerized calling centers.
Here's how the scam works: Your phone rings and you see your name and phone number pop up on caller ID.
If you answer, a computerized message claims to be able to lower your credit card interest rates, which of course, means they will require your credit card number.
In some cases, consumers are informed they can supposedly opt-out of future calls by pressing "1." People who do so can count on receiving more calls of this nature from other telemarketing firms.
Any action consumers take tells fraudsters that a phone number is 'good,' and that number is added to phone lists which scammers then sell to other scammers.
In any case, these promises of lowering your credit card interest rates are not legitimate.
Per FTC rules, telemarketing sales calls with recorded messages are generally illegal unless you have given the company written permission to call you.
Some prerecorded messages are permitted - for example, messages that are purely informational.