There's more than one new robocaller in town. There are three of them.
The Better Business Bureau and a New York senator are warning consumers about a new automated telemarketing scam: companies promising to negotiate lower credit card interest rates.
The warning comes just weeks after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against four individuals with three companies accused of hawking bogus auto warranties with more than a billion illegal robocalls.
Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Alison Southwick said more than 200 complaints have been received from duped consumers who paid for interest-rate negotiation services that they could have received for free from their credit card company. But the number of people who have called to complain about the pitches without knowing the company's identity is "practically infinite," Southwick said Friday.
"The hard part about keeping tabs on these complaints is that you'll just get hung up on if you ask who they are," Southwick told FOXNews.com. "So it's nearly impossible to find out who to complain about unless you actually pony up for their services."
Two Orlando, Fla.-based companies — CSTR Solutions Inc. and Genesis Capital Management — and a Tacoma, Wash.-based firm, Mutual Consolidated Savings, are responsible for at least some of the robocalls, which promise to save consumers anywhere from $2,000 to $25,000 by negotiating lower interest rates with credit card companies, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Complainants — some of whom reported receiving calls at 3 a.m. — say that in addition to violating U.S. and Canadian Do Not Call laws, the firms fail to uphold money-back guarantees when rates are not lowered and try to deceive them into thinking that they're somehow affiliated with credit card companies.
"Similar to telemarketing calls claiming your auto warranty is expiring, calls offering to lower credit card interest rates also seem to have complete disregard for federal laws," Better Business Bureau spokesman Steve Cox said in a news release. "These telemarketers are not forthcoming about the company they're calling on behalf of, but BBB has identified some offenders by working with consumers who, unfortunately, paid for assistance in reducing their interest rate."
In a statement issued to FOXNews.com, Mutual Consolidated Savings denied contacting consumers on the Do Not Call registry.
"At no time has Mutual Consolidated Savings ever targeted anyone on the Do Not Call list, nor would we ever target anyone on the DNC," the statement read. Customers who have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau "represent less than a quarter of a percent of the total customers we have serviced," it said.
Representatives at Genesis Capital Management referred inquiries to attorney Tiffany Eaton, who did not respond to a request for comment. A number listed for CSTR Solutions had been disconnected, and attempts to reach president Christopher Rubini of Orlando, Fla., were unsuccessful.
The deceptive sales pitches, according to the Better Business Bureau, begin with recorded messages like: "There are no problems currently with your account. However, it is urgent that you contact us concerning your eligibility for lowering your interest rates to as little as 6.9 percent." Other messages include: "This is our final attempt to reach you since you've not responded to our other calls to discuss your credit card debt."
The Better Business Bureau said the recorded messages omit the name of the company, instead identifying the source of the pitch as "Card Services" or "Card Holder Services."
To reach a live person, consumers must press a number following the recorded messages. Once connected, the Better Business Bureau says, the telemarketer typically asks for a credit card number and up to $1,000 to "negotiate" lower rates with their credit card firm.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who was a vocal critic of the auto warranty firms now shuttered by the FTC, called on the federal agency to take similar action against the latest robocallers.
"Cell phone spam may not be the biggest problem we have to deal with, but we got the FTC to shut down the car-warranty robocalls and now it's time they shut down the other robocallers as well," Schumer said last week. "These calls cost consumers hundreds in wasted cell phone minutes or much, much more if they get caught in the trap being laid by these unscrupulous companies.
"The FTC has to track them down and then shut them down to put an end to this nuisance once and for all."
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said the federal agency is on the call.
“The FTC is well aware of the credit card rate reduction calls, and while I can’t tell you whether we are investigating the companies responsible, I can tell you that the Do Not Call Rule says companies cannot call consumers who’ve placed their number on the Do Not Call Registry," Leibowitz told FOXNews.com in a written statement. "We intend to enforce the law.”
For more information on how to safely keep your credit card interest rate low, click here.