The second call, on February 12, gave caller ID of 866-526-9732, and said that I had won a no-catch, all-expenses-paid vacation for two, and asked me for my name and number so that I could be called and told where to pick it up. Unfortunately, it hung up on me while I was trying to provide a fake name and real phone number, so that I could identify the caller and sue them.
The third call, today, gave caller ID of 44-207-414-4370 and was offering a credit card deal to "reduce my interest rate." Again the wording expressed urgency about a limited-time offer and made it sound like it was with regard to a card I already hold. This time, I asked the human operator (after waiting quite some time to get one) what company he's with. I had to ask three times--he kept repeating his script about "any Mastercard or Visa," and I kept saying "no, what company are YOU with." Finally, he said "United Debt Aid," which is no doubt a fake name. I asked him to put me on their do-not-call list and again was hung up on as I was telling him he was working for a bunch of criminals. I didn't get a chance to ask for a written do-not-call policy from any of these three, but I'm sure they don't have them since they're violating the law in several ways already. Prerecord calls with advertising to cell phones are flat out illegal, just as prerecord calls with advertising to residential phones is illegal (without an existing business relationship, according to the FCC, which has incorrectly added an exception not present in the actual statute). So is falsifying caller ID information, so is failing to identify the business calling or on whose behalf the call is being made. So is failing to put me on their do-not-call list, and so is failing to send a written do-not-call policy upon request.
If anybody happens to come across more information that might identify who is behind these calls, let me know--I'd love to sue them.
UPDATE (February 25, 2008): I got another auto warranty one today, Caller ID said 442074791697 and it began "Your auto warranty has expired" and claimed they had been trying unsuccessfully to contact me via mail--two lies in the first two sentences. I pressed 1 to talk to a live operator, who immediately asked me for the year and make of my car. I asked what company is providing the warranty, and he hung up on me. Apparently any questioning at all is reason for these scammers to proceed to the next call recipient.
UPDATE (March 27, 2008): I received two more of these in quick succession--one on March 17 (auto warranty call from 505-217-2684) and one on March 19 (credit card rate reduction call from 305-654-1842).
ConsumerAffairs.com has a story about ripoff auto warranties sold by companies in St. Louis.
Verizon Wireless has filed a law suit against John Does to go after these auto warranty calls.
UPDATE (April 7, 2008): Another auto warranty one, from 305-672-6663.
I believe that at least some of these calls are coming from businesses run by former associates of Fax.com, a defunct broadcast fax and prerecord telemarketing business that received a $5,379,000 fine from the FCC in 2002 which was never collected, and was successfully sued by the D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling for $2.3 million in 2003, which I believe was also never collected. The legal system is not good at dealing with these sorts of criminals, because it's all being left to civil enforcement, when these are the kind of people who need to be thrown in jail.
UPDATE (April 10, 2008): Another from "Heather at account services," caller ID 561-482-7092, for credit card rate reduction. The human being I spoke with confirmed that she's in Boca Raton, FL--on a previous call the company was identified as "United Debt Aid" in Boca Raton.
UPDATE (August 11, 2008): There's a wealth of information about these calls and who's behind them at the Stopping Heather Forums.