FTC Declares Rachel From Cardholder Services 'Enemy Number 1'; Files Complaints Against Five Scammy Robocollers

from the always-in-arizona-and-florida dept

A few weeks ago, we noted that the FTC was offering up $50,000 to anyone who could help stop "Rachel from cardholder services" robocalls. It appears they don't really need that much help, as the agency has filed complaints against five such operations based in Arizona and Florida (why is it that so many scammy operations seem to be based in Florida and Arizona?). FTC boss Jon Leibowitz overstates his organization's infatuation with robocalls:
“At the FTC, Rachel from Cardholder Services is public enemy number one,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “We’re cracking down on illegal robocalls by bringing law enforcement actions and pursuing technical solutions to the problem.”
Of course, I think that it's important not to get confused about what the real problem is here. While robocalls are both annoying and illegal, the real problem isn't the calling, but the scams behind the calls. They're basically trying to get people to fork over money for services that are never actually delivered.
In the robocall cases announced today, the FTC alleges that the defendants place automated calls to consumers, typically with a prerecorded message from “Rachel” or someone else from “Cardholder Services.” The calls purport to have an “important message” regarding an opportunity to reduce high credit card interest rates. Consumers are urged to “press 1” to connect with a live representative, or “press 2” to discontinue getting such calls. Consumers who press 1 are connected to live telemarketers. Most consumers have no way to screen the calls using Caller ID, as the incoming number allegedly is often “spoofed,” or displayed as a false number. In many cases, the name displayed on the Caller ID is so generic, such as “Card Services,” that it provides little information about who is calling.

According to the FTC, consumers who reach a live telemarketer are then pitched allegedly deceptive offers to have their credit card interest rates substantially reduced, sometimes to as low as 6.9 or even zero percent. The telemarketers allegedly guarantee that lowering card interest rates will save the consumers thousands of dollars in finance charges in a short period of time and will allow them to pay off the balances more quickly. Some telemarketers allegedly claim that consumers will save at least $2,500 in finance charges and will be able to pay off their balances two to three times faster, without increasing their monthly payments.

In some cases, according to the FTC, the telemarketers claim to be calling from the consumer’s credit card company. In other cases, they use “Cardholder Services” to suggest a relationship with a bank or credit card company. If the consumer expresses an interest in the rate reduction offer, the telemarketer sometimes conducts a purported “audit” to determine whether the consumer qualifies. Consumers provide their financial and personal information, and are then put on hold while the “audit” is completed. According to the FTC, the “audit” typically is used only to determine whether consumers have enough credit available on their credit cards to pay the company’s fee.
The charges filed against the operations include both charges for making false claims and also for violating telemarketing laws, but it seems that the false claims/fraud stuff is the much bigger deal. Instead, however, the FTC seems to focus the publicity aspect on its "fight against robocalls." I realize that may generate publicity, but isn't the fraud aspect the bigger deal?


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    Answer to another of what puzzles you: "why is it that so many scammy operations seem to be based in Florida and Arizona?" -- Taxes and "regulations" are lower there. Not coincidentally, those are states with generally an "R" after names.

     

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    Aliasundercover, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    Fraud vs. Inconvenience?

    Yes, it makes sense people are being hurt more by the fraud.

    But then it is not all that hard to resist the fraud. Simply don't ever follow up on an offer from a phone call. If someone calls me to sell something I never buy. I never press #1, tell them anything, never, no matter what. Just this last summer I had totally legitimate calls regarding some financial stuff I really did want to do. I still didn't act on the calls as I could not verify the callers, instead initiated my own contact with the firm by a path I knew was correct and not some phishing scam.

    It isn't that I don't wish for the FTC to protect people from fraud. I am glad they do and do not regret the tax money to hire their people to do that. The interruptions affect me personally in a way the fraud doesn't. The FTC folks want to show their actions matter, not just to someone somewhere but to you.

    The endless robocalls are more than annoying interruptions. They degrade the phone. People are harder to reach on the phone, if they accept calls at all, because we are sick and tired of all the spam. Several people I know who dropped their land lines for cell only tell me part of their reason was the lesser number of bogus calls on cell. How many people don't pick up at all, merely let the machine pick up and decide if they want to talk? Leave a message at the beep.

    The telephone itself is at stake here.

     

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    Roman, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Not too bad.

    You mention the calls aren't the problem the scam is, except the calls are annoying too - because they're targeted at my cell phone, so that's minutes right there.

    As an aside, last time someone called me I told them that it was my opinion that they were in violation of the law and they could ask their corporate lawyers why my opinion matters to them (points if anyone knows what I was referencing) so I don't think I will be hearing from them again.

    Does anyone know specifics regarding the CAN-SPAM act, because it was supposed to mean you need to be able to unsubscribe from this sort of thing (or is it just email?) easily, but I've told them at least three times to get rid of me, each time they've said they will, and each time I get calls.

     

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    SolkeshNaranek (profile), Nov 1st, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    RoboCalls

    The charges filed against the operations include both charges for making false claims and also for violating telemarketing laws, but it seems that the false claims/fraud stuff is the much bigger deal. Instead, however, the FTC seems to focus the publicity aspect on its "fight against robocalls." I realize that may generate publicity, but isn't the fraud aspect the bigger deal?

    I think it is important to read between the lines.

    The FTC is upset over the robocalls because they have personally been pestered by these people.

    The FTC doesn't care about the fraud as they haven't fallen victim to the scam.

    This is how the government works. Nothing is real, or important until it happens to one of them or one of their lobbyists.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Nov 1st, 2012 @ 5:08pm

    Cardholder Services about time you Scumbags were shut down.I have Complained before about your calling my line.
    Hope to see some stiff Jail Sentences for this trash.

     

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    reboog711 (profile), Nov 1st, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    I got my first call today from someone other than Rachel

    I got my first call today from someone other than Rachel... I didn't catch the name, but it was very similar recording; and no opportunity to opt out via the recording.

    When I clicked through; the person claimed they do not have a do not call list; which may be the most honest thing they've ever said.

     

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    Lurker Keith, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Not too bad.

    You mention the calls aren't the problem the scam is, except the calls are annoying too - because they're targeted at my cell phone, so that's minutes right there.

    For some people, those minutes also cost them money. I don't use enough of my minutes for it to matter, but I also get annoyed when robots answer & I just hang up on them. A few times I've held 0 to go to a person to complain & be removed.
    As an aside, last time someone called me I told them that it was my opinion that they were in violation of the law and they could ask their corporate lawyers why my opinion matters to them (points if anyone knows what I was referencing) so I don't think I will be hearing from them again.

    Does anyone know specifics regarding the CAN-SPAM act, because it was supposed to mean you need to be able to unsubscribe from this sort of thing (or is it just email?) easily, but I've told them at least three times to get rid of me, each time they've said they will, and each time I get calls.

    The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 only applies to E-mail, if I read it right.

    When I saw the title, I planned on commenting on CAN-SPAM too, but for different reasons.

    A few, actually known companies (& one who I had to look up to see if he actually existed; he does, but is still a troll) are now in violation w/ that Law & I'm intending to contact Law Enforcement, & was wondering who I need to call to report them (I doubt my local police know); would it be the FTC, the FBI, who? I'm planning to write my Congressman, too.

    One outright refused to even investigate, after I contacted them about a 2nd E-mail sent after I was supposed to be unsubscribed fully, which I got 9 days after contacting who was being advertised directly, which was supposed to have gotten me removed from all of thier lists (I found a way to give them more info, & they refused to look at it); the Troll is a repeat offender; & the other 3 have at least tried to be helpful).

    For the longest, my Junk Mail count was low. I've guarded my info & limit who has my contact info. This year, I'm getting double-digit amounts of spam at a time (it isn't daily, but is inching that way), & have noticed I get bursts from 2 or 3 of the "Can-Spam Compliance" companies they all use now every few days (which companies cycle), & the frequency of the spam is increasing.

    I am fed up w/ this & want to contact the right agency to get an investigation going. Both the letter, as well as the spirit, of this law is being violated & I want it fixed!

     

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    lucidrenegade (profile), Nov 1st, 2012 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Not too bad.

    CAN-SPAM is just e-mail. If your number is on the Do-Not-Call list, they are violating the law by just calling you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 5:45pm

    Used to be I got these robocalls about my child in school and I should hang on for a representative. Since I don't have a child in school that's fairly obvious that it's a scam to start with. They didn't get my phone number from the school. Most likely since I rarely gave it out, they got it from by phone provider. That's not hard to figure out. Needless I no longer have that provider as I don't really need mobility for a phone. VOIP works just as well and is far cheaper than all these plans the telecommunications corporations come up with to strip you of your paycheck.

    There's one other real simple way to miss them. Don't answer the phone for who you don't know. You might occasional miss some call you really need but the percentages are that you'll loose far less of your time being tied up in what someone else things is important to get your money rather than what you think is important.

     

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    Wally (profile), Nov 1st, 2012 @ 5:56pm

    Retirees

    " (why is it that so many scammy operations seem to be based in Florida and Arizona?)"

    Think of all those elderly folks who live on those states.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    I have an important message for you, Rachel. Bend over! Oh, yeah, you like that, don't you, you little slut? Yeah.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    So, wait, fraud is legal in Florida and Arizona?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 7:30pm

    Re:

    Not sure whether to vote 'funny', or report as inappropriate

     

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    DCX2, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    Come on, he didn't say "no regulation", he said the regulations are lower there. That doesn't make fraud legal, just easier to pull off without penalties.

    I'm beginning to think that people are just instinctively reporting OOTB. I mean, I actually thought the same thing., that there might be a correlation between regulations and scammers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 9:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    I kinda agree with you saying that people are flagging him (or her) for little reason, but the solution to people breaking the law isn't 'more laws' it's the enforcement of existing laws. So his statement is still nonsense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 12:30am

    The FTC is probably looking at what charges are most enforceable and easiest (cheapest) to bring charges against them to stop it. I would like to see charges against fraud, but I don't know the regulations, what proof is required or what the penalties are.

    I thought all telemarketing calls to cell phones were considered illegal at one time. That means nothing if it can't be enforced or has no penalty.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 4:13am

    I constantly get these calls at home (generally when I'm at work). Got one on a weekend and answered it. Rang through to one of their telemarketers who started by saying, 'Thank you for holding.' When I said, 'You people called me,' I was hung up on. One other time, I hit the key which was supposed to stop the calls. Surprisingly (not!), I'm still getting the calls.

     

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    GAK, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Just got another one!

    Good ol' "Rachel from Cardholder Services" calls me a minimum of once a week in spite of requesting numerous times to take me off their list. I have reported them to the FTC several times but no results YET! So I have just decided to have a good time with them. I press one and get connected to a live person and I just go round and round with them. I ask them what bank, what's the lower interest rate, how quick can I get it, etc. etc. I think these scamsters are in Jamaica. When I asked the guy today if he was in Jamaica there was complete silence on the other end & then he started a stream of profanity. I think I hit the nail on the head. The only thing you can do is just not answer your phone which you see an unidentifiable number.

     

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    DCX2, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    If it's the case that existing laws are insufficient for stopping them - perhaps the burden of proof is too high to prove fraud, or the penalties are too lax - then the solution is in fact more laws.

    I can't say for sure, because I don't know the laws in FL or AZ. But how sure are you that the existing laws in those states are good enough to fight this problem if enforced?

     

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    PT (profile), Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Re: RoboCalls

    The FTC is upset over the robocalls because they have personally been pestered by these people.

    The FTC doesn't care about the fraud as they haven't fallen victim to the scam.


    Not quite. It's the FTC's job to do something about the robocalls, but they aren't law enforcement and have no power to deal with the fraud. It's the FBI's job to tackle the fraud, but they have no authority to prevent people using the telephone network.

    Perhaps now the FTC have shown a lead, the FBI will stir themselves.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    Thing is, it doesn't matter now if hasn't_got_a_clue actually turns over a new leaf and starts trying delivering valid comments, instead of the garbage he usually posts. By now, he's hated on this site, and its his own fault. As far as I'm concerned, he's burned any attempt at earning any respect from us. If it had been a small handful of comments, sure, I'd say give him a chance...but we're talking about a guy who's been trolling this site for at least the last couple of years.

     

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    Another mous, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Working for a company like this

    I once worked for a company in south Hollywood Florida for a company who at that time was offering people refinancing option and debt consolidation. They instructed me to answer the phone professionally, put them on hold and direct the call to another employee who was on commission who then attempted to extract 250.00 from them through their credit cards. I knew they were scamming hundreds of people in the US and I left after two days with my life. That bunch picked up after that and moved again to an unknown location and might be part of this bunch in the article. Sounds the same.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: RoboCalls

    Not quite. It's the FTC's job to do something about the robocalls, but they aren't law enforcement and have no power to deal with the fraud. It's the FBI's job to tackle the fraud, but they have no authority to prevent people using the telephone network.

    From the FTC website:

    http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/brfovrvw.shtm

    1. Administrative Enforcement

    In the administrative process, the Commission makes the initial determination that a practice violates the law in either an adjudicative or rulemaking proceeding.

    (a) Adjudication

    Under Section 5(b) of the FTC Act, the Commission may challenge "unfair or deceptive act[s] or practice[s]" (or violations of other consumer protection statutes) through maintenance of an administrative adjudication. When there is "reason to believe" that a law violation has occurred, the Commission may issue a complaint setting forth its charges. If the respondent elects to settle the charges, it may sign a consent agreement (without admitting liability), consent to entry of a final order, and waive all right to judicial review. If the Commission accepts such a proposed consent agreement, it places the order on the record for thirty days of public comment (or for such other period as the Commission may specify) before determining whether to make the order final.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 8:24pm

    Re:

    There's one charge thats easy to bring against them, the charge of a bullet into their skulls by a disgruntled "customer"...which is what will in the end happen once they call the wrong mentally unstable person who tracks their call centre down.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 8:24pm

    Re:

    There's one charge thats easy to bring against them, the charge of a bullet into their skulls by a disgruntled "customer"...which is what will in the end happen once they call the wrong mentally unstable person who tracks their call centre down.

     

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    FM Hilton, Nov 3rd, 2012 @ 2:32am

    Canned Spam

    I don't personally care how or why the FTC takes down these robocallers-as long as they do it completely.

    We get about 3 calls a day from Rachel, and she's annoying as all hell. It used to be illegal for this to happen, but I suppose that the 'do not call' list isn't completely leak proof.

    As for fraud, guess they're working their way up to actual charges on that matter. It takes time to link cases to charges.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Canned Spam

    You wrote "it used to be illegal for this to happen" and I can't help but think that's rather an odd thing to write, as if you think it's happening now because it's suddenly become legal. On the contrary, it continues to be illegal; the reason we're getting so much more of it is because computer-dialing of mass numbers has become possible. These companies are using a technology boost and it really expanded their reach. Telemarketers who used to each dial many numbers and only get a hit once or twice an hour can now use a robo-caller to mass-call dozens and dozens of numbers, thus guaranteeing that an entire room full of telemarketers will be fed a live human on a consistent basis. That's why people often report that they pick up one of these calls and there's a hang-up on the other end--what happened was that there were no telemarketers available, they were all busy talking to other victims, but the computer kept dialing out over & over.

    I like to report these calls to 8oonotes.com (check it out) and see who else has been getting the same calls as me.

     

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    The Jay Man, Nov 10th, 2012 @ 9:58pm

    They've been calling me almost daily since 2008(Rachel, Anne & Heather). I've tried it all too, pressing 2 to be taken off the list; pressing 1 and asking politely for them to stop; pressing 1 and asking impolitely for them to stop; pressing 1 and wasting a bunch of their time using bogus info(google fake name generator); filing complaints with FTC, FCC, my state's AG, other state's AGs. I even changed my voice mail message to play what you'd get when you call a disconnected number(unfortunately this doesn't work either). These people deserve some real jail time along with huge fines.

     

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    Anonymous, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    It is annoying to get unnecessary call. It has been more than a year that I get Rachel, the Card Holder Services call. I am old and makes me age faster. What does the caller expect after 100 calls and getting no response; nothing. Nonetheless, It does call and call. A psycho designs the caller for sure. I hope that narrows down the target for the authorities. I hope it be looked as a matter of national security. Thx.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    I just got a call from Card Holder Services, 417-800-2317 - There is no stopping this thing. I believe the most effective manner would be for the FTC to order the Credit Card payment processors, banks, ACHs and any other payment clearing entities that they would be considered a conspirator in the fraud if they knew or SHOULD have known that a fraudulent activity was taking place. Every class action law firm would be salivating to engage the Financial food chain in order to win damages for all the victims . . . . comments?

     

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    Quasimodo, Jan 12th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    RoboCalls

    The FTC emphasizes the RoboCall aspect rather than the fraud aspect because they let the fraud go on for YEARS before doing anything. So naturally they would deemphasize that aspect.

     

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    Quasimodo, Jan 12th, 2013 @ 11:11am

    Re:

    The Feds should obtain warrants, raid the call centers and perp walk everyone out in handcuffs. This business of everyone walking scott free while they levy fines on the company has never been demonstrated as a successful approach to eliminating repeat behavior. They need to bring criminal charges against real people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 1:57pm

    If they wanted to stop it, the following method would work: Have the credit card companies provide a sample of trusted users with "special" numbers that validate like good ones, but when used are tripwires to the bank that the recipient is likely to be engaged in crime. A short investigation would then prevent that recipient from receiving money from credit cards (and claw back any it already got), leading to the scammers not making money.

     

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    Max, Jan 21st, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    iphone hack for Rachels calls

    This doesn't fix the problem but it helps. I'm getting blasted with Rachel calls. But ... the call come thru several times on the same # then they start a new # or use another # from the past. I created a contact for Rachel. I assigned a custom ring tone. The custom ring tone is a SILENT.WAV. IE the ringtone is litterally silence. When I get a call from Rachel I add it to the existing contact then when it comes again it rings but the ring is silent and I never know the bitch called. I repeat the process when she calls on a new new #.

     

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    Lori, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 1:21pm

    I have been transferred to the operator numerous times. I ask them to remove my number from their call list & they hang up every time!

     

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    Speed Angel, Feb 1st, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    These calls are more than just calls

    I have been harassed by Rachel up to 6 times a day, sometimes daily, for over 2 years. I have nicely asked to be removed, and asked for supervisors. It does not work. I have been hung up on, called nasty names and sexually propositioned. You cannot ignore the phone calls because they rotate phone numbers.

    I also started a contact named "Cardholder Services" on my mobile phone. Each new number, I add to the contact and ignore it. It was the only way to save my sanity.

    THESE PEOPLE NEED TO BE STOPPED!! THEY ARE SCAMMERS AND HARASSERS!!

     

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    Michael, Feb 7th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    FTC is toothless and weak

    This is all just bluster because consumers are upset. The FTC and Leibowitz is a blow-hard.

    My state attorney general has already won cases against the same outfit in Florida - yet I am unaware of any recovery having been made or there being any real impact on their blatantly illegal activity.

    And as the writer of this article clearly points out - while the robocalls are illegal by themselves - the bigger issue is that these are 100% scams. They pray on people with the mega-high interest rate credit cards (but there are those with more "reasonable" rates also falling for it). Further, these people, when you press the button to speak to someone to get them to stop - they often are rude, use profanity, or just laugh at you and dare you to do anything. Why? Because they KNOW that the FTC and other agencies have no real recourse. Their calling computers generate fake caller ID information - so tracing the real source is very difficult.

     

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    Rachel, Feb 17th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Easy solution is compromising their labor force. All calls come from Mesa or WinterPark Florida. The companies find their employees on through craigslist orlando and phoenix ads. The ads are pretty obvious and I'm sure they have a high turnover to keep up with. People in these cities need to get jobs there, than report them once they discover the locations of the call centers. The employees that call think their company is legit and the receiver of the phone call is actually inbound to them. Start telling telemarketers that their maybe cash rewards for the boss running cardholder services. That way they can look into what they are truly part of. The FTC is to busy talking computer forensics to use common sense. If the companies think the may be in danger of hiring someone that will turn them in or actually work for an authority, they won't be able to hire anyone. We should pool together funds and stick a billboard up on the interstate in winterpark offering a reward for the address of cardholdet services. Use their own staff against them.

     

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    TD, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 7:31pm

    Robocaller gets info from Experian

    Experian is the culprit. They are sharing your information with 3rd party robo-dialers. Block them from sharing your information and you will receive no more calls.

     

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    mldavis2 (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 10:58am

    Unstoppable - deal with it

    After living with this nuisance for over a year now, I've learned several things about it:
    1) Much of this solicitation is from overseas and thus outside of U.S. jurisdiction and laws, so forget about stopping most of it.
    2) The F.B.I. is far too busy and understaffed to be messing around with annoying phone calls.
    3) Phone numbers are "spoofed" so that you cannot just block them - they change constantly. If you have caller ID and return the call, it will either ring in some innocent person's phone, or it will come back as "disconnected." They leave no trace.
    4) They use high speed autodialers to spam the phone networks which is why you receive so many calls. It must be productive or they would give up, so there are still "suckers born every minute" and more elderly with cognitive dysfunction who cannot intelligently screen for scams.
    5) They are high-speed, high volume operations, so they do not have time to "remove" your number from the call list. In fact they have no idea what number the computer dialed.

    In short, no one can stop it...not the FBI, not the FTC, not law enforcement, not being on "no call" lists because they are off-shore and our U.S. laws do not apply. You can either ignore the phone and use an answering machine to screen calls, or you can check your caller ID for unknown numbers or callers and not answer. We have been so conditioned to jump when the phone rings that we ignore common sense. Tell your friends to leave a message and you'll call them right back.

     

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  41.  
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    Third Eye, Mar 15th, 2013 @ 12:31pm

    Crush them telephone frauds

    Several reasons why the nutjobs are up and running. One reason is that the callers are in boiler rooms and office like settings that use VOIP and spoofing technology to hide their tracks. Now the trouble is finding out who spoofed what when how and from where. Getting a bunch of clowns in small trouble and fining them a couple of thousands won't stop telephone fraud. CRIMINAL CHARGES and long prison time should work. Hey if somebody harassed and stole money from somebody else, he will end up in jail. The same should apply to telephone frauds who first harass and then steal money from people. Spoofing is illegal, and these clowns are having fun hiding their tracks. The Phone Company: I don't trust CERTAIN telephone providers either. They sell your info and who knows your info could/already ended up in the hands of 3rd party credit card frauds or they are selling it in real time. Whenever you put money over people's lives you don't have ANY moral ground. A long time in prison will put sense into the heartless and the greedy.

     

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  42.  
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    John85851 (profile), Apr 4th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    I've received many of these calls and every time I talk to them I ask them who they are and tell them that I'm worried they're a phishing company. They say they're not, but the reps never give out the real company name or address.

    Anyway, I second the idea that banks should give out "phishing catching" credit card numbers: these would be fake numbers that pass security checks but aren't connected to a bank account and will flag the bank when the card is used.

    Everyone is so concerned about blocking the calls, but real the solution should be to follow the money. Yes, these companies are spoofing phone numbers, but they're obviously using the credit card information they receive. Why aren't people complaining about fraudulent charges? Even if their name on the statement is something obscure, why can't the banks or FBI trace the charges back to the merchant?

     

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  43.  
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    gfhq94a, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    They Dropped Rachel

    This may explain why the recent calls no longer use the name Rachel. Its the same voice and it isn't fooling me.

     

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  44.  
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    sue them, May 28th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    credit card holder services

    They call me every week and the calller id number is a fake can't call it or text it back
    Please tell me how to call them so I can sue for cell phone charges they stuck me with due to them calling so much!
    575-487-0952
    This is the number they just called me from just now today
    They hang up if you press 1 to tell to to stop calling me!
    Sincerely want it to stop!

     

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  45.  
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    Paul T. Sullivan, Aug 5th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Suggested Approach

    A retired law enforcement officer who gets these calls regularly I share your pain. Even investigating fraud is impossible as some schemes lead to dead end bank accounts or off=shore banks where governments are not friendly with ours. Go after the companies by having law enforcement set up call forwarding systems where "Do Not Call" numbers are switched to dedicated agencies that will rope in the scammers making the calls, build up cases and nail them. I've forwarded some calls to people I know in a certain agency, one that shall remain in the dark for now as they don't want to get bombed by complainers, and another major case is in the works. There are now at least seven "do not call" numbers that are actually traps for these businesses. Let's wait and see what happens. I'd suggest other law agencies try to same approach nation-wide. Traps elsewhere would help an awful lot to alleviate some of the problem calls.

     

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  46.  
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    ted, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    robo calls

    Now the calls come from "Card Services" and the numbers constantly change. the ftc is just to stupid and slow to keep up with these dirt bags - or the penalties are too little too late. we are doomed

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 10th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    How about if the FCC offered a cash reward to the idiots at the call centers to report their employers illegal activity?The scam would end in a few days.

     

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  48.  
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    obviousman, Jan 10th, 2014 @ 10:53am

    If the FCC would offer a cash reward for reporting the illegal calls, disgruntled idiot call center employees would collect the reward as they are exiting their job. The problem would be gone forever in a few days.
    You could push the button to talk to a "representative" and tell the call center rep about the reward program.
    Call the FCC now and demand they take action and offer rewards.

     

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  49.  
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    Jen, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 2:38pm

    Robocalls

    I get so many robocalls trying to collect debts on people who owned the lines over 7 YEARS ago that my two home lines are only used for outgoing calls. They are useless for incoming calls. It's ridiculous. I have tried opting out. Doesn't do any good. I've tried talking to the people calling. Doesn't do any good. I'm on the do not call list. Doesn't do any good. They also call with fraudulent stories about who they are to try to get my address.

    I wish there was a way to block all robocalls. Those are really disturbing.

     

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  50.  
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    Matthew Schwartz, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 7:31am

    Waste their time

    I immediately push "1" and waste as much time as I possibly can with them. Have some fun with it. Most of them are use to it. If you are creative you can have a lot of fun with them. I usually try the old senile character or the foreign guy whose English is pretty bad and take-up as much of their time as possible, but I guess I am someone who has time to do that.

     

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  51.  
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    So Tired, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    Hmm. Maybe time for hunting them down and cutting out their vocal chords with a spoon. That ought to shut them up.

     

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  52.  
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    Nancy Roche, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 8:26pm

    Response to: Rachel on Feb 17th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Completely true. I don't know about Mesa but I just moved to Winter Park area and I've been working for a "Credit Repair Company" for three weeks. I work in the Customer service department ( not the outbound call center) and we have several clients calling in everyday stating that no work was done for them, they're interest rates are the same, and whenever they speak to anyone else about a refund they are told someone will callback. It's very hard to tell elderly clients that there is nothing you can do for them. A client called today and said they went online and found out that our company is a scam. So I decided to do some research when I found this forum and plenty others stating card services is fraudulent! ! I'm not sure what to do. While working with this company I found out that they have multiple offices and I was able to get the phone number and address of one of them. I have no idea what to do with it though. I'm not sure if this would be considered a criminal or civil case? And there are TONS of people including me that would be out of a job. Regardless of that I don't like being apart of anything criminal and a lot of the clients are elderly. Most of the clients are born between 1920-1940. I feel horrible when I hear people that have been taken advantage of especially older people..not sure how to handle this.

     

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  53.  
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    Brian Daed, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:24pm

    robo-calls

    The operative word in the article is "illegal." Since robo-calls are illegal no legitimate company would use them. Therefore anything involving robo-calls is of a criminal intent. However, until I saw that in the article just now I did not no that they were in fact illegal. How many other people have not learned this?

    Now as for an effective way of shutting them down; what would Clint Eastwood do?

     

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  54.  
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    mrstockenstine, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fraud may be bigger, but just calls affect more people, silly.

    These calls don't originate in FL or AZ, they just target people there because the populations are older or less sophisticated than other places. The location of the caller bears no relationship recipient of the call.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Paulette Peterson, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 1:26pm

    Card Services

    How about a blow horn (one you hear people use at various sporting events) and use it on the next call? I got 2 yesterday, one after midnight and 2 this morning. I've been

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    John G, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 1:46pm

    "Bridget" from Cardholder's Services

    Apparently Rachel has been replaced with Bridget. Received a call on land line at 3:35 p.m. CDT from Bridget. As soon as I heard "Hi. This is Bridget..,. I hung up on her. We average one of these calls per week.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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