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The FTC gets Rachel the Robocaller… again

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Have you gotten pre-recorded sales calls from Rachel from Cardholder Services? Or Bank Card Services or Credit Assistance Program? You’ve been reporting these illegal calls, and the FTC continues to take action.

Today, the FTC and the state of Florida announced a lawsuit against Life Management Services, a company that the FTC says is behind hundreds of thousands of these calls.

According to the FTC, Life Management Services swindled people out of their money by offering two types of phony debt relief: credit card interest rate reduction services and credit card debt elimination services. The company promised lower interest rates or government funds to pay off debt, and asked people to make initial payments ranging from $500 to $20,000. But almost no one got the help that was promised.

This is one of six recent FTC cases that focus on illegal robocalls. How does the FTC build these cases? One critical tool is the FTC’s honeypot -- a large bank of phone lines designed to attract robocalls. That lets FTC investigators interact with robocallers, record the calls, and make undercover purchases. The FTC uses its honeypot to identify companies placing illegal calls and collect evidence of their illegal activities. It was particularly useful in the Life Management case announced today.

So, what do you do if you get another unwanted robocall?

  • Hang up. Don’t respond in any way. Pressing buttons to get you taken off a list could result in more unwanted calls.
  • Block the caller’s number. You have a few options for blocking unwanted calls, including call-blocking devices, mobile apps, cloud-based services, and services provided by your phone carrier.
  • Report it to the FTC at www.donotcall.gov or 1-888-382-1222.

Read on for more info and tips about robocalls.

Comments

Fantastic. Why does it take so long? These scammers should be stopped promptly. So annoying and some people fall for it.

"Rachel" is not the only one calling. I got another call from "Bridget from Card Services" just today. Many such call come in from fake telephone numbers that are slight variations of my own number.

I keep getting calls from some foreigner who tells me that they're from Windows Service and that they have detected problems with my computer. As soon as I begin to tell them that my number is on the do-not-call registry, they just hang up. I don't have caller ID on my phone, so I don't know what their number is. Should I still call your number to report it?

I have been getting these from Rachel and other ladies for years. Some times 5 a day for weeks on end. I must have reported at least 30. But the only way to report is to stay on the phone and get a person's name/number/company etc. I even got a police report one time so I could track down the company. Once the 800 operator said it was in another state they said I needed an FBI report to track it across state lines. It takes 20 minutes to make a claim if you answer all the questions. This policing is inadequate. We need laws that you can not hide a number from the person you are calling unless you have a residential phone. The complaints need to be automated just like the calls. When you get a robo call you should be able to hit a few numbers to report the call. The automated complaint lists should be acted upon by FTC within hours to shut them down. This law suit will only get the biggest abusers and will be calculated into their cost of doing business. It is not a fix for the problem.

At last, thank you! These folks were So annoying.

Thank You! Most important, they scare some folks because I recently gotten and reported a call, that they said they were FBI! Thank You so much for me and others!

Just a note of reality here: The have not said the calls were yet stopped, but simply that they are aware of them, the perps, and will be acting soon. this IS great, and I hope it's settled and the bass turds are soon in jail!

Yes! Exactly!

Rachael is back calling again. It was quiet for about 3-4 months. Started several days ago

Rachael is back, and now she has a "sister", different name, same message

Well, that's good - glad to see it. But it's just a civil suit. Worse that can happen is you might get a monetary judgment against some of the principals. Nothing happens to the minions. And the principals probably made themselves judgment-proof, so any judgment will be "suspended." Hey, I'm glad somebody is doing something, but these folks should be criminally prosecuted.

I hang up but they keep calling? N725eed a better solution.

great, thank you for this info. I have heard from Rachel at least 3 times a week. Fortunately I did not bite and just hung up. Thank you for keeping us informed....

I used to call the number back to get the name of the company and then I started getting messages that the number was disconnected or a non-working number. How are they making calls from a non-working number or a disconnected phone?

How do they spoof the caller ID? Can anyone do this? It seems to me this should be a felony crime and should be preventable just as it is with blue boxes and black boxes.

Only took the authorities about 3 years! How about getting us a settlement. They called me maybe 40 times over 3-4 years,

What about a product that checks the calling number before it let's the call through? It would stop the spoofed calls and hangup if it also hears a ring from a number it checks.

There are free apps for smartphones that do this

Check out Nomorobo. It's free for landline phones. We've had it for 2 weeks now and it blocks spam calls. It's great!

I have Nomorobo but it stopped working because scammers are using pirated numbers to spoof with. This way Nomorobo won't block because it thinks it's a real number, which it IS! The scammers found a way around it!

That's great! But I just got another call about 10 minutes ago from Card Services. Looks like they started right back up again! sigh...

I got two more - one by landline Caller ID "Cell Phone') and one by cell phone no name -
412-378-5500 - TODAY. Don't sue them, jail them- change the rules of their game!

Please report the call at complaints.donotcall.gov
Postig it here won't help.

What Do I do if I received a letter from card services confirming an address change?

If you got a letter that says you changed your address, but you really didn't change your address, you might have an identity theft problem.

Look at the card again. Does it show a phone number or website address? Contact the company that sent the card. Find out what is going on.

If you think somebody used your name for identity theft, go to IdentityTheft.gov. You can report identity theft. You can get a list of things to do to fix problems. You can get forms and letters to send to businesses about your accounts.

 

I registered my mobile phone a few months ago. All I get now is robocalls. They have now apparently hacked the US gov't or amazing coincidence! You can decide.

If you start swearing at these people it works. My son was getting these calls many time a day. He finally blew a head gasket at a few of them. So now when they call they just automatically disconnect. I put my cell phone on the no call list. I also was answering them for a while and told them if they could get my credit card rate lower than zero they could. I didn't have any credit cards. I pay with cash.

This the third time I have ask do these two guys work for the FTC John Public and Dean Smith. They call me on this number And answer the phone 319-930-3935 and they text me also. They say they are closing down the consumer affair commission in NY,NY.witch is holding large some of money that is mine that I want back. Please I need know ASAP is that possible.

No, "Dean Smith" and "John Public" do not work for the FTC.

If anyone tells you they work for the FTC, call the FTC switchboard at 202-326-2222 to check.

The callers are lying about their identity, and lying about working for the FTC.  They might say they have money for you, but they will probably ask you to send money, or tell them your bank account number so they can 'deposit money.'  If you send them money or your bank account number, you're taking a risk that they'll take your money and give you nothing. If you tell someone your bank account number, they can take your money.

Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

THANKS SO MUCH,most of the calls have stopped,like the phony MICRO SOFT,from INDIA, but that could change like tomorrow,getting a new one now called SAVERS,but when u say hello no one is there,u call the number back an the message says it is after hours so who the hell is calling me?

Good bye Rachel!!! Soooo annoying!! Thank you FTC! Be sure to contact her "sister" Carmine at Cardholder Services and her "cousin" Veronica at Lender Services! I get Robo calls from them too!

We have been getting calls from Washington, DC and Florida, aprox 15 calls per day, on both cell phones and land line. Its very frustrating. We never answer them as told by FTC, but what do you do but keep hearing ringing phones all day long.

What you need to do is report it on the FTC complaints page.

yeah!!! I just received another one of those calls today! So glad they will be stopping soon!!!!!!!!!

I refuse to interact with these companies but I am extremely angry that both my home and cell phone continually receive these calls by robot or from a real person when both numbers are on the no call list. I have threaten them with legal action of they do not stop and tell them that I am recording the call and to take me off their list as I am on the no call list and yet the calls continue and costing me data usage and inconvenience.

I received two "Rachel" calls yesterday after this announcement was posted.

I just want to thank you for all that you do to catch these scammers. I like getting the updates on what is going on also. I am older and my husband is disabled. Your news letters help us to be prepared for unwanted calls and scammers. Job well done.

Now I'm hopeful. I got over 30 last month. So far this month only three. The last one was from a "police benevolent group who was collecting donations for the families of victims" and asked "Can we count on you to make a small donation?" I said "No sir, you are a scammer and the police do not call people and ask for money. Dead silence on the other end. I waited. Not even a peep.....the number calling was from Deerfield Beach,Florida...754-212-1095. What a dog.

Good for you.

How are these scammers/phishers being prosecuted? Isn't fraud an illegal activity? Where are the names of the people arrested? What more is being done (notice the word MORE) to protect the consumer and to stay on top of fraud, scams, and illegal telecommunication activity?

The new one i have been getting they call hang up and when you call back it says number no longer in service !! How can they call from number no longe in service !!!

They caught them yesterday? But today is 6/15/16 and I just got a call from Credit Card Services.

was the number 888-774-9348? Did it say it was from Merrick Bank?

I'm getting calls with area code 81 which is Japan for weight loss products. I have told them I don't take supplements. They still call 3-4times a day even though I no longer answer the phone when I see that number

In response, I have the same obnoxious problem! Chronic Robo call's! The "Microsoft" calls from India, have become almost laughable, if they weren't so aggravatingly annoying and intrusive! !! I don't think our government agencies realize how bad/pervasive this problem has become !

Thank you for making sure the public is aware of these scams. When we know better, we do better.

I got a call today from 'Rachel'. My caller ID showed 740-934-2258 which is a local number . The name showed as Charles Winland....however that number is NOT connected to anyone with that name. I pressed 9 and asked to be removed from the call list so I am sure there will be more. How can they use a local number with a fake name and get by with it ???????

Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake or “spoof” caller ID information. They can make it look like they’re calling from a different place or phone number. Scammers use this trick as a way to get around call-blocking and hide from law enforcement. They hope you’ll be curious enough to pick up. Don’t fall for it.

Bridget- How long have you been posting your name on these blog comments? Because "Rachel" has changed names to "Bridget" and I find that to be strange...maybe the scammers find it humorous to use your name, or maybe it's a coincidence, but from all the research I've done, they've been using a recording with the name "Bridget" far more than any other name, and far more than Rachel. Seems they have replaced "Rachel" perhaps due to its popularity.

I think it's just an (unwelcome) coincidence.

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