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

The FTC should use the full force of its power to stop robocalling in the US. Why can't the FTC require AT&T and other carriers to terminate offshore companies who abuse phone services by robocalling? It would seem simple to analyze phone lines that use bandwidth for this purpose. AT&T could then terminate the account and phone line for abusers.

Well, it did not work because I just got two of Racheal's calls on two different cell phones.

I never got robo calls with Consumer Cellular but I moved and couldn't get reception from them anymore. It's a rural area and only US Cellular works here so I switched by number over to them.

Been getting calls non stop since I switched. Someone at US Cellular must be feeding them phone numbers from their company.

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.

I am still getting these calls about two times per month on my cell, I block the number each time, but they just call back from a different number. I hope your case is successful and i wish your "honey pot" to catch scammers was bigger.

Giving them a stupid lawsuit and that's it does nothing. They need to be locked in jail, hard labor, and the rest of their lives forced to work and it goes into paying those they scammed or robocalled. Not a 1 year or less or nothing and they have millions hidden and stashed away. Or maybe if people get cousin Vinny to pay them a visit so they never walk or talk again.

Another great idea, post the public information of those doing these calls. Post their personal home, name, photo, phone, everything.

These people are now spoofing local area code and exchange numbers so blocking numbers is no longer effective. I am stunned that the phone company or cell company can't catch these bad actors in seconds. I have offered to have my phones tapped by phone company, police, DOJ, FTC and I'm sure other citizens would do the same. There is no need for a "honey pot", I get 3 of these calls every day

They are relentless ... calling my cell and interrupting business. They continually change phone numbers so you cannot keep them blocked. I have spoken to their representatives at least once a month - answering their questions, only to find out I am NOT qualified. I ask them to take me off their list. Some employees say they will while, most just hang up on you. I have even had them use profanity when I do not qualify.

I just got a call from Rachael about credit card debt reduction. My mom and dad got the same call today from different numbers. I’m tired of blocking numbers. It’s out of control and it has to stop.

Why cant they do something about this???

I've traced some of these calls & found most of them originate through regional service providers. Why can't the FTC crack down on these providers who are also profiting from the scams; and what about the technology used to "spoof" the numbers? Companies that knowingly provide service/equipment allowing the scammers to perpetrate the crime are equally guilty and should be held responsible as accessories.

This needs to be taken out of the FTC's hands. I'm sure they are a nice group of people, but they are not known for their enforcement abilities. First off I don't care about them suing robocallers. These losers need to do jail time. Back in the 90's ISP's would disable entire blocks of IP addresses if they found port scans or SPAM flooding on their network. It wreaked havoc, but you can be damn sure those people made sure they didn't have any open mail relays on their network. If as a carrier you get complaints about robocallers you should be compelled by law to disable all numbers associated to that account. If the numbers are on a different carrier then that responsibility should be shifted to the other carrier. Any carrier that is negligent in these responsibilities should be fined HEAVILY (i.e.Millions of dollars) or in the case of overseas carriers have communication blocked. If that doesn't work then the carriers need to start using a blacklisting service to block phone numbers.

You may be interested in this August 2017 press release which explains how, each business day, the FTC releases lists of the numbers consumers report as robocall and Do Not Call violators to telecommunications providers that work on call blocking solutions. Many of those solutions rely on blacklists -- databases of telephone numbers that have received significant consumer complaints -- as one way to determine which calls should be blocked or flagged before they reach consumers’ phones.

HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR AS RACHEL IS STILL CALLING 3X WEEK, EVERY PAINTER, CARPENTER ETC DAILY AND THE FTC IS USELESS, NOTHING WORKS, WHISTLES, AMAZON"NO, NO,NO" PEN. THE CALLER WANT'S PRIVATE INFORMATION BUT THEY WON'T GIVE THEIR IDENTITY

I've been getting these *** calls for two (2) years! Tried everything from blocking the number(s) to sending a string of characters to taking the call and insulting the caller. Nothing works!! I still get up to three (3) a day. Don't promise me tax relief - promise me robocall relief and I will vote for you. A Floridian.

Looks like the lawsuit is about as phony as Rachel and the card services. The calls have never stopped or slowed down.

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