What’s the deal with “Rachel from Card Services”? Your top 3 questions answered.

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Have you heard this message?

“Hi, this is Rachel from Card Services calling about your credit card account. It appears that you are now eligible for a significantly lower interest rate on your account. However, this offer is about to expire, so please press 1 now to be transferred to a live representative who can assist you in securing your lower interest rate.”

Rachel and her cohorts — Anne, Tiffany, Michael, Heather and others — from “Card Services” have been annoying people for years with their illegal robocalls. And the FTC is working hard to stop them — both bringing cases and hosting competitions to develop robocall-blocking technology. So, what’s the deal with these calls, and why won’t they stop? We’ve got answers to your top 3 questions.

1. Why does “Card Services” keep calling me?

The FTC has shut down more than a dozen of these “Card Services” companies — including one this past June and yet another in July. But there are lots of other companies, and new ones pop up often. Lots of boiler rooms in the U.S. and overseas use the exact same recorded message by Rachel and friends, running a scam to — supposedly — reduce your credit card interest rate. An active operation can make millions of calls — so that’s why Rachel is still calling you. 

2. What should I do if I get these calls?

Hang up. Don’t press any buttons on your phone. Don’t press 1 to speak to someone — or to be taken off the call list. You’ll just get more annoying calls. And never give any of your financial information, like your credit card or bank account numbers.

Report it. Tell us what happened: visit complaints.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. We use your complaints to investigate these scams so we can shut more of them down.

3.  Can “Card Services” actually lower my interest rate?

Nope. It’s a scam. If you press “1,” you’re connected to a scammer who will ask for your credit card number and other personal information.

They’ll make promises to lower your interest rate permanently — sometimes to a ridiculously low 0% — but charge a fee that can be as high as $5,000. But their promises aren’t true. There are no guarantees for permanently lowered interest rates. And it’s against the law to charge a fee up-front for these services. Most people who pay the fee don’t get a lower rate — in fact, they get into worse debt, and may find unauthorized charges on their cards.

In many cases, these companies charge you for things you could do on your own for free. They might open a new card with a low introductory interest rate, or tell you to take advantage of your credit card company’s existing hardship programs. And they often use shady tactics — like telling you to stop paying your bills, lying to your credit card company so that you qualify for a hardship program, and not telling you that you’ll have to pay additional fees to transfer a balance. If you follow that advice, you’ll be in worse financial trouble than ever.

If you need help settling credit card debt, check our article to learn about your options. There are free ways to do it yourself. And if you need additional help, consider contacting a legitimate credit counseling service. Read Choosing a Credit Counselor for more details.

Comments

The latest calls are from "Carmen"

My latest calls are from myself. Our name and phone number show up on caller ID.

Me too. This is impersonation

My name and number too. I answer because I'm not sure if it's my husband calling from downstairs. I have gotten many calls from people asking me to take them off our call list. I feel the pain and sometimes they just don't believe it's not us.

The same exact thing as above commenters happened to my parents and I at two different homes.

Try having your husband call from "downstairs"....Ain't gonna happen...

I don't know why you would say that - I can call other areas of my home just by using the hold/flash button on my phone!

Don't feel alone. I do that also

That's your phone intercom, you cant call out and back in the switch wont let you.

See, back in the late 80's people had kids, and land lines, and those two things didn't mesh, then they'd want to use the internet from their only communication network... Point is, many houses have upgraded their phone systems. My new house has a fiber network going in because the only other home network houses the voip system.

Your husband can't call you from downstairs on your own phone -- the line would already be busy. They obviously spoofed your number to fool the caller ID. Criminals lie. How about that.

Yes, you can call your own land line if there are multiple phones connected to the same line. I call our barn phone all of the time from the house by dialing the number and hanging up. Your phone will ring and you just wait for the ringing to stop, indicating that another phone has been picked up. Then, just pick up the phone on your end to talk to the other person on the same line.

When I was younger, we used the "Ringback" number to talk to other people in the house. Basically, you dialed a special number then hanged up. A few seconds later, the phone would ring. I'd wait for someone to pick up, then I'd pick up, and we could talk via the phone.
The "Ringback" was a test feature. But havnt used it in many years as we all carry cell phones now.

Someone called me last week and said that I had called him with a vacation scam. I didn't know what he was talking about but now I do! I'm sick of robo calls from Rachel at Card Services at work. I just got one and pressed 1. The man who answered had a heavy foreign accent. I couldn't even understand him.

Mine to..so I can't block it

They have been using phone numbers in my area.. They are real numbers but innocent people's numbers! This needs to stop. I'm sick of them calling all the time.

Same here!! They have now been using innocent people's numbers and masking their calls! This is just terrible! The woman I spoke with when I called the number back says she's been getting weird phone calls from other people like myself. She plans to go get her number changed. Makes me wonder how long it will be before they start using my number!

I have received literally dozens of calls from Rachel. I have blocked every call that comes in. Now it shows up as if I am calling myself. This is really so annoying. I just want it to stop.

I got a call from "heather" using my aunts sisters number.

Just got a call from Rachel,,i have zero credit cards,idiots

Why haven't the banks stopped this? Why are they allowing charges on our credit cards to be deposited in foreign bank accounts? Why don't they start issuing United States ONLY credit cards. That way when a fraudulent charge is deposited, they can find the boiler room within minutes and alert the FBI. It's the banks' problem and the banks' complete fault. We should be suing the banks for allowing this to happen.

The banks have nothing to do with this. How could you ever think they do. These calls are random calls made by computers, regardless if you have credit cards or not. If you have some idea as to how the banks could stop this, please let the Federal government know. Maybe they can stop this while providing you with free health care.

The banks have as much to do with Rachael as your car dealership does with carjackers. US only cards make zero sense because even if you never buy something from out of the country that does not mean your information didn't leave the country. Buy something online? Nope because the data may travel outside the US and back before you finish your transaction.

I agree and also to get credit, you have to go face to face to the bank to receive a credit card. No online credit card applications will be allowed.

All the FTC needs to do is make it impossible for the scammer to use disconnected phone numbers to make these calls. Find out how they are accessing those numbers and the call will stop. The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help. RR

They're not all disconnected numbers. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to use your own number to call you.

They ARE using disconnected numbers, because when I try to call them back to play stupid with them, the line says it's disconnected. They have found some loophole with the dead numbers and they can access them somehow, so to always be calling from a new number to continue their heinous thievery.

It's not disconnected. It's another phony recording.

I have an app that lets you call using any number you input including 911 so yea they can be anyone's number.

I do press 1. Then I chat with them, telling them I'm driving and can't look at my cards for a few minutes, keeping them on the line as long as possible to waste their time. I don't give any personal info whatsoever, but allude to having many cards with huge balances and high interest rates (ha-I'm zero-debt with locked credit). They'll hang on for quite a while. One just said he's in Orlando and I got him to tell me it's snowing there--idiots in India... After 5-10 minutes they get frustrated and hang up. I'm receiving far fewer calls with this tactic. Has anyone else tried it?

according to the article, this just keeps your name on the list. It turns out that going to the DoNotCall website and registering each call is the best tactic. When they catch these guys (And sometimes they do) they wave HUGE penalties at them PER ILLEGAL CALL they make. The more we register, the more money gets sucked from these guys. I will register every call I get from now on. Hopefully the money they gat will fund the program to make it more effective.

I have reported every single call to FTC. Not seeing a single bit of difference in how many calls I get -- at least weekly for 6+ months. I block the numbers, now they use 800 numbers. How can there be no way to stop it.

I just started getting these calls recently and they are so annoying. I have too reported them as well. But they have not stopped.

Ilook at the number that's calling and don't answer the phone. Works for me !

"Rachel" called again, today, from a local number. Since we are heavily involved with our rural volunteer fire department, hate to not answer what appears to be a local call. Talked to a Jason Davis, from Card Services Group in Atlanta, GA. When I asked where he was born, he hung up on me. I reported the do not call violation.

Yeah same here would like to sue them

THe problem with reporting is that they use real people's phone numbers. So you are reporting these numbers of people who have nothing to do with it.

The site wants the name of the company and their phone number, but for most of the robocalls, telemarketing, and overseas scams [like the Windows Support Desk calls I get several times a week], they're spoofing the numbers, coming up as 0 or gibberish, and I don't know the company name. I gave up trying to file complaints then. The scams, robocalls, and other DoNotCall violators are accelerating now, as is my frustration.

I'll try registering the spoofs and 0-0 calls from now on. Maybe it'll make them more aware of the truth depth of the problem.

It is working. Today the company I work for got shut down. The sad thing about it's a lot of us who you all speak to first knew nothing about it being a scam. We are trained that you all will say what you will and have but it's just to scare us. We was trained to tell you all that the calls are coming from your merchants like visa and MasterCard. The only reason why some of us like myself now know it was a scam is finding out buy calling the numbers printed on our checks to only speak with a person who's signature is not on our checks. Me myself is trying to get to the bottom of this because I help people not harm them and I feel like I was used to harm people. I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT. On behalf of others who work as qualifiers AND FEEL AS I DO I sincerely apologize. I will also be more careful with the next job I choose.

I've asked them before- which card to you work for? They always answer: both, Mastercard and Visa. Those are to completely separate companies.

Sorry, just too many stupid, blatant lies. If this is truly from a former employee, I call BS on your "innocence"...you knew good and well what you were doing.

Good I'm glad you got shut down and I hope you are dirt poor and and have nothing you and your co workers could know better about the job you were hired to do hope I hear more stores of these people getting shut down and are screwed out of everything. Go to jail scammer turn yourself in

Yes the FTC needs real phone numbers. I occasionally answer robo calls on my cell phone to gather all the info for the FTC that I can. I ask for the web site, address, etc and look their web site up while on the phone.

After I've drug the call out as long as possible (not giving any real personal info), I use the number they used to call me, and attempt to call them back. This is also useful information to add to my data to the FTC.

For example, the call where the scammers tried to sell me a Bermuda vacation, had a recording on their phone that said, sorry, the survey we called you about is over now. I think this type of lie is important to include in my report to the FTC.

So what would happen if in mass we filed additional fraudulent claims that they can't disprove?

Don't think it would help, you have to have identifying information so they know who you are reporting. We don't know the name of the company, the name of the individual or have a valid phone number so basically all we are doing is telling the FCC "Someone somewhere is doing this thing" and that's not super helpful no matter how many reports.

The FTC can only use US laws against violators. International scammers don't have much fear of being sued in US court.

this tactic does keep your number in their database but I have used it. When they are selling items, I ask for multiple's if these are things that would make good gifts for various people and try my best to sound excited. Once I have run a tab up with as much wasted time as possible I just tell them no I am not interested. So yes, I waste 10-15 minutes of their time then will not share any information with them. they hang up once they realize that I am not purchasing. Then I report the number and block it on my phone.

I just kept them busy for 15 minutes giving fake credit card numbers. Finally gave up after the second one didn't work:(

They are not in india, they are in america.

For Americans, they have pretty thick accents.

I got a call from David. I know about the scam already so I like to have a little fun with them and try to press their buttons a little bit

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