After a surge in the number of robocalls from the pretend "Cardholder Services" and its phony surrogate "Rachel," the Federal Trade Commission said he has stopped five companies that were responsible for millions of those calls.
Consumers nationwide have complained about the calls, which would come at all hours to people regardless of whether they were on the national Do Not Call list. The calls make it appear they're coming from a credit card company offering to lower interest rates, but that's just a guise to extract an upfront fee.
“At the FTC, Rachel from Cardholder Services is public enemy number one,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. “We’re cracking down on illegal robocalls by bringing law enforcement actions and pursuing technical solutions to the problem.”
More than 200,000 complaints a month about telemarketing robocalls are received by the FTC. The agency says when consumers do go along with the calls and pay the fee, they receive nothing in return. The fee has ranged from a couple of hundred dollars to nearly $3,000.
Robocalls, with a few exceptions, are illegal. If you get an illegal robocall, the FTC suggests you:
- Hang up without pressing any numbers to try to get off of the list.
- Consider blocking the number.
- Report the call at www.donotcall.gov.
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About the author
Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com