“Rachel from Cardholder Services” still getting through

A call from "Rachel" a day after the FTC cracks down on companies allegedly behind "her"

As if the pre-election robo-calls in Maryland aren’t bad enough, “Rachel from Cardholder Services” is still annoying people with scam phone calls – despite an announcement just yesterday from the Federal Trade Commission that they had halted operations at five companies they say make the illegal “Rachel” calls.

“‘Rachel’ . . .  is public enemy Number One,” FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz thundered, in a statement released yesterday announcing the federal court order they obtained.

But Rachel is not exactly quaking in her boots.

Dialing from a 213 area code (which is Los Angeles), she called me just now and told me I was eligible to “drastically lower my interest rates!”

“Rachel” calls almost daily to tell me, probably you and millions of other American about this wonderful opportunity.

But the FTC alleges in its complaint that it’s no opportunity at all. After collecting an up-front fee,  the companies behind “Rachel” do little if anything to fulfill their promises.

The fee ranges from several hundred dollars to $3,000, the FTC said. In some cases, consumers are charged without their consent. In others, the telemarketers do not disclose that there is a fee.

The FTC has been warring with robo-callers in general, shutting down  companies responsible for 2.6 billion calls since the calls were outlawed in 2009 . Last month, they held a Robo-Call summit to underline their resolve.

So how is it, after all this enforcement effort,  that Rachel is still on the loose?

Mitchell Katz from the FTC office of public affairs, said there are many companies involved in the Rachel calls and the Commission is continuing to try to root them and other phone spammers out.

“It’s an incremental thing,” he said, “you can’t get them all in one shot.”

What about political robo-calls, I asked.

“Political calls are specifically exempted from the law,” Katz answered.

That was going to be my kicker, as they say in the news biz.

Then, the phone rang and it was, according to caller ID “000-000-0000.”

It was a fellow who said he was from “Mortgage Solutions.” In Pennsylvania, he said, when I asked where he was.I told him I was finishing up a story. Was there a number where I could reach him to call back?

He hung up.

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  • Carol Ott

    Hey I just got one of those “Rachel” calls yesterday about “lowering” my credit card rates.  What I’d like to know is who sold my phone number to this company?  You can be sure I’ll never do business with that company ever again..  So…which company do all of the call recipients have in common?

    It’s also interesting to note that in the 7 years I’ve had this cell phone number, this is the very first time I’ve received a robo sales call.  I’ve never even gotten a spam text message.  So my guess about a legit company selling their customers’ information feels right.

  • Jn102

    Why is it that on Verizon I can only block 5 phone numbers? Many it’s because Rachel is using Verizon. Bastards.

  • Walter

    At first Rachel scared me because I though that I was behind with my credit card payments. She always has “important ” news about lowering my interest rates. Since I am old-school, I pay off my credits cards so that I do not need to pay the outrageous interest rates.  I think that this upsets the people Rachel works for at Cardholder Services and they told her to call me almost everyday to try to kill me by driving me crazy with her annoying calls. 

    My wife thinks that Rachel is my girlfriend because I get so many calls from her. After 50 years of marriage, Rachel is causing a riff in my relationship with my wife. I just lost my job of almost 60 years at the old Bethlehem Steel mill, now Rachel is ruining my marriage too with her unsolicited advances towards me. I even called the local FBI office in Woodlawn to see if I could file some kind of a complaint with them or the FCC.  They told that Rachel even calls them too and they do not know what to do about it and they are about to go nuts too!!
    Hopefully, after the election, in the name of national security, President Romney will order our military to put a stop to Rachel’s terrorist activities!

    Dr. Walter  Phd. BS

  • HarcoGuest

    I’m also getting daily phone calls from a chimney sweep company.  A quick google showed me this is yet another scam.

  • George

    Rachel’s calls are made only to seniors because we are the only ones still listing our phone numbers in the White Pages of the phone book. All of the younger people have unlisted cell phones or IPads and Rachel cannot find their phone numbers.

    Does anyone know how to stop Rachel’s harassment of our seniors?

  • IronworkerSP

    She calls me at suppertime 2 or 3 times per week. Is this legal?

    • joeblow1984

      call forward selective these calls to Rep. Elijah Cummings office!!!! Of course the Sun likes to moderate anything talking about OUR ELECTED OFFICALS.

  • cwals99

    Blame all of these scams and the failure of government agencies to address them on the policy of Cost Benefit Analysis put into place by Reagan and left there by a supermajority of corporate Democrats after the 2008 elections.  It is the reason we cannot get the Justice Department to act until millions of dollars are lost by thousands of people who then are expected to let the AGs know.  If you are a baby boomer that remembers pre-1990s you know that we had government agencies filled with oversight people whose job was to look for fraud and corruption before it happened.  You never saw open advertisements on media that led to fraud….you never went to a business and signed a contract that was later based on fraud….you never gave a thought about hiring a licensed contractor because we had a system in placed that watched out for signs of problems before it happened.  That is how it should work and advocates like me have been demanding that all this mortgage fraud penalties be used to rebuild these agencies.

    Cost benefit analysis places the benefit to the business rather than the consumer.  So, you don’t want to spend money on oversight because it adds cost to business to deal with agents or meet objectives.  You don’t want regulations because it takes away from corporate profit regardless of the ill affects on consumers or the public.  That is why we are seeing all these settlements with no admission of guilt because we don’t want a corporation to expend legal fees or excessive penalties. 

    We know that it is this policy that has given us a predatory and criminal business environment  and it is the primary reason that most people no longer trust government, corporations. and even media outlets any longer.  We need everyone to shout loudly and strongly for an end to policy that places profits over people!

  • ushanellore

    Rachel won’t Benghazi you, no way. She is hurt you are Benghaziing her.

  • ushanellore

    If you’re elected,
    you’re a great god selected
    for special treatment.

    And joeblow you are
    no more than a nobody,
    to the plutocrats.

    Just a mere voter,
    you recede no sooner than
    you hit the ballot.

    • joeblow1984

      That’s why I tape my calls made to congress critters and post them on YouTube.

      Comment awaiting moderation because I mentioned congress.

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