Last Modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 7:17 PM
Is it me, or are telemarketers getting smarter? I am on the Do Not Call list, and I have reported Credit Card Services. They continuously call me, but it’s always from a different number.
I have also tried blocking their number, but it keeps telling me it’s not a valid number. I have gotten so fed up with them.
Every time I pick up the phone it’s, “Hi, this is Rachel from Credit Card Services.” I have punched 1 to talk to someone, and whenever I do they just hang up on me.
Like I said, I have reported them, but they’re continuously calling me. Isn’t there anything we can do about this?
The Federal Trade Commission, which has cracked down on so-called robocalls in recent years, says consumers should do three things — all of which the reader has done — when they receive such automated calls:
Hang up. Don’t press any numbers to speak to someone.
Block the number if possible. But since robocallers falsify call information — using multiple numbers — and call blocking sometimes costs extra, it might not be worth it.
Report the calls to the FTC at www.donotcall.gov or 888-382-1222.
In recent Twitter and Facebook chats on the subject of robocalls, FTC official Kati Daffan repeatedly offered the above advice and directly addressed the subject of “Rachel,” a widely used telemarketing audiofile.
“Any new developments with ‘Rachel from Cardholder Services’? I’ve been plagued with calls from them,” one Facebook commenter wrote.
“We have sued companies placing calls for ‘Cardholder Services,’ ” Daffan replied. “We have many investigations in the pipeline. We know that many like you have complained about ‘Rachel from Cardholder Services.’ ”
In March, the FTC announced in a news release that it had reached a settlement with a Los Angeles-based company that between January 2008 and August 2009 made about “2.6 billion outbound robocalls that were answered by approximately 1.6 billion consumers, approximately 12.8 million of whom were connected to a sales agent.”
Under the agreement the company will surrender $3 million or so in assets, “including more than $1 million obtained from a bank account in Hong Kong, a $375,000 lien on a home, a 50 percent interest in an office building in Saipan, the defendants’ interest in seven parcels of undeveloped land, as well as three cars and a recreational vehicle.”
The company — which used the Rachel audiofile, along with equally infamous “Stacey” — was banned from telemarketing and agreed not to misrepresent any goods or services it sells in the future. If it violates the agreement, it must pay a $5 million suspended judgment.
Does the city of Lake Charles’ building code currently have any requirements for the proper removal and disposal of lead dust and paint by contractors doing work within the city limits?
I know there are stringent federal regulations regarding this issue. However, I am not aware of any permitting or inspection requirements for painters.
“The International Building Code does not specifically address requirements for the removal and disposal of lead dust and paint,” City Administrator John Cardone wrote in an email.
“Painting does not require a permit or inspections within the city of Lake Charles. We recommend that all contractors and/or subcontractors contact DEQ and/or EPA for the proper removal and disposal of hazardous materials.”
The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email email@example.com
Posted By: Kwitcherbellyakin On: 8/20/2012
Title: Rachel at CardHolder Services
How it works:
People should continually file complaints with their Attorney Generals office and also file with:
If enough people keep complaining then maybe something will get done.
The calls are being made from outside the US however most of the call centers (where you actually talk to someone after pressing 1) are in the US and the companies making the money from the scam are owned by people in the US. Asking to be removed from their calling list only verifies that they have a working phone number. They continue to call because it is a criminal operation and these criminals do not care about the law.
Many of these calls are coming from Costa Rica and India and they are using spoofed (false) numbers, which in itself is illegal. They do cold calling for or sell the leads to numerous companies in this country and they know that what they are doing is illegal. Tomorrow this same number may be selling Cruises, Timeshares or Security Systems but if you follow the money it usually ends up in the hands of an American LLC. Keep complaining to the FTC and FCC, and start bugging our politicians to pass laws to make it punishable in criminal court instead of handing out fines that they don't pay. Another course of action is to contact phone companies to find out why they won't block spoofed numbers. With today's technology that should be an easy thing to do, unless they are somehow profiting from the use of their systems.
For anyone thinking of using Special Information Tones (or as they're called in the industry SIT tones) to fake a non working phone number, they won't work. Since around 2001-2002, the costs of "digital" business lines have dropped dramatically, along with Voice over IP (Internet) telephone service. Neither of these use the SIT tones as the call information is carried separate from the audio.
This separate call information tells the calling party digitally if the call was answered, busy, voice mail, forwarded, rejected, etc. This renders SIT tones useless. Also the "TeleZapper" products that used to be on the market used this method as well, and were rendered ineffective for the same reasons.
It is also through this separate call information message that the spoofed caller ID information is transmitted.
Robocalls are illegal unless you have given them prior permission in writing (not worded into some small print contract from a 3rd party) and are absolutely illegal to a cell phone. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act permits individuals who have received certain unlawful telemarketing, such as junk faxes or telemarketing calls, to sue the violator in state courts where they may be awarded up to $1500 for each violation.
Check here first to see if it is one of their phone numbers:
Pacific Telecom Communications Group
Follow JD's recommendations in the blog and stop them at the source.
Many of the disposable numbers come from Pacific Telecom Communications Group and they are currently under investigation and in the midst of various lawsuits. (The principles involved have been part of actions by the FCC under other business names).These businesses have ripped people off for millions of dollars, yet have paid only a couple of thousand dollars in fines. The only way to stop them is to throw them in prison for a few years to make this criminal activity less attractive.
The Oregon Public Utilities Commission has revoked Pacific Telecom's certificate to provide telecom services in Oregon.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed lawsuits against:
Consumer Credit Group and Proactive Planning Solutions of Arizona for violating Indiana’s Do Not Call Law and Auto-Dialer Act known as the robo-call law. Both companies violated the Credit Service Organization Act and Deceptive Consumer Sales Act by not obtaining $25,000 surety bonds with the state and collecting money upfront without performing any services.
Debt Zero of California for collecting money up front, failing to provide services or a refund and operating without a $25,000 surety bond.
Clear One Advantage of Maryland and Credit Arbitrators of Texas for violating the Credit Service Organization Act and the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act by not obtaining the required surety bonds.
Arkansas sues robocallers:
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/aug/0 ... arketing-firms/
Missouri sues robocallers:
http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/236974-kost ... nies-over-calls
Proof that current laws mean nothing to these scum suckers, these same people under different companies have been sued in the past and have only paid a minimal fine. Here are just a few:
Write your Congressmen and Senators. We need CRIMINAL penalties against the companies that are profiting from these calls. Follow the money, slap them in prison, no one left to outsource to overseas boiler rooms, problem solved. Since they are operating across borders it should become a federal felony and should be handled by the FBI under the RICO Act.