CHICAGO - Consumers are fed up with robocalls, recorded messages from telemarketers. More than 200,000 people complain to the Federal Trade Commission every month about these calls and the failure of the "Do Not Call" list. Many say the most popular and aggravating is Rachel from Cardholder Services.
On Thursday, the FTC took action against five companies who allegedly made deceptive "Cardholder Services" robocalls.
The companies are based in Florida and Arizona and the FTC said they are responsible for millions of illegal pre-recorded calls from "Rachel" and others from "Cardholder Services." Consumers paid hundreds of thousands of dollars thinking they would lower their credit card interest rates by paying an upfront fee as promised by the robocaller.
"At the FTC, Rachel from Cardholder Services is public enemy number one," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "We're cracking down on illegal robocalls by bringing law enforcement actions and pursuing technical solutions to the problem."
The five complaints were filed against Treasure Your Success, Ambrosia Web Design, A+ Financial Center, The Green Savers, and Key One Solutions. The FTC received a court order to disconnect the operations.
The FTC also took action against a company making "Rachel" calls in 2010. While it may sound like the same person calling, the FTC said it's not. The "Rachel" voice is sold and multiple companies use it.
When you get a robocall, hang up. Many tell you to push a number on your phone to get off their list. The FTC said you shouldn't do that. It just tells the company that the number called is legitimate, and they may call you again.
Also, report all robocalls to the FTC on their website. These reports generate investigations and ultimately may lead to action.
The FTC recently held a summit to address this growing problem. They are even offering a $50,000 cash prize to anyone who can create the best technical solution to block illegal robocalls to landlines and cell phones.
The Cleveland office of the FTC assisted in one of these cases.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Consumer Advocate Stories
This is Cyber Monday and financial experts predict as much as two billion dollars will be spent online by millions of shoppers. Businesses right here in northeast Ohio are benefiting from what's known as the "Black Friday of the Internet."
Billions of dollars are expected to fly around the Internet during Cyber Monday which is the World Wide Web's version of Black Friday. Those kinds of numbers have the attention of not only businesses, but criminals, too. There are fake websites, emails, and pop-up, but we have the On Your Side tips to keep your transactions safer.