Consumers need to be aware of what the FTC calls 'Rachel calls,' where recordings of 'Rachel, from Card Services' defrauds consumers out of thousands of dollars in upfront fees without ever providing card services.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 25, 2013
Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advocacy platform, would like to alert the public that the Federal Trade Commission recently shut down two companies that auto-dialed consumers with a recorded message that targeted victims telling them they were approved for credit card rate reduction services.
“Consumers need to be aware of what the FTC calls 'Rachel calls,' where recordings of 'Rachel, from Card Services' defrauds consumers out of thousands of dollars in upfront fees without ever providing card services,” says Scambook’s Director of Marketing Kase Chong. “These so-called 'Rachel calls' are not regular telemarketing calls – robots aren’t allowed to be telemarketers. We applaud the FTC for taking action against these calls.”
The two companies, Treasure Your Success and Ambrosia Web Design, both had lawsuits brought against them in separate, but similar cases. These companies were luring consumers with low interest rates of two or three percent or a specific amount of interest savings. Both companies required that the targets pay hefty upfront fees but never provided the consumer with any of these promised services.
This has led to the FTC banning both companies from making robocalls, engaging in telemarketing, or doing business with anyone utilizing those business tactics. In addition, the companies' assets were frozen and both were forced to pay substantial monetary penalties. The FTC published the following statement:
“The defendants often deceived consumers into thinking defendants were affiliated with a government program. If consumers agreed to sign up, the telemarketer got their credit card information, often charging an illegal advance fee before providing any service.” *
Since then, Ambrosia Web Design representatives have also been suspected with failing to mention their “No refund/no cancellation” policy and charged with credit card laundering.
What makes these auto-dialer “Rachel calls” illegal is that the victims did not ask in writing for a sales call from either company. It is also alleged that neither company screened its call lists for numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.
With advancements in technology, these robocalls are becoming more common due to auto-dialing technology and “Caller ID spoofing,” where a company can trick your phone into thinking the same robot is calling from one state one day, and another the next.
Scambook recommends the following tips should a consumer begin receiving these robocalls:
1. Hang up immediately. While consumers may be tempted to stay on the line to attempt to remove their phone number from the company's list, doing so will only confirm that the phone number is active.
2. If considering the offer for the service, research the company prior to giving out any personal or financial information. Search sites like Scambook to see what other consumers are reporting about this company.
3. File a complaint with the FTC and Scambook. This will alert other consumers to the company's suspicious marketing tactics.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.
*Katz, Mitchell, “Deceptive Robocallers Permanently Shut Down in FTC Settlements,” http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/09/ambrosia.shtm 9/13/2013