CardHolder Services Comments and Complaints--CROOK ALERT!

Source

CardHolder Services, Orlando, Florida CROOK ALERT!!

I filed a complaint with the Do Not Call Registry yesterday after receiving ten or twenty apparent robocall telephone solicitations in the past month or so on my home phone and cell phone from a woman named Rachel who purported to represent a suspicious outfit that calls itself CardHolder Services. This organization purports to provide lower interest rates on credit card balances.

After filing the complaint I called the customer service number on a credit card that is operated by JPMorganChase to inquire whether CardHolder Services was affiliated with JPMorganChase. I was informed that CardMember Services was not a JPMorganChase affiliate and, moreover, that CardMember Services was "under investigation." It didn't occur to me to ask why JPMorganChase hadn't alerted its cardholders to the apparent scam or unauthorized activiity being perpetrated by CardHolder or CardMember Services on JPMorganChase cardholders.

A quick Google search on CreditCard Services revealed a number of complaints some of which are linked below. The most interesting article I found was from the Harvard Journal on Legislation entitled The Invisible Hand of Preacquired Account Marketing by Prentiss Cox who is a professor at University of Minnesota Law School. The introduction to the long article describes preacquired account marketing thusly:

"...Preacquired account marketing is a sales practice that allows companies to charge consumers for services they do not know they ordered and do not use. The practice depends on a seller’s ability to access a consumer’s financial account without the consumer directly providing her account number and other access information to that seller. This flips the power dynamic in the solicitation process by shifting the burden to the consumer to stop the seller from accessing her account, rather than requiring the seller to ask the consumer for her account information before her account can be charged. This is possible because the seller has paid a financial institution, such as a bank, or another seller who retains consumer account numbers for the right to charge the consumer’s account. Tens of millions of consumers have been affected by this sales practice.


"Many of these consumers have diminished mental capacity or struggle with the English language, making it more likely that they will not understand that they are being charged. This Article recommends that state legislatures or the United States Congress adopt the proposed Uniform Consumer Account Control Act, a total ban on preacquired account marketing. Prohibiting this form of marketing is conceptually less difficult than many other areas of consumer protection regulation because the regulatory costs in this situation are almost non-existent. A total ban forces sellers to actually reach an understanding with consumers. Experience has shown that lesser remedies, such as improved disclosures, are insufficient to control rampant consumer misunderstanding. They do not solve the fundamental problem of shifting control of account access from the consumer to the seller in a way that facilitates sorting of consumers into those unaware of account charges...."

The article reports that a number of presumably reputable banks and other businesses cooperate in the perpetration of misleading and sometimes fraudulent pre-acquired account marketing schemes. "A large number of consumers have complained to state attorneys general, the Better Business Bureau (“BBB”), and other consumer advocates that the preacquired account marketing practice is deceptive.71 The BBB alone has received thousands of complaints about Affinion Group.72....The companies themselves also receive large numbers of consumer complaints.

The Senate Committee investigation found that the companies “receive millions of calls every year from angry, frustrated consumers” who have discovered their enrollment, and wish to cancel their membership or challenge charges to their accounts.75 Customers contacting the companies “us[e] words like ‘fraud,’ ‘tricked,’ ‘deceptive,’ ‘misleading,’ ‘scam,’ ‘deceitful,’ ‘dishonest,’ ‘betrayed,’ and ‘robbed’ to describe their experiences.”76 Complaints at one referring seller rose to a level that an employee of the company described as “brutal and unprecedented.” State attorneys general have brought several lawsuits against some of the largest banks in the nation for their roles in preacquired account marketing schemes.78 The first suit against an account issuer was brought against U.S. Bancorp by thirty-nine state attorneys general.79 The suit alleged violations of federal and state laws for U.S. Bancorp’s sharing of bank account numbers and other personal financial data with preacquired sellers.80 State attorneys general also have brought Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (“UDAP”) actions against the following account issuers for participation in preacquired marketing: Bank One (a multistate lawsuit involving twenty-nine states)81; Fleet Mortgage;82 Citibank (a multistate lawsuit involving twenty-eight states);83 Sears;84 and Chase Manhattan.85 State attorneys general enforcement actions against referring
sellers engaged in preacquired marketing include cases against Tick-etmaster, Time,86 and, more recently, AT&T.87 The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has also filed lawsuits against numerous referring sellers engaging in preacquired marketing with Triad Discount Buying Services.


88 Companies involved in the FTC matter included the following: Premier Club Services, L.L.C.; Premier Marketing Services of America, L.L.C.; Residents Resource Network, L.L.C.; and the Shoppers Edge, L.L.C., among numerous others.89 State attorneys general have repeatedly filed enforcement actions against many preacquired sellers as well. These include cases against Damark (now Provell, Inc.),90 Blitz Media, Inc.,91 BrandDirect Marketing, Inc. (a multistate lawsuit involving the Washington and Connecticut attor-neys general),92 MemberWorks and its successor Vertrue,93 and Trilegiant (a multistate lawsuit involving sixteen states).94"..

The law review article concludes that regulation is needed to curb pre-acquired account marketing. Based on what I've learned through my experience and a little research individuals are well advised to:

1. Beware of unsolicited offers of "free" trial offers of discounts, coupons, services, etc. from retailers like Penney's or Sears, your credit card provider or your bank.

2. Do not give your credit card number or bank account number or Social Security number to anyone over the telephone or on line unless you are absolutely sure that the request is from a reputable business or organization.

3. Get the name of the individual calling, the name, mailing address and telephone number of the business he or she claims to represent. If there is any reluctance to provide you with this information STOP RIGHT THERE!

4. If you accept an offer be sure to read the fine print and get a clear answer of the amounts that will be charged to your bank account or credit card and the procedure for stopping the charges. TAKE NOTES!

5. Check your bank and credit card statements each month and complain promptly about any charges that you don't understand or don't believe you authorized. In many states if you fail to complain in writing about an error or improper charge on your account within thirty.days, TOUGH LUCK!

Comments are welcome below about your experiences or complaints about CardMember Services, Credit Card Services or similar sources.



From Caller ID--How to Deal with Unsolicited Calls

"I have learned how to deal with these calls. Reporting the number that is on your Caller ID to the FED or your state’s Attorney General does no good because it is usually either a forged number or it is a number that can not be associated with the caller, and therefore cannot be used to identify the real caller.

"You need to get a REAL number that can absolutely identify the caller in order for the FED or your state Attorney General to be able to sue the real culprit. The only way to get that real number is to talk to the caller and turn the tables on him!


"When you get this type of call feign interest. That means that if the recorded message asks you to press 9 then go ahead and press 9 to talk to a live person. While they give you their pitch, keep feigning interest. Sound excited that you may be able to have your interest rate reduced. Keep them talking. If they ask you a question, answer it, but don't answer it truthfully (and NEVER give them your Credit Card number or anything else that is real).

"After a couple minutes you will have them hooked. That is when you have to go to the bathroom, or check the oven, etc. Ask them if you can call them back in a few minutes and get a phone number from them. Chances are they will give you a real number (and their name). Call that number back a minute or two later and ask for the person that you were speaking to. Talk to them just long enough to ensure that you are talking to the same person and that the same conversation is being continued. At that point, tell them that you are on the Do Not Call List and that you want to be placed on their own internal DO NOT CALL list. Also, let them know that you now have a valid phone number to report to your state of the FED.

"I did this a month ago after receiving dozens of calls offering me to reduce my interest rate. When I asked if I could call back I got the number ‘1-866-942-6441’ along with the company name ‘Sapphire Financial’. I called back a minute later and spoke to the same person and the conversation picked up where it left off.

I was able to report all this to my State’s Attorney General and because they have a verified bonafide phone number, the AG can sue the company, which they are in the process of doing so now. Now when they call (and they continue to call) I feign interest so that I can get a verified, bonafide number that can be used to SCREW them both legally and royally 

"Until you can get a verified bonafide number, there is nothing that you can do. If you can get a verified, bonafide number, the FED or your state’s Attorney General can do something,

"By the way….If you do feign interest and they don’t give you a number when you ask….just tell them that you will just call 1-866-942-6441 and ask to speak Jennifer Sallies instead. More than likely they will be calling for Sapphire Financials and hearing their real number and the owner’s name will really BLOW their mind."

[From Caller ID Website.]

Here's a Comment from James Jones Who Says He Worked for one of these Credit Companies

I worked a few days for them, it is not a total scam as they can reduce interest rate for consumers that have higher than 17% interest rates, but it is a completely commissioned based company and thus I made no money. We were taught to basically hang up on anyone who asks any questions unless they are really interested in reducing their rates. Anyone else, we hung up. Other than that, I understand they're an automated system that will call anyone and everyone, mostly elderly, and even those on the "do not call list." We just hung up on everyone who did not say yes and hitting the #2 does nothing. There is nothing to stop the calls. We just hang up on any person who didn't sound like they were interested. They do check credit, so it will hit your credit score. They told us that we would make $700-1000 per week. But, when I saw 6 outta 10 making $0 in 3 days, it didn't seem profitable. The sad thing is they advertise the job on Craig's List and on magic marker signs on the side of the road. They didn't even look at the application and just said, can you sell this and your hired. Thus, anyone could have access to your private information. Thus, beware.


Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/personal-finance/166794-credit-card-services-total-scam-visa-2.html#ixzz1YhmxsDyA

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Comments 45 comments

writeronline 5 years ago

A very revealing, yet distressingly unsurprising example, Ralph, of what passes for ethical business practice in the financial services sector, worldwide, these days.

As this lack of ethical/moral standards is in no small part responsible for the Global Financial Crisis/GFC, I think the acronym is missing a key letter - S.

SGFC, as in, Self Generated Financial Collapse.

As far as I can see, most of the people in charge of financial services organisations are robbers. And the rest are thieves.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. Very true. I try, wherever possible, to avoid dealing with the banksters and other unethical businesses. After my experience with CardMember Services I canceled a credit card operated by a huge bank which I suspect engages as a seller in "preacquired account marketing." Several years ago I had an experience with this practice at my local bank, Charter One. When I opened my account I became eligible for a so-called "benefit" which provided discounts of various kinds. There was no charge to my account. Some time later the bank discontinued the "free" service and began charging my checking account a small amount each month using an unintelligible designation for the debit. Several months later I noticed the charge and inquired about it. I was told that several months earlier a printed notice had been included with my monthly statement explaining that the bank would henceforth be charging for the discount coupon program. I told them that I didn't recall seeing or reading the announcement. The bank said well, "You're obligated to notify us within 30 days of any errors or complaints about your account. So, we are able only to credit your account only for the previous month's deduction from your account." That amounted to about $2 as I recall although the total deducted was close to $100. Needless to say, that didn't make me a happy camper.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Who can you trust these days? I travel a lot and check my home number for messages. It is usually some Ahole offering to lower my credit card rate and I can't stop it. Recently my Credit card was compromised by a Florida company. I informed the Credit card company who allowed the charge the following month. After complaining again they cancelled my card and issued another with a different number and say they will reimburse me. Such a pain as I pay so many bills on line. Similar events have caused my Son and my Partner to have new cards issued.

My advice is to read the small print on those tiresome"notices" issued by card issuing banks and ALWAYS check your Credit Card Statements as soon as they arrive with a small tooth comb. Good luck! It is definitely Us against Them in the credit card world. Excellent hub and I hope every one reads it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Who can we trust? Good question. Thanks for your comment.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Thanks for raising awareness.

Very Useful.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Tnx, Lady E.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

I just received another robo call from "Credit Services" at 567-225-4427 offering to get me 4.9% on my balances. I'm going to file a complaint with the Do Not Call Registry. Anybody else being pestered by these shysters?


jiberish profile image

jiberish 5 years ago from florida

I was a corp trainer for one of the Mega banks, and they allow affiliates to market their goods but have a fine print that the bank itself is not liable for any misinformation. Worse part of it is that they require the customer service dept to make offers and actually have quotas they haave to meet. Trust NO One...nothing is free!!! Good Info Ralph.


Steve B. 5 years ago

These bastards have been calling at least once a week since August - including when I was home recuperating from a hospital stay. Nothing I say or do makes then stop, and I have filled out numerous complaint forms with the feds and the state, yet it continues. I'm beginning to think the Do Not Call registry is the biggest scam of them all since it doesn't work and is not enforced.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

I agree. I'm still getting calls after filing two complaints with the Do Not Call Registry and saying some pretty impolite things to the outfit's representatives over the phone.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Rewriting the Law on Automated Cellphone Calls - NYTimes.com

Federal law protects cellphone customers from receiving automated calls without consent, but the government and industry groups want to change what “consent” means.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/business/rewriti...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

"Rachel" of Credit Card Services or Cardmember services is still making robo calls offering lower interest rates on credit card balances. Regulators are receiving 1000s of complaints about robo callers using fake caller I.D.s.

A company called Sonkel Communications has sold robo call services to telemarketers that generated tens of thousands of complaints, according to the FTC. The telemarketers sold home security systems, credit card services and programs using caller ID readouts that "Service Message" or "Service Announcement."

Anybody know anything about Sonkel Communications?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

"Rachel" of Credit Card Services or Cardmember services is still making robo calls offering lower interest rates on credit card balances. Regulators are receiving 1000s of complaints about robo callers using fake caller I.D.s.

A company called Sonkei Communications has sold robo call services to telemarketers that generated tens of thousands of complaints, according to the FTC. The telemarketers sold home security systems, credit card services and programs using caller ID readouts that "Service Message" or "Service Announcement."

Anybody know anything about Sonkei Communications?

FTC Goes After Sonkei Communications For Evasive Robocalling Services

Reliable Sources

Published: Wednesday November 23, 2011 9:00 am

Federal Trade Commission Section

Print Print

Email Email

Sonkei Communications, Inc., Peter J. Turpel, and Joseph Turpel sold robocall services to telemarketers offering credit card services, home security systems, and grant procurement programs. The defendants allegedly gave clients the means to hide their identity by transmitting inaccurate caller names on caller ID displays, such as “SERVICE MESSAGE” or “SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.”

http://newsroom-magazine.com/2011/government-agenc...


Pissed 5 years ago

The new spin on the scam is that they want your name and phone number to add to "There" do not call list. Then they sell that information to other seedy telemarketers as a confirmed phone number list that they know are working numbers. They have no do not call list. Only better target list they sell since you provided more information.


justme49 4 years ago

speaking of card holder services. Those morons just called a few minutes ago-you start yelling at them they say watch your mouth inspite the fact they been going at this since 2007-5yrs is getting old


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

The FBI should be tracking them down and jailing Robocall Rachel and her employers. And the people who sold our telephone numbers to them.


justme49 4 years ago

couldnt agree with you more. One would think after 5 years and hanging up or telling them to get the blank lost they would go away


RGNestle profile image

RGNestle 4 years ago from Seattle

One of the reasons that the FTC and FCC will not go after Card Holder Services is that it is not a single company scamming the public.

If you think CMS sounds familiar, it is because Bank of America calls their customer service center Card MEMBER Services. CHS is playing on this familiarity.

They are like a franchise. You buy the scam details and then begin calling people from an illegal database.

The number on your caller ID is a call service which is not set up or is set to not receive calls.

The people who you speak with if you press '9' on your phone is someone's private cell phone, and is probably a disposable one at that.

I have been reporting them for years and the FCC and FTC refuse to even reply.

I have found that the only joy I get out of these calls (I get one or more a month, although I have never been tricked by them) is to say extremely rude things to the person to whom I am transferred.

They know that they are breaking the law since they often ask for PIN numbers along with passwords and other sensitive data.

I would love to threaten their lives (just to make sure they get the hint that they should stop trying to scam people) but I haven't. I have, however, told them to get a real job and to stop scamming people (among other, ruder things). I just make sure to wait till they say, "Hello", but to hang up before they can recover their composure.

I hang up with a sigh of happiness and go on with my day.

The "customer rep" doesn't know what your number is since you are a transfer from the robo-dialer.

It's sad that the government isn't doing anything about this, but have some fun with them during the interim.

Great Hub!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the information and comment. I haven't had a call recently. Maybe they gave up on me. I've even gotten calls on my cell phone. I'm careful about who I give that out to, and wonder how they got that number.


RuralGirl 4 years ago

I don't even have a credit card and Rachel keeps calling. I am on the DNC list. I've filed numerous complaints with the FTC.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Try writing you senator and congressional representative. You're welcome to forward a link to this article.


Pturpel 4 years ago

Sonkei Communications, Inc., Peter J. Turpel, and Joseph Turpel sold robocall services to telemarketers offering credit card services, home security systems, and grant procurement programs.

You are wrong in making this statement about Sonkei Communications. Though a complaint has been filed the company does not do robo-calling to consumers and I imagine the case will be dismissed. Sonkei mostly handles multi-medi projects. Also the pics that Mister Deeds has posted are inaccurate. If you search you will find press releases for the company, stating that it is fighting the case. I have to agree that it is a sad thing for anyone who has to deal with this kind of call.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Mr. Turpel, Thanks for your comment. The statement was not mine. I quoted the NY Times who quoted the FTC as follows:

"In addition, the F.T.C. said on Tuesday that it had filed a complaint against a company that it said violated its rules prohibiting the use of robocalling by telemarketers and the masking of caller ID.

"The agency said Sonkei Communications sold robocall services to telemarketers that generated tens of thousands of consumer complaints. The telemarketers sold home security systems, credit card services and programs, using caller ID readouts that said “Service Message” or “Service Announcement,” the F.T.C. said. Sonkei Communications could not be reached for comment."

I personally have received approximately 100 calls on my home phone and on my cell phone from Robo Rachel offering to reduce the interest rate on my credit card balances. (I have no credit card balances.). I have filed two or three complaints with the "Do not call list" people, to no avail. I received a call day before yesterday, and my response was not printable on this forum. I will be watching to see what happens to the charges against your and your brother's company. I will be pleased to print a retraction if they are dismissed. Moreover, I will be happy to replace the pictures of you and your brother if you supply them to me. Sorry if they are not "accurate." Moreover, you are welcome to post your company's press releases on this matter. Or I will do so if you send them to me.


Pturpel 4 years ago

Thanks Mister Deeds. I beleive if you read the complaint the word aledged is in there. There are also press releases out there from our attourny and PR staff expressly stating that we are not involved. It's sad we have to spend money to defend ourselves. what make matters worses some pretty mean, albiet I am sure they are frustrated, people call our firm and hang up repeatedly, impeding our business.

Also, you mention that the FTC could not reach us for comment. to my knowledge they never attempted. You may be referring to a NY times request, but no-one was actually here when they left a message.

Regarding the picture, JOe Turpel's is wrong. Mine is correct as it looks like it was downloaded from a video where I won " The spirit of small business award in 2008." In any event, we are not in the business of doing robo-calls and hope for a swift end to this disruptive complaint.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Mr. Turpel, thanks for your comment. I added the word "allegedly" to the link descriptions of the NY Times article and the NewsRoomMagazine reports on the FTC action. Also, I removed your brother's and your pictures. My only knowledge of your company's alleged involvement came from the NY Times and the NewsRoomMagazine articles. I hope the FTC complaint is resolved fairly to all concerned.


Pturpel 4 years ago

I appreciate that Mr. Deed. As soon as this hits closure I will be sure to let you and your fellow readers know. We fully respect the law and people right to privacy and have always worked with the highest ethic. We incoporate into our company mission, The 4 WAY TEST from Rotary. 1) Is it the Truth. 2) Is it FAIR to all Concerned. 3) Will it build Goodwill and better friendships. 4) Will it be Benefical to all concerned.

I'll let you know the outcome.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks. I wish you well. [If you run into Robo Rachel tell her to please stop calling me unless she's looking for a hot date!] :-}


pturpel 4 years ago

I will do that...but I hear there is a Heather and a Diane out there as well. Be safe and remember every day is a Friday :-)

Pete


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Susan Tompor: Debt isn't real but harassing phone calls are Detroit Free Press

On the surface, this consumer alert seems a tad too obvious to be worth repeating. The Federal Trade Commission is warning people that they should not hand over money to pay a debt that they do not owe. Didn't borrow the money? Don't send a check or agree to installment payments on your credit card. Got it? OK.


IHATECARDMEMBERSERVICES! 4 years ago

Get CONSTANT calls from them--Tonight, asked about getting on the "do not call" list for this company--"Credit Member Services"---guy pretended to have an Indian accent and ask me stupid questions like "do you want to call a cab?"....when I repeated for the 15th time that I wanted to be excluded, he then asked "ma'm, do you have a dildo at home?"


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

When they call me I ask for more information and just set the phone down. Sometimes I call them nasty names. I haven't had any calls for a couple of months. For a while I was getting calls on my cell phone when I was driving.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

9-18-12DetroitNews--"Do-not-Call Registry Thwarted by Technology

Washington - So much for silence from telemarketers at the cherished dinner hour, or any other hour of the day. Complaints to the government are up sharply about unwanted phone solicitations, raising questions about how well the federal "do-not-call" registry is working.

I've filed several complaints with the Do Not Call Registry but I'm still getting robo calls offering me low interest loans on my credit card balances (I have no credit card balances.)


dee 4 years ago

I now look forward to hearing from Rachel at Card Holders Services, because I came up with a plan: play their little game, tell them you want to get out of debt. Make up a large amount you owe, and when they ask for the card number, tell them you have to go get it. Set the phone by a TV, or radio speaker and let it play into phone until they hang up! The company wants clients, so they will stay on the phone and wait for you to return until it becomes obvious THEY have been scammed! If we all do this, perhaps Rachel will throw in the towel at CARDHOLDERS SERVICE!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Great idea! I've said a few impolite things to the salesmen. Perhaps I'll try your tactic. Lately I've been getting calls on my cell phone when I'm driving. I'd like to know where they got my cell phone #!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

11-9-12NYTimesBlog "Squelching Robo Rachel" by Ann Carrns

Goodbye to Rachel From Cardholder Services - NYTimes.com

The Federal Trade Commission is moving to disconnect Rachel from Card Services and other robocallers.

After the telemarketer “approved” the consumers for a “program” to get rates as low as 0 percent, according to the F.T.C., the telemarketer informed them that there was an upfront fee, ranging from several hundred dollars to nearly $3,000. To persuade consumers to pay the fee, the F.T.C. said, telemarketers would often say that it would be more than offset by the money the consumer would save through the program.

In some cases, the F.T.C. asserted, consumers’ credit cards were charged, even if they didn’t agree to pay for the service.

11-9-12NYTimesBlog "Squelching Robo Rachel" by Ann Carrns

Goodbye to Rachel From Cardholder Services - NYTimes.com

The Federal Trade Commission is moving to disconnect Rachel from Card Services and other robocallers....

In other cases, the F.T.C. contended, the telemarketers did not disclose a fee at all, or claimed there would be no fee.

After consumers paid the fee, the F.T.C. alleged, they typically found — surprise, surprise! — that the companies did little or nothing to lower their credit card interest rates. And they often reneged on promises to refund the fees.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

I'm still getting calls on my cell phone and home phone from Robo Rachel at Cardholder Services despite filing a couple of do not call complaints. I wish I knew who sold these vultures my phone numbers.


Express10 profile image

Express10 3 years ago from East Coast

In addition to the large, well-known companies you state, consider the fact that there are thousands of smaller, telemarketing companies that also perform pre-acquired account marketing. There is a fairly large number of these types of companies that charge for trials, services, and products that victims (you can't be a customer if you didn't actually know or were forced into something) knew nothing about. People from all walks of life fall victim and a large number of victims are people who cannot afford these extra charges. I too write about scams and how to avoid them.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Thanks for your informative comment. I got two calls yesterday, one on my home phone and one on my cell phone. I wish I could find out who's selling my phone numbers to these creeps!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

2-15-13NYTimes "Calling Out the Robo Caller" David Segal

Telemarketer’s Tactics and Regulators’ Response Elicit Complaints - NYTimes.com

Account Management Assistance offers to reduce credit card interest rates, but satisfied customers are scarce. "This is your 2nd and final notice!" Sound familiar??


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Agency Offers $50,000 for Best Technical Solution as Part of Ongoing Fight Against Illegal Calls

The Federal Trade Commission is challenging the public to create an innovative solution that will block illegal commercial robocalls on landlines and mobile phones. As part of its ongoing campaign against these illegal, prerecorded telemarketing calls, the agency is launching the FTC Robocall Challenge, and offering a $50,000 cash prize for the best technical solution.

This is the agency’s first government contest hosted on Challenge.gov, an online challenge platform administered by the U.S. General Services Administration, in partnership with ChallengePost. Challenge.gov empowers the U.S. government and the public to bring the best ideas and top talent to bear on our nation’s most pressing issues.

“The FTC is attacking illegal robocalls on all fronts, and one of the things that we can do as a government agency is to tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, when he announced the challenge and prize this afternoon at the Commission’s Robocall Summit. “We think this will be an effective approach in the case of robocalls because the winner of our challenge will become a national hero.”


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

3-8-13NYTimes--"Government Takes Legal Action Against Phone Scam"

Government Takes Legal Action Over Phone Spam - NYTimes.com

In eight federal civil cases, the Federal Trade Commission named 29 individuals, most of whom worked for companies that were hired to send the unsolicited text messages.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

4-14-13NYTimes--" Playing Catchup with the Robocallers" The Haggler, David Segal

Playing Catch-Up With the Robocallers - NYTimes.com

The nation’s dated communications infrastructure makes it hard to find the ideal way to thwart illegal robocalling.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 2 years ago Author

Once or twice a day my home phone rings and the message VB14095934000659 appears on my phone screen. I sometimes answer and there is no reply. Any idea who or what this may be?


Express10 profile image

Express10 2 years ago from East Coast

It most likely is a caller ID spoofed robocall from a scammy crook or company full of them. Legitimate companies, organizations and individuals clearly and 100% accurately ID themselves and do not spoof or engage in other illegal or unethical deeds.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 2 years ago Author

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