FTC shuts down robocall credit card scams

Nov. 2, 2012 at 4:07 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Five companies behind a credit card "rate" scheme and other credit card robocalls were shut down, the Federal Trade Commission announced.

The companies behind the "Rachel from Cardholder Services" scam defrauded customers out of more than $30 million by promising to lower credit card interest rates in exchange for an up-front fee, the FTC said.

Consumers responding to the "Rachel" calls were transferred to telemarketers promising to lower credit card interest rates in exchange for an upfront-fee somewhere between several hundred dollars and $3,000, The Christian Science Monitor reported Friday.

After collecting the fees, the companies made no attempt to actually lower consumers' interest rates, the FTC said.

The companies had defrauded more than 30,000 customers out of more than $30 million for non-existent services, it said.

"At the FTC, Rachel from Cardholder Services is public enemy number one," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a release.

The FTC says it receives 200,000 complaints a month about robocalls and has shut down companies responsible for 2.6 billion telemarketing calls since 2009.

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