Make us your home page
Instagram

FTC temporarily silences 'Rachel from cardholder services'

"Rachel from cardholder services" may not be calling you anymore.

A federal court order Thursday morning temporarily halted operations at five telemarketing firms that the Federal Trade Commission said illegally dialed consumers with millions of prerecorded messages — often saying they were from "Rachel."

The FTC said the "Rachel" telemarketing companies, all based in Arizona and Florida, told consumers that they could drastically reduce their credit card interest rates if they paid initial fees. Asking for such an up-front fee for debt-reduction services is illegal, the FTC said.

Callers are directed to live telemarketers, some of whom promised to save consumers up to $2,500 in finance charges, the FTC said. If consumers said they were interested, the telemarketing company then conducted an "audit" to make sure the customer qualified, according to the complaint filed by the FTC. That usually required the consumer giving out credit card and financial information over the phone, and often led to fees of up to $3,000, the FTC said.

FTC temporarily silences 'Rachel from cardholder services' 11/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 1, 2012 8:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Equifax CEO Richard Smith steps down amid hacking scandal

    Personal Finance

    The chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will retire, effective Tuesday, according to a statement by the company.

    Richard Smith, chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will reportedly retire effective Tuesday.
[File photo: Joey Ivansco/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP]
  2. Bass Pro acquires Cabela's for $4 billion

    Retail

    Bass Pro Shops has acquired competitor Cabela's for a reported $4 billion. Bass Pro indicated it is seeking to appeal to all "outdoor enthusiasts" with the move, roping in hunting customers from Cabela's.

    Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's for $4 billion, Bass Pro announced Tuesday. | [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  3. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  4. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]
  5. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]