Actually, it’s bad news.
On November 1, the FTC announced it had shut down 5 companies that were participating in the “Rachel from Cardholder Services” scheme, but over the last 3 days I have been being called relentlessly by “Ann from Cardholder Services”; I have been receiving phone calls from 701-671-9224, which is apparently a new prefix for Pacific Telecom Communications Group.
This article from the Telecom Compliance News Press gives abundant information about the scam and, based on the area code and prefix that is calling you, places you can lodge a complaint. Here is the salient text from the article:If you’ve received an unsolicited telemarketing call from Rachel at “Cardholder Services”, Tom with “Home Security”, or other robocall originating from a phone number listed below, it likely came from a telemarketer that has entered into a revenue sharing agreement with a public utility named Pacific Telecom Communications Group. Pacific Telecom is involved in a scheme whereby they profit from the millions of seemingly illegal unsolicited telemarketing sales calls made each week that are identified with their phone numbers, all in apparent violation of 16 C.F.R. §310.3(b) of the Federal Telemarketing Sales Rule. Pacific Telecom has a foreign “subsidiary” registered in Belize, which seemingly acts as a “shell” company to hide the identity of the individuals who initiate these outbound telemarketing calls and makes it difficult for regulators to investigate this activity. Our analysis of FTC consumer complaint data shows that Pacific Telecom phone numbers are the target of over 25% of consumer telemarketing complaints to the FTC. A staggering 208,362 complaints were filed with the FTC against Pacific Telecom phone numbers over a recent 3 month period alone. The mastermind behind these schemes appears to be an attorney in Portland Oregon named F Antone Accuardi. Although multiple State and Federal investigations are under way, so far Accuardi has not been brought to justice.
The more people that complain, the more the authorities will be motivated to keep working on shutting these bottom-feeders down.
This has been an Old Wolf public service announcement.