Press the Numerical Button One Now!

It is beyond me how Manasseh Jordan Ministries can still be operating. He is one of this country’s worst robodiallers, and has been sued more times than I have fingers and toes to count on.

“Prophet Manasseh Jordan

Apparently he comes to the business of defrauding people honestly, if one can even say that – he is the son of “Master Prophet E. Bernard Jordan,” another Prosperity Gospel preacher. The Wikipedia article confuses father for son in some of the references, but it’s not hard to see that the road apple didn’t fall far from the horse’s ass.

Just got another call from him tonight – from 775-954-0107. Instead of a spoofed number, it goes right to his recorded message:

“They are trying to take something. Press 1! Press 1! There has been spiritual warfare that is coming up and this is why the enemy has been messing with your stuff! Press 1 now to hear this blessed word, press 1!”

If you do happen to press 1, you get his long-winded spiel of spiritual gobbledygook (he’ll fight this warfare for you, etc., including some really weird “speaking in tongues” stuff), but it ends up in his hitting you up for that “great reward seed of $46.46, that $146.00 seed, that $246.00 seed, adding that 46 cents for your great spiritual reward, please hold while I connect you to the blessed operator!”

It’s 2021 and this guy is still operating, and sadly he seems to be amazingly successful as people continue to send him money so he can live a lifestyle of decadent luxury. He’s been fined by the FCC twice, and illegally robocalls millions of cell phones every week, and they can’t seem to shut him down, or don’t care to. It’s a disgrace.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The FTC versus the Hydra



When Heracles fought the Hydra, for every head he cut off, two more sprang into being. Only by cauterizing the stumps to prevent regeneration was our hero able to conquer the beast.

I’ve written before about “Ann from Cardholder Services;” despite the FTC’s 2012 full-court press against five companies responsible for these fraudulent robocalls, the nightmare continues; I’ve had several of these calls in the last week. And even though the last of the original 2012 defendants have just recently settled with the FTC, the business is still active under other heads.

In some ways, it’s easy to understand why this problem won’t go away – it’s highly lucrative, and there’s very little risk of being prosecuted. If you get shut down, you simply start up a new boiler room somewhere else under a different name. The money comes not from suckers wanting to lower their credit-card rates – that’s just icing on the cake – but rather from fractional pennies paid for “dipping” into the caller ID database. In other words, “Rachel” from Cardholder Services doesn’t even need to have you answer to make money; simply placing the call, and the robots do this millions of times a week, is sufficient to collect “royalties.” This article has a lot of good information about fraudulent companies names CallerId4U and Pacific Telecom, both tied to a businessman of questionable ethics named Paul Maduno; two relevant paragraphs follow:

CallerId4U owns 763,000 phone numbers Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, California, and Nevada.  These phone numbers are used exclusively for a telemarketing revenue sharing scheme.

CallerId4U provisions their phone numbers in 3rd party “CNAM” callerId databases.  These databases associate a phone number with the caller ID text that will be displayed during a phone call.   When a phone call is placed using one of these phone numbers, the telephone company receiving the call must pay a small fee of less than a cent to retrieve the caller Id text from the database.  These are called CNAM “dip” fees and refer to the process of “dipping” into the Caller Id database to retrieve the calling name text (CNAM.)

So even though the FTC went after five companies and shut them down, Maduno and his scam continue. It seems that only by beheading the Caller ID “dip” fee monster will this particular scam ever be shut down for good. In the meantime, the takeaways here are two:

  1. If you get one of these calls, just hang up. Don’t press 1 to speak to a representative – you’ll be opening yourself up for the secondary scam; and don’t press 2 to be removed – you’re only confirming to the scammers that you’re a real live number.
  2. If you do happen to connect with a representative, questioning them or cursing at them will have no effect – these are people trained in the art of deception and illicit operations, and they don’t give a rat’s South-40.

The Old Wolf has spoken.