“Rachel from cardholder services” seems to have been around long enough to be in retirement by now. But she just keeps on calling. And now she has a new angle: lying about her identity on your Caller ID.
Technology has enabled scammers to make it appear as if their call is coming from another number. Some have reported seeing their own number displayed when Rachel calls. The technique is called “spoofing.”
Rachel, and other scammers, have in effect rendered Caller ID technology obsolete as they continue the illegal practice of spoofing others’ phone numbers.
"These scammers are capable of displaying the name and number of a local business; the number of a family member or friend and sometimes even your own number on your caller ID," said Janna Kiehl, BBB CEO. "They are using illegal tactics to throw you off guard; but there are some things you can do."
The Federal Trade Commission has reported that even though past efforts to stop Rachel have temporarily slowed her scams, she is still prompting around 150,000 complaints a month at its Do Not Call Registry website.
Callers who respond to Rachel’s fake offer to lower their credit card interest rates find that at best the scammer only sets up a three-way call with the consumer and their credit card company to request a rate reduction. This is an action that any cardholder could undertake themselves for free.
Instead, Rachel charges for this “service,” sometimes between $495 and $1,595. Consumers are charged even in cases where the rate was not lowered by their card company.
In an attempt to stop Rachel the FTC is reaching out to the computer and telephone hacking community. The FTC has announced that it is hosting three separate contests at this summer’s DEF CON 22 hacker conference. DEF CON is the largest hacker convention and held every August in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The contests are called “Zapping Rachel.” Entrants are challenged to come up with the technology to lure in and trap the Rachel scammers, a process called a “honeypot.” $50,000 prize money is expected to attract numerous hackers to the worthwhile goal of stopping Rachel’s continuing harassment of consumers.
If you’re not into the art of technology but you are a consumer wanting to be rid of Rachel; below are some tips: