So now there’s a better understanding of who the players are, and what it takes to make Rachel work, we can start to fight back against her annoying calls.
Before I dive in too deep into this subject. The concepts I am about to discuss are perfectly legal, and can ultimately put some rain on “Rachel’s” parade. At no time will I tell you to do something that could ultimately land you on the receiving end of legal action.
Things not do do: Blow a whistle, horn or other loud device into the phone at them. Do not make threats against them, or appear threatening in any way. Do not use profane or obscene language.
Do Not Call:
First and foremost, make sure you are on both the National Do Not Call List, and your states’ do not call list. Even though “Rachel” tends to ignore them, it gives you extra leverage in helping to stop her.
Below is a list of links to each Do Not Call list, and if available, where to file a complaint with. If you do not see your state listed (or the state name is not clickable), they do not use a list separate from the National list: Please let me know in the comments of errors or missing information – I will update this list as needed
- Federal Trade Commission, National Do Not Call List and Complaints
- Alaska (Complaints)
- Colorado (Complaints on the list site)
- Connecticut (Complaints)
- Florida (Complaints on the list site)
- Idaho (Complaints)
- Illinois (Complaints)
- Indiana (Complaints on the list site)
- Kansas (Complaints)
- Kentucky (Complaints)
- Louisiana (Complaints on the list site)
- Minnesota (Complaints)
- Mississippi (Complaints on the list site)
- Missouri (Complaints on the list site)
- New Jersey (Complaints)
- North Carolina (Complaints)
- North Dakota (Complaints)
- Ohio (Complaints)
- Oklahoma (Complaints on the list site)
- Oregon (Complaints)
- Pennsylvania (Complaints on the list site)
- Tennessee (Complaints on the list site)
- Texas (Complaints on the list site)
- Wisconsin (Complaints on the list site)
- Wyoming (Complaints on the list site)
Don’t answer numbers you don’t recognize:
“Rachel” tends to hang up and not leave a message if a voice mail or answering machine answers. While a ringing telephone is annoying, a passive response usually is better than an active response.
Before answering, Google the number:
Just by typing the phone number into Google, you can find out within the first link or two if it is “Rachel” or similar scam. If you can do this before answering (and before your answering machine/voice mail answers), it can allow you to still take other calls, without being afraid of hearing “Rachel”.
Record the call:
If you can, record the call. Except for a few states, as long as one party on the call (you) is aware of the recording of the call, it is legal.
In California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington, both parties must know the call is being recorded. While this may make it difficult if you talk to a live agent in the boiler room (they will likely hang up when they know they’re being recorded), do not let it deter you – just be sure you are legally covered.
Talk to a live agent:
If you have the nerve to do so, talk to a live agent. If not, just hang up.
When talking to the live agent (and hopefully while the call is recorded) explain you’re interested, but want to know the real name of the company, where their located, etc. Once you’ve captured as much information as possible, including the agent’s name, end the call.
The key takeaways to this is, DO NOT LIE and as I said earlier, DO NOT THREATEN THEM. Be honest to them, but keep mining for information. If they sense a threat, remember this, they have your telephone number, and can file a police report against you, making your life miserable - not what you had in mind when you decided to talk to them. It is also better to record the call (see above) if possible, so recalling it will be easier later. Otherwise, take liberal notes of the information to collect. Also, if the recording was ever called before a court of law, any lies and threats on your part hurts your credibility.
In the course of this series, on the day after I published part one, I got a call from Rachel on my voice mail. Unlike typical experiences, the robocall recording was partly captured. Using Google, I verified the number was one of many that the scam uses, and proceeded in reporting it. The Texas Do Not Call list reporting tool accepts file uploads, and I uploaded a copy of the recording with the complaint.
I call this the “Nuclear Option”, since it takes a lot of money to hire the lawyers to go to court after the companies and their owners. Just be expected if you win, they can file for bankruptcy, disappear and you’ll be out the money you win, as well as your attorney fees.
I for one don’t have the finances to afford this option, but I mention it here if you recently won the lottery and want to really fight back.
Next time: The series wraps up with a look at what actions the Government is doing, and why I suspect those actions have not put a serious dent in the volume of calls from “Rachel”.