Jan 07

Hi this is Rachel from Cardholder Services…

We’ve probably all got that call at some point over the last few years, telling us this is our final notice to lower our interest rates on our credit cards.  You promptly hit 2 to asking to be removed from the system, yet the calls keep coming.

Phone ReceiverI got one such call this morning around 10am on my cell phone.  The caller ID said 303-217-1074, and not knowing if it was work related, I answered the call.  Again, that familiar speech began, to which I promptly hung up the phone.

After going to great lengths to put both my home and cell numbers on the National and Texas State Do Not Call lists, it doesn’t seem to stop “Rachel”.  I also try to file a report each time she calls to the government, but those reports has not really resulted in any action.

But, that’s about to change.  In the days leading up to the holidays last month, the Federal Trade Commission issued a press release about taking action against “Cardholder Services” trying to stop “Rachel” once and for all.

In the complaint, filed December 12, 2011 by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, Roy M. Cox, Jr. of California, along with Castle Rock Capital Management, Inc., and several foreign companies that he is a principal owner of, accusing them of multiple violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

The complaint goes on to ask the court issue an injunction barring further activities by the defendants until this matter can be settled by the court, and if the DOJ is successful in the case, permanently barring them.

While this may stop “Rachel” for the short-term, what is to prevent the other owners from just creating new companies, and starting up again?

For one, the DOJ is also asking for financial compensation for the costs associated with this case, along with further penalties.  If the court grants the requests, hopefully the only option Cox and the other owners will have is bankruptcy and liquidation, leaving them with no money (and no equipment) to start again.

I for one will celebrate the day when “Rachel” retires, and I can safely answer my phone again.

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/hi-this-is-rachel-from-cardholder-services/

  • Great work on this post. Dave Lieber, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  • Dex Sinister

    RE: “Cardholder Services”

    I just got off the phone with these lovely people, having BS’d my way into actually being permitted to talk to a “senior account representative” by feeding the sale rep a fake credit card number (google “Graham king credit card numbers” to find a page of randomly-generated invalid numbers with valid CC-number format. Use with any random card exp. date and fake name).

    The “details” of their offer are that they’re going to charge $600 to your credit card, based on the promise of saving you at least $1,200 in interest, by allegedly lowering your interest rates to some absurd amount like 0.9%. So, $600 up front, but “savings eternal”. Yeah right.

    Having BS’d the rep into thinking he was about to close the sale, I asked him for the company information…and he gave it to me! LOL.

    Associated Accounting Specialists, Inc.
    Port Saint Lucie, FL
    According to corporationwiki, their address is
    146 NW Central Park Plz Ste 201
    Port Saint Lucie, FL 34986

    Active officers include Robert W Page, Danielle D Page, Jason R Page, Ryan J Page and William R Page. Corporation is a domestic FL corp.

    According to “florida-annual-report DOT com” the full info on their corporation is:
    This information is current as of November 18, 2011.
    Status: Active Filing Date: 08/11/2011
    Entity Type: Profit Corporation File Number: P11000072127
    Company Age: 5 Months
    Principal Address: 146 Nw Central Pk Plz
    Port St Lucie, FL 34986
    Mailing Address: 146 Nw Central Pk Plz
    Port St Lucie, FL 34986
    Registered Agent:
    Page, William R
    146 Nw Central Park Plz
    Port St Lucie, FL 34986
    Page, Danielle D
    5939 Nw Center St
    Port St Lucie, FL 34986
    Page, Jason R
    1235 Sw Briarwood Dr
    Port St Lucie, FL 34986
    Vice President
    Page, Robert W
    5939 Nw Center St
    Port St Lucie, FL 34986
    Page, Ryan J
    5939 Nw Center St
    Port St Lucie, FL 34986
    Page, William R
    32 Center Ave
    Burlington, NJ 08016

    Enjoy the information

    • Good detective work!

      Hopefully, the Page family will face a similar fate to Mr. Cox et al.

    • Also Associated Accounting Specislists has a “Tax Service” side company. Who in their right mind would want robo-rachel-scammers to do their taxes, anyway? 

    • michael

      Dex, I’m trying to put together a class action lawsuit against these folks, and the information you’ve gotten could be very helpful. Could you email me at tcpa.suit [at] gmail [dot] com? Thanks!

    • rossaimer

      Unfortunately “Rachel” is being replaced by “Scott!”
      Had several calls from Cardholders Services past couple of days!
      These bastards are like cockroaches. You can’t get rid of them!

  • Gene Stevens

    Michael, I wish I could be as optimistic as you. But financial compensation and penalties were included in a citation against Cardholder Services by the FCC 5 years ago.


    Do you really believe the FTC will show more teeth than the FCC has shown? I got another call from Rachel today, so Cardholder Services doesn’t appear to be intimidated by the FTC as of yet.

    But thanks for the heads up. I’ve been sending complaints to the Do-Not-Call Registry AND the FCC for years. Now I can look for a complaint form for the FTC to add to the list.

    • The Do Not Call list is maintained by the FTC, and by filing out the complaint form, it gets routed to the right place.

      As far as the previous complaint/citation, it did little to stop them, they just changed names (if it was the same people to begin with) and modified their method of operation. It did little to deter or stop them.

      The FTC complaint should bear more teeth than the FCC, since they are going after them in Federal Court, with the Department of Justice leading the charge. Even high-priced attorneys might not keep the company from being forced out of business.

      • Nunya

        I’m sure that they can find tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of witnesses willing to testify against them. That *@#& well better outweigh high-priced attorneys.

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  • Gillianroberts

    I found additional information online identifying a person of interest here to be some guy in Arizona:

    Red Leaf Capital LLC individual uses several alias names: Leroy Castine, Chris
    Ambrosia, Lee Cestin

    Ambrosia Web Design LLC, 2906 S Revere Circle,
    Mesa, AZ 85210, 888-583-1956, 480-703-5818 
    and some other enterprises.   This address is a home not that far from me.
    I also spent some time talking for the sake of using up time and was told that the robo calls came from corporate VISA and Mastercard.   I talked to a guy at corporate Mastercard who said they had nothing to do with the calls, were aware of them and trying to work with authorities.

    • I believe I came across a conection between Red Leaf and AWD,but here is my earlier report on the events discribing both.
      Missouri based “company” Client Services Inc (CSI) became a suspect in the “Hello, This is Rachel at cardholder services..” scam August of 2011.
      They claim they are “only a third party debt collector”.
      According to their past online advertising, what they were/are selling, reselling, trading is not Consumer friendly, to say the least.

      Inquiries were made into CSI’s New York “affiliate foreign for profit company” Financial Services Solutions LLC (FSS).

      Meanwhile, Florida based American Diabetic Assistance LLC (ADA LLC, Now is National Diabetic Assistance)- no connection with American Diabetes Association, begins an aggressive telemarketing scheme against our State. Evidence suggests ADA LLC got their “call center services” from CSI, whom also has hidden “call center services” in Florida, Kansas, and another “shell company” – Red Leaf Capital in Texas.

      All three, CSI, FSS & ADA LLC were requested their Do Not Call Policies. Nothing has ever been received. It’s simply not enforced by the FTC under TCPA laws.
      BAM! Suddenly FSS goes “Inactive-Surrender of authority”, and the website mysteriously disappears!
      And now they sell/sold different stuff according to Manta online business search.
      Then ADA LLC’s “affiliate foreign for profit”- Pgkn Inc. suddenly shuts down!!
      So what’s going on here?! Could it be illegal?!

      “Telemarketing”?- or abusing loopholes & gray areas of debt collecting laws to commit all kinds of fraud, and get around FTC DNC laws.

      Another perfect example-
      There is good cause to believe that CSI re-sold “Rachel” to Arizona based Ambrosia Web Design’s (AWD) collection of “affiliate companies”.
      Even after reported as using several alias names- “Leroy Castine, Chris Ambrosia, Lee Cestine”, AWD continues to operate and “Rachel-robo-call“.
      Just take a look at the available online AZ Sec of State scanned documents. Forms are filled out in the same handwriting!
      “Ambrosia” must have forgotten how he signed AFB LLC- “Leroy Castine”, and Concord Financial Advisors, LLC- Lee Cestine”.
      Signatures are the same!!
      AWD’s “Chris Ambrosia” is signed a little different, but the handwriting is the same!!
      Isn’t that a Felony FRAUD?!? It certainly is from the American Consumer standpoint!! Yet the robo-calls continue……

  • SickOfRachel

    Rachel may have changed her name to Heather….I have received 2 call in the past 2 days with the same crap as what Rachel spews out.  The numbers are local calls and when you call back they give you the option to “opt out” of their calls but it seems like when I do that, it invites them to call me more! Who does business with the awful people anyway?????

    • It wouldn’t surprise me one bit.  I’ve had a couple of additional calls in the past few months, although I don’t recall them mentioning a name. 

      I need to follow up and see if there’s been further action on this case – but I suspect that since Roy Cox has been outed, most of the assets are now under another, non-related company’s control, leaving the ever present annoyance one step ahead of the long arm of the law.

    • Genedale

      I suspect that by calling them back (or pressing the button on the phone that the automated Rachel tells you will end further calls) all you’ve done is confirmed that your phone number is an active one.  And much like with the “opt out” feature on email spam, the spammer/telemarketer has the green light to spam/call you more, because they now know there’s someone at the other end of that line.  Which is why I may retire my air-horn (or get a bigger one).  It doesn’t seem to deter them and I’m just confirming to them that I’m still at this number.  

      The irony is that I’ve NEVER owned a credit card.  And I’ve told them that repeatedly.  But it doesn’t seem to sink in that they’re wasting their time with me, offering me a lower rate on a credit card I don’t own.

  • DownWithRachel

    This has been going on for years and looks to be ready to go on indefinitely. I don’t understand why these people don’t receive jail time because the fines are not deterring them. I think I am going to buy a very loud megaphone and after I select 1 then I am going to blow out some eardrums. At least, I’ll get some satisfaction from the call. Maybe if everyone started doing it then they wouldn’t find employees to man the phones.

    • I have been researching this for quite a while.  I hope to be able to share more information on “Rachel” in the near future, including why this continues without stopping, despite the impact of the Government’s actions.

      Believe me, the case against Roy M. Cox is not the beginning, nor the end of this fight.

  • I have been researching this for quite a while.  I hope to be able to share more information on “Rachel” in the near future, including why this continues without stopping, despite the impact of the Government’s actions.

    Believe me, the case against Roy M. Cox is not the beginning, nor the end of this fight.

  • Dear readers –

    After releasing this story in January, and based on the comments left here (as well as heard elsewhere), I started investigating deeper into the “Rachel” saga.  Tonight I published the first of four posts into what is much bigger than most suspect.

    The following link will list all articles as their posted:


    Or, for quicker updates, follow On The Spot Blog on Twitter @OnTheSpotBlog:twitter or like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OnTheSpotBlog

  • Dkentjr

      Well today I have received 2 phone calls and after using my coaches whistle in their eardrum maybe they want call back. You know I could make a Million dollars selling whistles anyone want to buy one.

    • Does using a whistle or air horn work well to stop the calls? Not to discourage the use, especially if it works, but I’ve found some blog posts discussing why whistles, and air horns may not be the best approach. Does anyone know about this?
      1)“Most phones have some sort of noise canceling circuitry, reducing or eliminating loud noise at the other end.”
      2) “A blast, especially from an air horn may cause damage your phone receiver mic.”
      3) “At this point in time, most chs “reps” are well prepared for the possibility of getting blasted.”

    • its a recording why bother

  • omg i just found this , i get calls from them every dang day !! and im so tired of it .ive reported it also to the ky do not call registry .no action was taken . sincerly jenny from kentucky!

    • Danceswithdachshunds

      Reporting them will do nothing. It’s the trunk line / network owners who do not care about us – Verizon, Comcast, little Bells, etc.

      • The big network owners like AT&T, Verizon, Level 3 Communications and others have a big skin in the game. If it is found out that these fraudsters are riding their network, it can damage their reputation, and customers will abandon in droves. That is why most of them have logic in place to prevent “spoofing” phone numbers. Rachel and the other fraudsters tend to use small service providers that backhaul onto the bigger providers, but don’t have any spoofing protection at the point of origin. Hopefully the working group in DC will come up with a plan to stop spoofed numbers, and force the scammers to show their real caller ID (which of course can then be blocked by blocking services)

        • Danceswithdachshunds

          “and customers will abandon in droves” The only place to go besides them is VOIP but that isn’t going to stop the scammer calls connecting via the big networks.

          I agree that the big networks have the means to stop them but disagree that they have any significant incentive to do so. There’s no place for us to go unless we all start stringing up fiber house to house …

          (or all start using packet radio!)

          • The big networks are all transitioning behind the scenes to VoIP. They’re keeping the “edge” of their legacy network for compatibility with legacy customers. I am engineering a project right now, that will transition our locations from legacy interconnect to VoIP, no phone number, nor service provider changes, only the means of transport changes.

            It is as this stakeholder meetings happen that we should see the providers themselves coming up with a plan that will prevent what Do Not Call regulations have not been able to do.

  • i guess we could act like we are gonna try and get some intrest to get a live person then below in there ear like you all say with a horn or whistle.mabey this could work .lol

    • Danceswithdachshunds

      If the horn idea makes you feel better than by all means go for it! (So far my tentative sanity has been the only thing to prevent me from taking a shotgun and shooting the phone right off the wall!) However, the phone circuitry at each end and the analog/digital/analog conversions in-between are all going to limit how loud it is at the other end so anything is unlikely to be any louder than just pressing a key on the phone keypad.

      For fun when I have a moment to spare I see how far I can get with them lying about my situation. It seems that they are interested in you as a mark if you have over ~$5000 in debt across several cards and are paying over ~9% interest.

      Eventually they get to specifics and ask if I have a recent bill so then I can get them to wait for me to get one … and wait … and wait …. burning their time until they give up.

  • Danceswithdachshunds

    The solution to stop them is for all of us to ->>> ALWAYS PRESS #1 to speak to a person!

    1. It costs you nothing
    2. You don’t have to say anything at all, (just put the call on hold until it ends if you like)
    3. They have to PAY people to answer every person who presses 1.
    4. Their business model DEPENDS UPON 99.99% of everyone they call to hang up on them

    5. The only people they want to talk to are the 0.01% who are:
    A) Stupid
    B) Are paying high CC interest rates on $1000’s (see “A”)
    C) Desperate
    6. If they have to pay 100 times more to talk to an extra ~0.1% who take my advice – their scam becomes economically unworkable.

    Please pass this along! If we ALL press #1 – THEY WILL FOLD! I guarantee it!

    • I saw a recent report that most of these scammers look at a 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 success rate for the scam to be viable. That’s a pretty low rate of return, yet you would think with all of the legal troubles, the employee troubles and other troubles these fraudsters have that they would just call it quits.

      Alas, that 1 in 50,000 is easy money to them, to the point they don’t care. Until such a time that the think tank can implement their countermeasures (due to be announced next month) Rachel, the Microsoft and IRS scammers will all continue to rake in the cash.

      • Danceswithdachshunds

        “that 1 in 50,000 is easy money to them”

        Maybe you aren’t getting my point. The only reason that 1 in 50,000 is easy money is because the other 49,999 people they called simply hung up the phone and therefore cost them nothing.

        If a 1000 people out of that 50,000 would simply do what I suggest it would increase their labor cost 1000X for each “1” they score on (assuming your 1 in 50k scenario ).

        It’s no different than killing refi spammers in the 90’s – you GO to their lousy web page and fill it out … with CRAP! When 10,000’s of the entries on their list are garbage they cannot possibly go through it to sort out the good from bad leads making the list worthless.

        • Oh I get your point. The problem is most of those people work on commission (that’s how they really keep their costs down). If the fraudster smells a hint of a counter-scam, they’ll be gone to the next call in a heartbeat. So you don’t waste their time – you have to be a real pro to keep them on the hook for extended periods.

          It’s just like the days past of junk mail. If they want you to mail back an application for a credit card or some other service in a pre-paid envelope, I used to take and stuff all their garbage back in it and mail it back to them. Let them pay the postage to trash their trash.

          But the best thing to do with Rachel is to hang up. Just like e-mail, if you respond to them, they will continue to harass you knowing they’ve got a “live” number. For that reason, I have NoMoRobo on my home phone (not yet available from my cellular carrier) and most of those scammers don’t get through. On my cell phone, they recently added a function that I can report and block numbers from the call log, which has been helping as well.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            No, I still disagree. “Just like e-mail, if you respond to them, they will continue to harass you knowing they’ve got a “live” number.”

            If you were a legitimate business and a person you called played with you to burn your time would ever call them again? Of course not!

            I’ve easily kept them on the line for several minutes many times and have told them directly that I’m wasting their time – but they keep calling back – every day. The reason is that they do not have a “do not call list”! My number is on their call list and exactly NOTHING is going to remove it whether I hang up or not.

            The spoofed CID changes every time they call so blocking doesn’t work.

            I’m trying to convince you that social media has the power to kill their scam – if enough people join in and speak with a person these scammers will be flooded with waiting calls … CALLS THEY DO NOT WANT!!!

            “But the best thing to do with Rachel is to hang up. ”
            Hanging up is exactly what they want 9999/10000 of us to do so you are wrong.

          • “If you were a legitimate business and a person you called played with you to burn your time would ever call them again? Of course not!”

            If you read my entire theories, you’d find a discussion of Rachel being a Medusa. This theory is proving more and more true, in that as States take down players in the Rachel case, the calls keep coming. I suspected when I wrote the original series on Rachel this was the case, and that she would be hard to stop.

            So you annoy Company 2, and upset some boiler-room employee. But short of terminating the agreement with Company 1, which is making the calls and routing them to Companies 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. They can’t stop Company 1 from calling you. Its very likely the next time she calls, you’ll end up at Company 3, so you’re dealing with yet another entity altogether, that has no idea of what you’ve done to Company 2 in the past.

            As far as social media, how do you think you found this site? As a Telecommunications Engineer, its my job to understand how telephone systems work, and to implement and support those systems. I’ve had 4 phones on a desk ring at different times in one day all from Rachel, I’ve had hundreds of complaints from internal customers. I had to understand Rachel to combat Rachel. There’s a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo that I know above and beyond what I’ve written here, and I know it is a challenge.

            By using faked CID, they avoid getting call backs, but also keeps the “Company 1” from being easily traced. Most of the prosecutions have been of the downstream companies that only got caught when the boiler-room employee spilled too much information.

            In the time it took me to write this, a co-worker in the next cubicle over just took a call from Rachel. Company 1 has no cares in the world, its not costing them money to call thousands of phone numbers. Its the other companies that have the money in the game, and while you may scare one company away, another fly by night company is there to take their place, just like when the 5 companies were prosecuted last year.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            “As a Telecommunications Engineer, its my job to understand how telephone systems work,”

            Unfortunately you have a poor understanding of economics, I’m an engineer and business owner. I defy you to deny that their business model REQUIRES that 9999/10000 people they call, the ones bothered by them, just hang up! That allows them to cycle thru 10,000 people in no time flat (you tell me – how long it takes?) giving them ONLY that one poor schlub on the line fooled into thinking he’s going to be helped by them.

            “and while you may scare one company away” – If everyone routinely presses 1 and wastes their time there will be ZERO companies to feed company #1.

          • I saw the owners of five companies go to jail. Even threats of jail time and millions of dollars in fines has not been a deterrent.

            Disclosure: On The Spot Blog is operated under the umbrella of my own small business, On The Spot Communications, which has been doing telecommunications consulting for better than 25 years (although my job in Corporate America pays the majority of the bills)

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            “Even threats of jail time and millions of dollars in fines has not been a deterrent.”

            Exactly right! And that WHY I’m outlining a way to fight back that will actually WORK – it breaks their business model – they will no longer get ROI. They will be swamped with us “bothering” them and unable to get to that 1 out of 10,000 they wanted to swindle.

          • Again, shut one company down, there’s another (likely two or three) to take their place.

            You annoy an employee to the point they grow a conscious and walk away, there are two or three candidates waiting to fill that chair.

            The real fix is to get more “real” jobs so the pool of potential employees shrinks. If all of the companies can’t hire the people to answer those calls, then their “sustainable” model breaks. If they can’t take the calls, Company 1 no longer has the capacity to make the volume they once did, and it drops below the sustainable rate.

            Again, taking one company down will not stop Rachel, all of them have to be taken down AT ONCE, which will break Company 1. And when Company 1 gets in trouble and no longer has the boiler rooms to support the calls, the whole thing collapse.

            Again, I suggest you read my other articles on this site, where I go into further detail on how Rachel operates and how to fight back.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            “shut one company down, there’s another (likely two or three) to take their place.”

            My plan is not the same as interdiction. Interdiction just invites innovation to get around interdiction (e.g the war on drugs) The next one to try will just come up with new ways to avoid what trapped the last one.

            But if they shut down because there is no money in it – only THEN will there NOT be others to take their place.

          • The next company in line will just look at the previous failure as “you’re doing it wrong”, and think that they’ll have a higher success rate than their predecessor. It’s a vicious cycle you can’t win.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            But they won’t have a higher success rate, word will get around. There is no way for them to get around around my suggestion.

            I give up – if I can’t convince you of why it would work by now further discussion isn’t going to do it.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            “The problem is most of those people work on commission”

            Not a problem at all – if they are on a commission and getting flooded with no sale calls, (people like me who press 1 to burn them), they will QUIT!

          • Just like the companies themselves, there are too many people waiting in line for these “get rich quick” and similar scam job listings. So you’re not contributing any more to their already astronomical employee turn-over rate.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            “there are too many people waiting in line for these “get rich quick” and similar scam job listings”

            That doesn’t affect the BOTTOM LINE – insufficient number of “marks” to steal from because their phones lines are jammed with people who took my advice..

          • Its not like people will queue to connect to an agent. Company 1 likely has a very large bandwidth connection, and the subsequent companies only need enough bandwidth to service the agents they have. The economics of contact center design always scale for a certain percent of blockage. The downstream companies get service on a 1 phone line for every agent, and with the cost of that service so cheap anymore they may have some excess capacity just in case.

            Your idea of jamming the lines (of Company 1, which would have the most impact) is noble, but it is unlikely you could find enough people that got the calls all at the same time to create the log jam. Also, the design probably has a majority of the service being handled by the phone company, and so when the selection is made to go to a live agent, Company 1 has the phone company take the control of the call back and hand it off to one of the other companies. This again would prevent clogging the dialer from keeping on dialing numbers.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            “but it is unlikely you could find enough people that got the calls all at the same time to create the log jam”

            You must be kidding? How long does it take to make 10000 robo calls per “line” (for the purpose of discussion) if every recipient says “Hello” and then hangs up? 20000 seconds?

            Now how long does it take if 1000 of them STAY ON THE LINE instead?

          • This is the one variable that without finding “Company 1” and looking at their setup do we know how big “Rachel” really is. Is it capable of only dialing a few dozen calls, or a few thousand calls at once? Is it continuing to dial even if there are no agents available? How many agents are working Rachel’s calls? Again, if it calls you, and you tie one agent up, how many more “random” people would it take to create the log jam? 1? 1,000? You just don’t know that answer.

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