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Rachel at Cardmember Services: This telemarketer is no friend

September 10, 2013|By David Lazarus
  • Consumer columnist David Lazarus
Consumer columnist David Lazarus

Lori has been receiving calls from "Credit Card Services," a.k.a. "Cardmember Services," a.k.a. Rachel.

These particularly annoying telemarketing intrusions are often known as "Rachel calls" because many begin with a recording that says, "This is Rachel at Cardmember Services."

ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions

Whatever name is used, the pitch is almost always the same -- an attempt to dupe you into signing up for a new credit card that will almost certainly come with a higher rate than your existing plastic.

Lori wants to know how to keep Rachel away.

It's not easy. The Federal Trade Commission says it plays Whac-A-Mole with scammy companies that make these calls. Every time officials locate and crack down on one of these guys, another pops up elsewhere.

What can you do? Report any such calls to the FTC. It might not solve the problem, but it can't hurt.

And don't take the bait when Rachel or one of her aliases reaches out. Unlike the Rachel on TV, this one is no friend.

If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

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