>> Use a credit card instead of a debit card. It's often much easier to recover stolen money through a credit-card company than from the bank that issued your debit card.
>> Only use ATMs at a bank.
Rachel From Cardholder Services
The Bottom Line last wrote about the most famous name in robocall history last summer, but a recent spike in local complaints led to a warning last month from state Attorney General George Jepsen.
Don't fall for calls, he warned consumers, from Rachel (or "Wendy") with offers of lower credit-card interest rates. If Rachel's automated voice convinces a consumer to talk to a live representative, the subsequent low-interest-rate offer includes an up-front fee, sometimes thousands of dollars.
It's against federal law to charge such a fee before a debt is either settled or reduced. Most of these calls are illegal, too, but they're almost impossible to track because the number on Call ID is a fake.
The attorney general's office has received 90 formal complaints about these robocalls since 2010, says spokeswoman Jaclyn Falkowski, but that doesn't include callers to the office's Consumer Assistance Unit who declined to file a complaint.
What to do:
>> Hang up. You're not going to insult Rachel — she's only a robot.
>> If you're a victim, file a complaint with the FTC at ftccomplaintassistant.com or call 1-877-382-4357.
Never overpay an unknown seller for something you can get for less money and greater certainty locally. That goes for grant deeds and any property record available at the town clerk's office.
For the second time in less than a year, the state Department of Consumer Protection has warned about companies sending invoices or offers related to public records.
DCP says a notice from Property Transfer Services, a company operating in the state, sent a notice to a consumer asking for a check for $83. DCP Commissioner William R. Rubenstein says it's the same scheme run by Record Retrieval Department, banished by the agency from the state.
Where to get land records:
>> Your town clerk's office, where copies of land records usually cost $1 per page, and $2 for a certified record.