Hanging up on Rachel: Robo-calls have been banned, yet the phones keep ringing

"Hi. This is Rachel from Cardholder Services." It's safe to say that millions of Americans have received a call from Rachel or one of her robo-calling cohorts at some point. In fact, there have been so many complaints about calls from robo-dialers with pre-recorded announcements that the government has almost entirely banned them.

As of September 1, the Federal Trade Commission barred all prerecorded telemarketing calls unless a consumer givestheir written permission to receive them furst. Robo-soliciting over cell phones was already prohibited by the Federal Communications Commission several years ago.

Just don't tell that to Rachel. She doesn't appear to be slowing down -- and, at least for the time being, no one can stop her because it's not clear where she comes from.