Crowdsourcing A Scam Investigation: 253-246-8503

This morning, it came again: a robo-call from Kent, Washington — at 253-246-8503. The recording was of a chipper woman saying she was from "Credit Card Services" with an "important message" about my credit card.

This is perhaps the fifteenth or twentieth such call I've gotten on my cell phone. I've never pressed one to get more information; I always hang up. Even though it sounds like an obvious scam, even though I'm on the do-not-call list, even though they are illegally calling my cell, I've never bothered to look into it.

But today it's raining in LA, and people drive like lunatics, and I was late and in a bad mood. Today I slept badly and am feeling off. Today things at work are annoying me. Today I also got an email from a Popehat reader who has been annoyed by the same calls from the same number, and who had read my Anatomy of a Scam series about investigating a crook. [A quick aside: watch for an update on that soon!]

Upon such little coincidences our lives turn. Scammers, I may decide to pursue you, or not, depending on how last night's dinner is sitting. Your fate may turn on Scrooge's fragment of an underdone potato.

Time to drop the hammer. And I'm sending up the Popehat Signal, because it's time for you, ungentle readers, to help. We're crowdsourcing this motherfucker.

Like the Batsignal, only with much more relaxed physical fitness requirements.

So: first. You know our methods, Watson. Preliminary Google results for 253-246-8503 reveals many hallmarks of a scam: multiple results on nearly every "who is calling me" site on the internet, consistent stories about robocalling to people on the do-not-call list and to cell phones, consistent stories of pressing "1" leading to rude and abusive and evasive telemarketers (including, but not limited to, threats of violence and attempts to induce children to give up their parents' credit card numbers), and potentially related scam enterprises at the same 253-246 prefix. Many people have apparently already contacted authorities; I recommend that everyone continue, using optimal reporting methods and looking to the FTC, the Attorney General of your state, the Attorney General of Washington state, and possibly the King County Prosecuting Attorney.

A note about publicizing this: for God's sake, if you are complaining about a telemarketer and posting your experience on a site like, don't post something like "these people called my cell phone number, 213-555-1000, and I want that number removed from their calling list, and my name is Gullible Numbnuts." People. Don't post your name and phone number on the internet.

So. I need some help:

1. Anyone in or near Kent, Washington, who could scope out locations once we start to find them?

2. Some of you are awesome Google wizards who put me to shame. Any thoughts on using public resources to track the number to individuals, named companies, or addresses before I start spending money to do so?

And, finally, there's a specific group I need help from: current or former employees of "Credit Card Services" from 253-246-8503. People who work there or have worked there, I'd like to address you for a moment. I bet some of you will get here eventually.

You probably worked there because you didn't have a lot of other options. I'm guessing they treated you like shit, right? They paid you poorly, and maybe sometimes the paychecks didn't arrive, or they bounced, or they docked you pay for bogus reasons? Scam artists usually treat their employees very badly. They probably also harassed you, belittled you, screamed at you. Scam artists tend to be sociopaths. A lot of them are sexual predators. A lot of them get off on demeaning other people over whom they have power.

Did any of that happen to you? Is it happening right now? Did you work hard, and they ripped you off?

I can help you.

I will help you by finding the right place to file complaints if they ripped you off on your pay (the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, for example). I will use my contacts in Washington State, and my audience here, to find competent attorneys in Washington to help you — whether its good lawyers willing to work on contingency or lawyers willing to work pro bono. If you worry that you're in the government's crosshairs right now because you participated in a scam, I'll work to find you pro bono criminal defense counsel to protect you and convince the government to see you as a witness rather than as a target for prosecution. In short, I will go to bat for you. I can't practice law in Washington, but I will do everything I can.

All you have to do is help.

By that, I mean that you have to provide the full name of everyone you dealt with at 253-246-8503. You need to provide their home addresses if you have them. If they paid you by check, I'll need a copy of one of the checks so we can see where they bank and under what name and what the account number is. You'll need to provide the names of any corporations or other entities you saw or heard there. You'll need to tell me about assets that the scam-leaders flaunted — the cars, homes, and boats. Finally, I'll want to hear about every scam they were running — every pitch, every bogus company name, everything you were trained to do. I won't ask you to commit to cooperating with the government — that's between you and the attorney I will find for you. But if I'm going to help you, you need to give the scammers up. You can reach me at ken at popehat dot com. I'll be waiting.

Let's take down some scammers. Together.

Edited to add: People in the comments have made the perfectly fair point that the Washington number may be spoofed or forwarded and that the callers may reside physically someplace else entirely, perhaps even overseas. Even so, let's find out what we can, publicize it to make it easier for people to find on the internet, and follow up on the leads. If there are readers in, say, Pakistan who are employees of this enterprise and want to drop a dime on it, I don't have as many contacts there, but I will do what I can for you.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. says

    I tried once to get a telemarketer to tell me more so I could fish for information to give to the authorities, but I wasn't able to keep up the Gullible Numbskull routine long enough; I let my contempt shine through. I would consider traveling across the country to sit in the courtroom and watch if this ever comes to trial.

  2. Paul says

    I just got a call, my 20th? and finally pushed (1) to talk to someone. He was rude, abusive, and when I asked them to stop calling me he cut me off halfway into the sentence. I'll start filing complaints.

  3. Caleb says

    A cautionary note: despite the area code, these scammers' base of operations may not be in Washington, or even in the country.

    A few years back, I looked into a similar scam for a friend who was getting cell calls from a (515) area code-my old stopping grounds. After a preliminary investigation, it turned out that the number was owned by a call forwarding service. They simply provided a domestic number for calls originating from out of the country – in this case India. I still contacted the forwarding company and threatened to report them to the authorities. This must have worked because my friend did not get any more calls from that number. But I was never able to track down the actual perpetrators, who probably just bought another block of numbers somewhere else.

  4. C.S.P. Schofield says

    Suggestion of other resources to look for; a couple of gorillas with names like Guido and Nunzio, who supply their ow tools, and have an unhealthy fixation on kneecaps.

    Just a thought.

  5. says

    Caleb: that's definitely a possibility. It's one of the reasons that an investigation starting from a phone number is more difficult than one starting from an address. But sometimes things are simple, rather than difficult — time will tell if this is the case. If nothing else we can find and publish more information about this scam.

  6. Courtney says

    Whoever is doing the calling is also using the number 253-246-8534 and possibly 8510. Someone on this site claims to have found out the name and address of the caller.

    There are several other numbers that were reported on this site that seem very similar as they are also registered in Kent Washington and use the same phone company, and if they are all registered to the same person or group it seems very likely that they are running several scams (some people complained about continuing education and debt consolidation).

  7. says

    Just had a call with a reporter from a Seattle paper about this.

    One more vector that my anonymity is vanishing. Oh, well. Them's the breaks.

  8. Chris says

    The Washington area code doesn't mean anything. I was looking at VOIP options for a friend going to Afghanistan and one of the steps was signing up with a service that got you a washington state area code (IPKall)

  9. says

    It doesn't necessarily mean something. But it might. We'll see. I note that there are varying descriptions of accents in the accounts of talks with the telemarketers, consistent with both out-of-country and in-country employees.

  10. says

    According to, the carrier for 253-246-8xxx is "Pacific Telecom Communications Group," and similar calls have originated from other numbers with this carrier.

    The Washington Secretary of State's database says that PTCG went inactive on November 1, 2011, but was based in California; its agent was Estela Hamilton, Secretary, at 12228 Venice Blvd., Suite 559, Los Angeles, CA. There is a "Steve Hamilton, CEO at Pacific Telecom" on LinkedIn. The address is Mar Vista Mailboxes.

    Stephen Francis Hamilton and Estela Hamilton were reportedly employed by Digitcom/Wildgate (read all 3 pages), another carrier to telemarketing scammers. That site suggests a connection to a "Digicom" that was shut down by the FTC for exactly this type of fraud in 2008 – but I think that's a red herring, as I don't see any grounds other than similar names. It's entirely possible that PTCG's principals have nothing to do with the scammers, other than being their telecom carrier, but they certainly seem to have a pattern of involvement with carriers who've had problematic customers.

    That's all I have time for right now. Here are lists of PTCG exchanges in Washington and Montana; I wonder if anything else interesting is going on within these blocks?

  11. says

    Just so Surly Hobbit doesn't make me look TOO lazy, here's California and Nevada Secretary of State Data on "Pacific Telecom Communications Group," both Naming Stephen Hamilton. Note that, as SH said, being a carrier for a telemarketing scam is not by itself proof of involvement in that scam.

  12. says

    Amazing that the agent for company would be a secretary, and that she would share a name with the CEO…

    I wonder what the odds were that THAT would happen?

  13. says

    Aaaaaaand there's my Monday hard-on. Ken, you may touch me inappropriately at any time should you see fit. For what little help they may be until I can shovel some of the crap off my inbox to help more usefully with this project, my last few such calls from this group have come from:
    and 202-499-1485
    May not help that the numbers aren't lining up with your experiences, but I recognize that @#%( robo-spiel to a T.

  14. Chris says

    Taking them down is very cool and all. But if I might there are other ways around this.
    Porting your cell number to google voice allows you to do some incredible things.
    If a number you know to be "bad" calls you you have google make a tone as if your number has been disconnected. Most robocallers automatically remove from the list after hearing that tone.

  15. katie says

    I got calls from that number all last week. I didn't answer and out of at least seven calls I had only one generic voicemail from them. When I googled the number on wednesday night the websites with complaints about these calls had a bunch of activity from the last 2 weeks. Also, most people noted that when they do answer and question the callers, they get hung up on.

  16. says

    I'm a bankruptcy lawyer in Kent, WA. These numbskulls call me all the time. I have to take the calls, just in case it's a creditor calling to confirm representation. I'd love to track this dirt bag down.

  17. says

    Just did some digging, their number is served by Echelon Telecom. Echelon was purchased by Integra Telecom. Integra is a big telecom player out here for businesses. I know several large law firms and other businesses that use them, and their trucks are a pretty frequent site on the road.

  18. JohnBerry says

    I got called at my office from “Credit Card Services” 6-8 times in the past two months. Next time I won't just hang up.

  19. Techie says

    Jesus you people are clueless.

    Anyone with a VOIP server can spoof the ASN readout (caller ID). You will need the phone companies to get involved to actually track the incoming trunk of the calls and try to unravel it back from there, not a small task to perform. Until you do that, or perform some sort of social engineering to get the callers to reveal their true selves you will not be able to accurately determine the source of the calls. You people will fall for it and harass some poor person who's phone number was randomly picked for the fake email return caller id number. Its just like email spammers using someone else's email as their return address.

    It would be much easier to rely on your credit cards fraud protection feature and allow it to be compromised. Then the money can be followed via the merchant account that deducted it from your card. Probably to a merchant account in Nigeria set up under fake names… but at least you tried.

    I get these same calls and hate them also so I understand your frustration. I just think it's a bit naive to think you're going to "crowdsource" this one to conclusion. Good luck, just don't go picking on the wrong people.

  20. says

    Here's the thing, Techie: you know phone systems, but I know scammers. Could this be spoofed? Yes. But then again, maybe not. Would it be stupid, astoundingly stupid, to run such a scheme from a land line without spoofing? Maybe. But I've encountered plenty of scammers just that stupid — or, sometimes, just that overconfident or uncaring.

    At to harassing some random person, Techie, we've already determined that the numbers don't go to some guy's house in Washington state — sometimes they've gone to a scam line trying to get you to enter your phone number onto a phony "do not call list," and right now they go nowhere.

    Moreover, even if the lines are spoofed, and even if this is hosted overseas (and I have reason to think it is not — several tipsters are confident they've talked to people with American regional accents), such scams often have stateside elements and assets.

    You never know what you'll turn up.

  21. MonkScrew says

    Methinks Techie is the first foray of the scammers into our domain. Nothing to see here, no way to trace it, just give up… Let's give this a go and see where we end up. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Yet in this case we have an opportunity to learn something and maybe punish a fraudster! Way to go Ken! You have made this blog my favorite spot.


  22. Caleb says

    There are ways to tell if someone is using VOIP without tracking the trunk. There tends to be lagging and lossy audio, especially when transmitted over long distances. No one has mentioned any calls having these qualities. It's not conclusive, but it is circumstantial.

    At this point, I almost want to start getting the calls myself…

  23. V says

    I had a problem with spammer calls this summer. I filed a complaint with the FCC since I'm on the do-not-call list: Also, having a smart phone, I chose to save the number and then change my settings to direct that number to voice mail every time it calls. Haven't been bothered anymore.

  24. Oslo says

    I have received the same calls from 503-902-8259…I have listed them in my ignore/block callers category on my phone…

    As this is my first comment on this site, I would like to say thanks for all the information and laughs!

    I also appreciate the shout-out for Reason and Radley Balko…



  25. perlhaqr says

    If they're just phishing for credit card numbers, there's less to be gained from playing along, but if they want you to send anything anywhere, they have to provide some sort of physical address.

  26. Radi says

    Another number from where I get these robocalls on my official-do-not-call-list cell phone: 503 468 5531.
    There's also a bunch of these numbers in my home office phone, also on the federal do-not-call list (that I don't have access to at the moment). Will fill them in here if it will help trace these guys.
    I live in the state of Washington, and the phone numbers for me are always Oregon or California area codes, never 253 (Kent) or other WA area code.
    Could it be that the scammers are somehow spoofing the phone numbers that show on our caller ids so they always seem to be coming from out of state? Also, haven't seen a scammer number area code here that is outside the general Pacific coastal region – CA (850 and others I don't remember), Oregon and WA. Another clue?

  27. Jake says

    I live in Salt Lake City, Utah but have a Wyoming cell phone number. I get these calls all the time. This morning, I got one from the number 201-625-6256.

  28. ischemgeek says

    My favorite technique on the rare occasions a real, live scammer calls me is to play the Dumb Blonde Woman (okay, I'm not blonde, but for some reason us women can get away with behavior that would tip tje scammer off to our contempt if we were male) let them drone on for five or ten minutes and then say, "Golly Gee, Mister, I want to say this sounds like some real serious business here, except it sounds an awful lot like this scam I read about on-"

    … around there is usually when they hang up. And never call back.

    And then I usually report the phone number to the RCMP's Electronic Crimes hotline. Just because I'm a bit vindictive like that.

  29. Chris says

    Just got a call from the number today for the first time! I have a follow up call scheduled for tomorrow. Will record entire conversation tomorrow.

  30. Suzanne says

    Card Services is one of the worst of the scammers out there. Until I bought a phone system with call blocking I was getting 2 or 3 calls a day. I just got a new one this afternoon, from 619-279-1287. Most of the other calls I was getting were from an 866 number.
    I believe someone a few years ago had tracked Card Services to a location in New York at one point. That post was here:
    There's even a facebook page at There's a nice list of phone numbers from around the country there.

  31. Rusty says

    My wife and I have consecutive cell phone numbers, and both were called this morning from "Card Member Services" at 503-563-0155. I hung up, but my wife pushed the button to talk to someone. It was about balance transfers. When she asked to be placed on the do not call list, he said, "That's not going to happen" and hung up. Looking up the number, I get a location near Portland, OR, and the carrier is Global Crossing Local Services.
    Are these all related, or is this just an easy scam for scammers to set up, and there are a bunch of them competing to scam you?

  32. Igor says

    Thanks for highlighting this. I really hate these guys. Unfortunately, Techie is right about the calls' caller-id info likely being spoofed. I've received calls for this same scam from the following (non exclusive) list of reported caller ID numbers over the last few months:


    The last one was just today. Most of these have been reported to the FCC and the FTC, who file them under "I don't give a shit."

    All of the calls work the same: (1) Robot says you should press a number to lower your rate, (2) You are connected with a native English speaker that says they are with "cardmember services". The creepy part is that the latest callers correctly identified the issuing banks on two of my credit cards. Yes, they know my name.

    Any questioning about where they are located or the actual name of their employer result in a quick hangup. If I'm bored, I just keep them on the phone as long as I can. It helps to pretend that you're old and that you need to walk somewhere to get your credit card number. Then just push the mute button and wait for them to hang up. It might also be amusing to give them one of these .

  33. says

    The site is SUPPOSED to have a place where you can complain. The fines are SUPPOSED to be stiff. But I guess the DoJ would rather run guns to Mexico than enforce the law.

    If everyone is so pissed, could we get Congress to do something? They do occasionally respond to letter campaigns.

  34. Maltheos says

    Intriguing — it appears that the Pacific Telecom company owns other exchanges mentioned by people in this discussion specificly 425-390-8xxx, and the 503-563-0xxx, 503-902-8xxx, 503-468-5xxx, 971-220-1xxx blocks are owned by PACIFIC TELECOM COMMUNICATIONS GROUP in Oregon 406-219-2xxx owned by the PACIFIC TELECOM COMMUNICATIONS GROUP in MT, 701-625-5xxx is owned by ( you guessed it) , in ND.

    It seems that the bulk of the spammy calls mentioned in the post chain are from numbers held by this provider in various states.

    Oregon lists them at 12228 VENICE BLVD STE 559, LOS ANGELES CA 90066
    (213) 825-1100

    I can also find a office front listed as


    102 Prefontaine Place South
    Seattle, WA 98104

    listed on ND registration –website is but that does not resolve, but is registered to

    Pacific Telecom Communications Group
    375 N. Stephanie Street
    Suite 1411
    Henderson, CA 89014

    {continued on next posting}

  35. Maltheos says

    And even more — should have followd all my strings before positng.

    the listed number is a Washington number( owned internally, and the address listed is wrong, it is a Nevada address. However it appears to be a dead end — its a spot where several companies appear to be registered, and a law office — probably a drop box. Additionally one of those companies is a VOIP provider….. The washington address also appears to be a legal services provider

  36. Mark A says

    Greetings…. I run a VOIP based reseller and calling card business and would like to shed some light on the back end of this sh**heads operation. I am a victim of this SCAM as well and I have an arsenal of tools to trace SIP based calls, but the simple fact of the matter is that anyone can rent a rack or a shared VPS server, install some OS"open source", free software that will work like any call center I/O switch. It can literally cost less that say $50.00 per month to run this scam, and pay your peeps cash commissions for conversions. We are in a recession and I am sure that based on the fact that I have received over 20+ calls from these chazzers, until they are caught, it will just continue.

    Why is it that nobody can find this company? Most VOIP platforms have what is called a CID Alias, or a variant of that class, but they all serve one purpose, to mask the outbound caller ID from the origination leg of the call. Everyone is chasing this guy named Steve whatever, the original Carrier of this OCN is BANDWIDTH.COM CLEC, LLC – OR.

    All of these Caller ID #'s that you see on your end are nothing more than spoofed numbers that can be configured within software at the click of the mouse, and most will never know the difference. The major actual number that these…. I am trying to be civil her, oh, mot*er fu^*ers, is just a mask because they are using an actual VOIP # that does not have a CNAM DIP, meaning that there will never be a real Caller ID available.

    I do apologize about the long drawn out post, but while I was writing this, they called again, must be a 214 state of mind.

    You cannot stop them, the only way is for one of us to volunteer our cell # to a Federal warrant tap/trace, otherwise all w can do is bitch about it. This operation is a ghost to conventional tracing software, So I will volunteer my personal cell #, at the risk of personal privacy, and anyone else who can step up to the challenge… this sites moderator has my email, he/she can let me know. GB…Errrrr

  37. says

    I have access to an old number of mine (I think, if not, I'll just go grab a cheap disposable), and would be perfectly willing to offer it up for a tap/trace.

    I lose no privacy (since I don't use the number), and wouldn't use it again after.

    If Ken can get it to happen, I'm game.

  38. warren says

    Dunno if this will help. The first time I got one of these calls was back in July. Later when I looked closer at the number, I realized it had too many digits — 856-927-53157.

  39. the other rob says

    Probably a long shot, but how about telling them that you don't do financial business on the phone, but will gladly mail them the information requested, if they'll provide an address for you to mail it to?

    With a lot of luck, you might get a drop-box address that opens up a new line if inquiry.

  40. deeply Concerned says

    The Scammer is Pacific Telecom Communications Group (PTCG). The company is headed by someone who calls himself Steve Hamilton. The purpose of PTCG is to commit identity theft on a massive nationwide scale. PTCG "rents" the phone lines it owns as a CLEC to supposed telemarketing "companies" so as to claim their innocence. But PTCG is the scammer. REPORT Pacific Telecom Communications Group TO THE FTC at
    For more details read below:

    We believe that Pacific Telecomm Communications Group Inc. (PTCG) is a bogus telephone company that is using the authority granted to it by multiple states to perpetuate massive credit card fraud/identity theft across the nation while violating Federal Do Not Call statues.
    PTCG is a suspicious “company” that has applied to the Oregon, North Dakota, Washington and Montana Public Utility Commissions (and maybe more) and been granted a Certificate of Authority to Provide Telecomm Services as a Competitive Telecomm Provider. In the submitted PUC applications PTCG has used different business addresses located in either Nevada or southern California. The Southern California address appears to be located in an “alley” without any legitimate storefront. The names on the applications all have the same last surname (Hamilton), but the titles are different. When complaint calls are made by consumers to PTCG, or the purported telemarketing firms using the phone lines that PTCG controls, they are ultimately ignored. We suspect PTCG is committing credit card fraud/identity theft and violating Federal Do Not Call statues on a massive scale. There are multiple blogs kept on the internet where consumers can log complaints regarding unsolicited telemarketing calls. The blogs associated with area code 917 prefix 220 are one of many controlled by PTCG and contain hundreds of complaints but all with common themes. First, many of these consumers are registered in the Federal Do Not Call registry and are being called in violation of Federal law. Second, that the names and products of the purported companies making the phone calls are constantly changing which suggests they are not legitimate. Third, the focus of these calls is to gain credit card or other personal information used for identity theft. Based on these blogs, and complaints we have heard from consumers about these calls, we suspect that credit card fraud/identity theft is being committed on a large, national scale, by well organized criminals operating PTCG.

  41. deeply Concerned says

    On steve hamilton's linkedin site he references the Asia Pacific Telecom CEO as his business contact. Asia Pacific was just shut down by the FTC, but now Steve Hamilton and PTCG carry on the work. Notice how Asia Pacific used the same company names, such as "Card Services" and a rep named Rachel, just like PTCG is doing now. My god these guys are bold! See

  42. Jess says

    Mark A – thanks for the tech insight. Actually in this case I'm not convinced the #'s were spoofed as I was able to call back to them and not get an invalid # but a recording for the company. But I digress – a ways back when I first got one of these annoying calls on my mobile I did reverse directory and pulled up a phone company (not Pacific) I actually spoke to someone there who told me they had sold a block of #'s to Stephen Hamilton – he was very annoyed that they were getting calls due to what this scammer was doing. As far as I can tell the sale of this block of #'s coincides with Mr. Hamilton's start as CEO of PacificTel (aka on LinkedIn). In this particular case I have reason to believe he is in fact the culprit as "deeply concerned' has pointed out.

  43. Jess says

    The address for Mr. Hamilton and/or his agent on Venice Blvd in CA is likely either an apartment lockbox or bogus. His actual address and phone are listed below – you will need these in filing complaints which you should do with the FTC, PUC, FCC.

    3721 Ocean View Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066
    Total land value: $365,218
    Total building value: $241,978
    Total value for property: $607,196
    Recording date: 07/30/2008
    Year built: 1940
    Effective year built: 1943
    Area of property: 1,159 square feet
    Assessment for fiscal year: 2008/2009

  44. Jess says

    Oh and BTW – to expedite getting Stephen Hamilton and PacificTel illegal scamming telemarketing shut down call these guys direct.

    FTC in Chicago , Steve wernikoff or Jim Davis at 312-960-5630 and 312-960-5611. They have shut down other "Rachel with Card Services" scams.

  45. says

    It's not a complete waste of time to report it to the FTC Do Not Call Registry complaint site, even though nothing appears to happen. The feds typically store up stuff for years, and when they finally make an arrest, the perp is facing so many years of prison they can probably get him to plea bargain and save the trouble of a trial.

  46. Jess says

    One more fact I didn't share earlier. First call I got came at 9:35am and I was still in bed having gotten in late from a long cross country flight and having decided to take the day off to catch up on several hours of sleep from a grueling week. So, when the call came in on my cellphone – which is only used by friends/family and work (all of who knew not to call me) I was POed. As stated I traced this back to this Stephen Hamilton fellow. AND – I called his direct 310 # and left a not very nice message and INCLUDED my cell phone # with specific intructions that his company better not do that again. So here is my point – if this guy was innocent, why did he not call me back and say "maam" I'm really sorry but this was not me or my company? When they called my cell again with the robo call I again called his personal 310 # and left my phone # and told him his company better quit calling me. Same thing the third time. At no time did I get a call back – not even from the California police. It's interesting. An innocent person would have objected, would have called me and claimed innocence, would have called the police against me, would have done SOMETHING. But NADA. If anything I think it proves this guy IS the culprit. Three calls total – different #'s all coming back to PacificTel.

  47. Jess says

    Ah ha – just found his email address and all sorts of other interesting stuff. Original petition to provide services filed with the PUC in the State of Oregon. The PUC will tell anyone it is illegal to use autodialers to place pre-recorded telemarketing calls to people you do not have an existing business relationship with (aka me, Ken, etc.). Seems the thing to do next is write a compliant to the PUC commissioner for the State of Oregon. Info here at this link.

  48. Jess says

    Oh, one other thing I forgot on my earlier posts. One time the recording gave a 971 number to call to have your number put on the do not call list. The man's voice on that recording sounded to me the same as the voice mail recording on Stephen Hamilton's 301 direct phone #. Coincidence? Not sure. BTW – a complaint has been filed with MICHAEL T WEIRICH ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL in the State of Oregon where he filed for his PUC license. Will advise what I hear back on whether Hamilton responds. In all fairness if he is NOT responsible he needs to step up and help us find who is instead of letting them hide behind his company.

  49. Angry Temarketing Victim says

    I received numerous unsolicited telemarketing calls from Pacific Telecom Communications Group Inc. The most recent calls showed 971-220-1002 in the caller ID.

    My research shows that this is in fact a legitimate telephone number belonging to Pacific Telecom.

    Why would they include a real telephone number in the caller ID? Well as a telecom utility using "calling name" (CNAM) registered numbers, they receive fees from the carriers who are the targets of the phone calls. They can get up to 10 cents for every completed call – multiply that by tens of thousands of calls and it begins to be some serious cash.

    I've called the Oregon Public Utility Commission to complain, however they are currently refusing to investigate any complaints against Oregon Utilities from individuals who reside out of state.

    Oregon's lax attitude in terms of granting Utility status and enforcing their rules and regulations is likely the reason why multiple telemarketing scammers are setting up shop as a utility in that state.

    Nonetheless, I encourage everyone to file a written complaint against Pacific Telecom Communications Group Inc as soon as possible:

    Also, call the Oregon Utilities Commission consumer complaint line at 1-800-522-2404. Valerie will tell you that she gets lots of complaint calls about Pacific Telecom, but she will refuse to even make a notation of your complaint, even after pointing her to Title 57, section 756.500 that says "Any person may file a complaint before the Public Utility Commission"

    Contact the Oregon Utility Commissioners directly via email to encourage them to shut down Pacific Telecom:

    Here's another "telecom utility" (which is about to be the target of a small claims lawsuit by me) that is doing the same CNAM scam.

    I keep a log of all unsolicited telemarketing calls I receive. I've successfully sued telemarketers in the past for violating the Federal Do Not Call rules – it's $500 per call. Most legitimate companies will settle with you once they see they violated the law. You have to choose your battles wisely though, because it can be very difficult to collect on a court judgement by a fly by night, out of state entity that doesn't even bother to answer the court papers.

    In the case of CallerID4U, they are attempting to use their utility status as a shield against violations of the Do Not Call laws, however their actions are clearly defined as telemarketing per the Federal laws.

  50. Y C says

    I got the same phone calls since a few months ago. They never stop, and it seems they changed their numbers sometime, so they almost got me once, then I realized all the phone calls from the credit card companies would say their company name while this one only says credit card services.

  51. badtim says

    oh boy

    california secretary of state has a corporation listing for

    Entity Number: C3406129
    Date Filed: 09/02/2011
    Status: ACTIVE
    Jurisdiction: NEVADA
    Entity Address: 3721 OCEAN VIEW AVE
    Entity City, State, Zip: LOS ANGELES CA 90066
    Agent for Service of Process: STEVE HAMILTON
    Agent Address: 12228 VENICE BLVD STE 559
    Agent City, State, Zip: LOS ANGELES CA 90066

    entity address is a residence, not a quarter of a mile from the mail drop. and about a mile from me.

  52. says


    On a related, yet somewhat tangential, note, I just now received a text:
    7183148250: NOW CASTING Movie Extras, Actors and Models!
    Any Location. Up to $300/day.
    Call 800-605-7148
    Reply STOP to Stop

    I shall keep it in case anyone needs the record for anything.

  53. ReporthemtoFTC says

    Pacific Telecom Communications Group is starting to post on telemarketing complaint blog sites claiming that they are merely a B2B phone company. PTCG is a front. They have no website, no storefront, no legitimacy. They are a front organization setup for the purposes of facilitating illegall telemarketing. See their post below. They will play lip service to your complaint, nothing more, in hopes you will stop pursuing!
    See link

    Pacific Telecom
    Recently Pacific Telecom has been fielding an increased number of consumer complaints in relation to our subscriber base. Pacific Telecom is a telecommunication service provider specializing in local origination inbound services for large commercial users – we are specifically a B2B phone company. If you believe you are experiencing call issues with one of our subscribers please contact us directly: EMAIL: PHONE: 1-360-328-8000 Pacific Telecom takes these matters very seriously and will strive to resolve your complaint in a timely and efficient manner. Sincerely, Customer Service, Pacific Telecom Communications Group

  54. Wrong Number says

    Steve Hamilton, Estela Hamilton, and Michael Pittman of Pacific Telecom Communications Group are the ones behind these scams. The have registered as a public utility in several states in an attempt to shield themselves from their illegal telemarketing activities.

    What makes it so comical is that Steve Hamiliton actually applied and was granted utility status in at least one state simply using a Gmail account and a bogus phone number.

    Please, I encourage everyone to make a complaint to the following Utilities Commissions where Pacific Telecom has gained utility status using false information:

    Oregon Utilities Commission consumer complaint line at 1-800-522-2404
    North Dakota Utilities Commission: 877.245.6685
    Washington State Utilities Commission: 360-664-1129 or 360-664-1102

  55. Sick of spam! says

    I haven't had a chance to read through all the comments as I'm ill at the moment, so forgive me if I'm adding redundant information. These creeps have disturbed me yet again so I feel the need to put a bit of energy into my research for the time being.

    I don't know if anyone has mentioned it before, but these people may also be part of a group out of Naperville, IL, called Marketing Source One. I found this information at the following link. Please read the 4th post dated 12/14. The contributor really did his/her homework.

    Also, another really helpful site where people are finding research is at the following link: I believe on the 2nd or 3rd page a few people have actually found what they believe might be Steve Hamilton's home phone number and address. I called it, and the voice was the same voice… "Welcome to the do not call registry…" It's very distinctive.

    Anyway, I hope this helps, and I hope this makes them stop. It doesn't seem like reporting them does any good.

  56. JSF says

    So, I got a call to my landline this morning. I blame this thread, I read it yesterday and I hadn't had any spam calls in months.

    ID was "unknown name" and 213-289-9006. A "jennifer" from ESG research group (recording) stating this wasn't a sales call but "a short 30 second research survey on the debt crisis". For participating you'd get free cruise tickets, minus fees and taxes of course… Just press one to continue or nine to hangup and be removed from their calling list. I pressed one and nothing happened for 5s or so, then the message repeated. I pressed one again and nothing happened, line disconnected.

    Time to file with the Oregon PUC, hopefully they'll listen to me as a citizen of this crappy state. Maybe I'll go visit their offices.

  57. Sick of Spam! says

    FYI, if anyone is looking to sue these jerks, you can use Google Voice to keep track of when they call you. It will log every call they make to you and register it in your email. You can then forward that along to whomever you need to as evidence for your claim.

    I would really like to see Steve Hamilton and his sleazy crew go bankrupt.

  58. says

    I received an Important Call about my credit card while I was on the road to a funeral. I pressed 1 to speak to a rep and gave the person a few choice words. The robodialer called back TWICE two days later – the second call less than an hour after the first. Both times I asked the person why their caller ID came up as CREDIT CARD SCAM. (For the record, the reason is because I saved the number in my cell phone as CREDIT CARD SCAM, but I wanted them to know I was onto them.) Both times, they just hung up.

    The calls came from 800-847-2900 on December 28, 2011. I called this number, and it rang until the phone told me that the party I was calling wasn't answering.

  59. Dan says

    I have compiled a dossier on this company from public records. Their customers do not respect TCPA, and they provide a abuse number for a do not call list, but is not respected.

  60. Rusty says

    Just got another call from Cardmember Services, this time 407-702-0538. This time I took it to talk to the representative. I asked which bank they were working for but got no answer. He didn't know my name and spouted garbage about some new refinancing law from 2009. Whatever. When I asked to be placed on the do not call list he complained that I was wasting his time and hung up.

  61. Frankie Todd says