Telemarketing Fraud: It's a Crime


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Telemarketing Fraud: It's a Crime

  1. 1. Telemarketing Fraud: It’s a Crime University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs
  2. 2. Telemarketing Scams
  3. 3. Prize Offers and Promotional Sales <ul><ul><li>Con artists require payment for you to receive a prize. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prizes are worthless or overpriced. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Georgia, it is illegal to require someone to make a purchase to receive a prize. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. International Lotteries <ul><ul><li>The caller invites you to participate in high-stakes foreign lotteries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Consumers spend $120 million per year on these international lotteries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal law prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Charitable Solicitations <ul><ul><li>Con artists use the name of a charity (or a similar name) to obtain a donation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid solicitors raising money for a charity in Georgia must identify themselves as paid solicitors at the beginning of the call </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Georgia law prohibits a charity from sending a courier to a residence to pick up a cash donation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Disaster-related Solicitations <ul><ul><li>Con artists take advantage of tragedies and disasters to solicit contributions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They play on your emotions to donate to victims of the tragedy or disaster </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Magazine Sales <ul><ul><li>“ Discount rates” may be more costly than news stand prices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscriptions may be “negative option renewals”, meaning your credit card will be charged for renewals until you contact the company to cancel </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Investments <ul><ul><li>Con artists promise large returns for fraudulent investments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They may tell you they have “inside information” or that this is a “one-time” offer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigate before you invest </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Travel Packages <ul><ul><li>Free or low-cost vacations that end up costing more than you were led to believe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You may pay for a vacation you never receive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You may be required to sit through high-pressure sales presentations </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Credit Card Offers <ul><ul><li>Often require an “advanced fee” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May only be able to use the card to purchase over-priced items from a special catalog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most companies offer credit cards at not cost other than the interest on purchases </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Health Products <ul><ul><li>Miracle cures and supplements that are often of little value and may even be harmful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes offer prizes to entice you to buy </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Credit Card Loss Protection Plans <ul><ul><li>Claim to protect you from liability due to fraudulent use of your credit cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal law limits your liability for unauthorized charges to $50 per card </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Recovery Scams <ul><ul><li>Con artists target victims of other frauds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promise to recover losses for a fee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law enforcement agencies NEVER ask victims to pay for investigations or to recover losses </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Telephone Cramming and Slamming <ul><li>- Cramming: charges on your phone bill for services not requested or used. </li></ul><ul><li>- Slamming: unauthorized switch of your long distance carrier. </li></ul><ul><li>- Avoid slamming by requesting a “PIC freeze” from your local telephone provider. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Before You Send Money to a Telemarketer: <ul><li>Check references </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact your local Better Business Bureau </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact the Secretary of State’s Office regarding non-religious charities </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Before You Send Money to a Telemarketer: <ul><li>Request that written information about the company be mailed to you. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for an address and telephone number for the caller. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Warning Signs The Caller: <ul><li>Requires an immediate decision </li></ul><ul><li>Tells you the offer is good for today only </li></ul><ul><li>Gets hostile when you ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages you not to tell anyone </li></ul><ul><li>Requests immediate payment </li></ul>
  18. 18. How Callers Get Your Name <ul><li>Filling out and returning junk mail </li></ul><ul><li>Registering for prizes and sweepstakes </li></ul><ul><li>Warranty cards </li></ul><ul><li>From lists sold by others </li></ul>
  19. 19. Limiting Access <ul><li>Sign up for the Georgia No Call List </li></ul><ul><li>Notify companies you do business with that you do not want information about you sold to others </li></ul><ul><li>Call (888) I OPT OUT to stop credit card offers </li></ul>