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Steer Clear Of Fraudulent Phone Pitches

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Steer Clear Of Fraudulent Phone Pitches

  1. 1. Steer Clear Of Fraudulent Phone Pitches How To Avoid Telemarketing Fraud
  2. 2. <ul><li>Many legitimate companies sell products and services by calling consumers or advertising a number for consumers to call them </li></ul><ul><li>Charities also use telemarketing to solicit donations </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately, fraudulent telemarketers use the phone, too… </li></ul><ul><li>They rob people every day, with phones as their weapons! </li></ul><ul><li>Older people are disproportionately targeted because </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They’re home to get the calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They have money saved that the scammers can rob </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are too polite to hang up </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>But anyone, no matter what age, how well educated, or how well-off, can be a telemarketing fraud victim </li></ul><ul><li>Fraudulent telemarketers are very good at lying to steal your money </li></ul><ul><li>They understand human nature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We all want to believe it’s our lucky day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We all want to get a great deal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We all want to get help with our problems </li></ul></ul>You can protect yourself from telemarketing fraud if you know what to look for
  4. 4. <ul><li>Learn to recognize the most common telemarketing scams </li></ul><ul><li>Promises of credit cards or loans, guaranteed, even if your credit is bad </li></ul><ul><li>Bogus notices that you’ve won a prize, sweepstakes, or lottery </li></ul><ul><li>Promises that you can make big profits with little effort working for someone at home or starting your own business </li></ul><ul><li>Phony offers for cheap magazine subscriptions or renewals </li></ul><ul><li>Charges for memberships in discount buying clubs that you never agreed to join </li></ul><ul><li>Offers of free trips or cheap travel that never materialize </li></ul><ul><li>Slamming – switching your phone service to another company without your consent </li></ul><ul><li>Threats of financial ruin if you don’t buy a plan to protect you in the event you lose your credit card </li></ul><ul><li>Promises of big returns on investments with little or no risk </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Some telemarketing pitches are blatantly fraudulent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s illegal for telemarketers to ask for a fee upfront if they promise or claim it’s likely they’ll get you a credit card or loan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s illegal for anyone to ask for a free upfront to “repair” a bad credit record </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s illegal for any company to ask you to pay something or buy something to win a prize, or to claim that paying will increase your chances of winning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s illegal to buy and sell tickets to foreign lotteries by phone or mail </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Other danger signs of fraud may be harder to recognize </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressure to act immediately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refusal to send you information in writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scare tactics used to sell products or services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demands to send payment by wire or courier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demands for payment of taxes or customs fees to claim a prize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requests for financial account numbers even though you aren’t paying for something with them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calls or emails from someone claiming to be from a company you do business with, asking to verify personal information they should already have </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promises to get money back lost in scams, for a fee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refusal to stop calling you when you say you’re not interested </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>How you pay matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you pay by cash, check or money order, your money may be gone before you realize there is a problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credit cards are safest way to pay for telemarketing purchases because you can dispute charges if you don’t get what you were promised </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dispute rights are not the same when you pay with debit card or give bank account number for payment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That’s why bank debits have become payment method most preferred by fraudulent telemarketers </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Where telemarketers are located matters, too </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some fraudulent telemarketers deliberately locate in other countries because it’s more difficult for U.S. law enforcement to pursue them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It may be hard to know if companies are in other countries because they may have mail forwarded from the U.S. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since some phone numbers in Canada and the Caribbean have same number of digits as U.S., it’s hard to tell if they are domestic or foreign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you’re not sure, dial 00 and ask long-distance operator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be very cautious when dealing with unknown companies from other countries </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Know who you’re dealing with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the company or charity is unfamiliar, check it out with your state or local consumer protection agency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Better Business Bureau may also have information about a company or charity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But be aware that no complaints is no guarantee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fraudulent operators open and close quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There may not be complaints on file yet when you check </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some agencies and organizations can’t comment publicly about a particular company </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, you can still get advice about the type of pitch you received and the warning signs of fraud </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Know your “do not call” rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can stop most telemarketers from calling by putting your number on the national “do not call” registry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call (888) 382-1222, TTY (866) 290-4326 from phone you want to register </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or go to www.donotcall. gov </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not apply to charities, nonprofit groups, survey companies, political organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But when charities use professional fundraisers to call, you can tell them not to call again </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies you already have business relationship with or to which you gave written permission can still call, but you can tell them not to call you again </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if you don’t register, you can tell telemarketers not to call again on case-by-base basis </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Be prepared when you answer the phone </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the advice you would give someone else about how to recognize danger signs of fraud </li></ul><ul><li>Follow same advice when you answer the phone </li></ul><ul><li>Use Caller ID or answering machine to screen your calls </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t hesitate to hang up on suspicious calls </li></ul><ul><li>Keep pad of paper by phone </li></ul><ul><li>If your “do not call” rights are violated or you suspect telemarketing fraud, write down date, company name, number if possible </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Enforce your telemarketing rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Report violations of your “do not call” rights through the toll-free “do not call” number or Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can also sue for $500 in small claims court, no attorney needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report telemarketing fraud (not “do not call” violations) to National Fraud Information Center, (800) 876-7060, www.fraud.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information is transmitted to law enforcement agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get advice on NFIC hotline and tips about telemarketing fraud from www.fraud.org Web site </li></ul></ul>

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