How to Avoid Telemarketing Scams
Offers of amazing investments and too-good-to-be-true offers are warning signs of telephone fraud. According to Federal Trade Commission, telemarketing fraud now costs Americans at least $40 billion a year.
Some of most common scams include:
Prize offers: The National Fraud Information Center lists prize or sweepstakes offers as number one telemarketing scam. Usually you have to do something to get your free prize, such as buy products you don’t really want or give your credit card number, “just for verification.”
Cross-border telephone calls:
You receive a message on your voice mail or answering machine urging you to call a number in 809 or other unfamiliar area code. The call may claim to concern an overdue account or a sick relative. In reality, call is a fraud. You’re being asked to call a pay-per-call service in Caribbean, similar to a 900 number, with charges that could exceed $25.
Free or low cost vacations can end up costing you a bundle. Often promoted travel deal requires you to pay hidden charges for either an expensive hotel room or for full cost of travel for second person.
Consumers lose millions of dollars to telemarketed “get rich quick” schemes that involve gemstones, rare coins, oil and gas leases, interactive TV licenses and other business opportunities.
Recovery room ploys:
If you’ve fallen prey to any of above scams, you could get a call promising to get back or “recover” money you’ve already lost. Of course, this comes at a price.
How to identify telephone fraud
Beware, fraudulent telemarketers often feed their potential victims same lines. If you hear one of following messages best thing to do is say “no thank you” and end call.
Act Now – this offer is only good for a limited time
You must send money, offer a credit card or bank account number
He/she offers to have someone pick up payment from your home