Understanding Telemarketing Fraud
By Silverado Staff Writer
As media reports have recently publicized, con artists from oversees and the United States are persistently working the phones to motivate you into believing their scams. Their tactics often include bogus lotteries, charities, financial claims and more. And almost always, these scams require you to give money upfront in hopes of receiving a reward – which in reality can range from disappointing to nothing at all. Yet unfortunately, for many, the truth does not set in until they receive the so-called ‘prize’ or realize that the charitable institution is non-existent.
Clearly, it is hard to spot fraud when it happens. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that consumers lose more than $40 billion a year to telemarketing fraud. What’s worse is that if you are a senior, you are a special target for those offering bogus products and services. Sixty percent of all callers to the National Fraud Information Center describe themselves as senior citizens.
To help combat these malicious efforts, your first line of defense should be to have your phone number unlisted by registering at www.donotcall.gov or calling the National Do Not Call Registry at (800) 382-1222. You should also ask to see the proposed offer in writing before giving out any personal information or contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection is you suspect any wrongdoing.
These tips will help protect you from most telemarketing fraud, but the most important key to prevention is awareness. Stay vigilant and learn more about telemarketing fraud at Fraud.org/scams/telemarketing