more than 25 million victims a year in the US alone, telemarketing
fraud is an illegal scheme conducted over the phone, usually with
the intent to get the victim to send money orders or cash, both
of which are difficult to trace back to a recipient.
The general rule of thumb to protect oneself from telemarketing
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
This is because
some of the most common telemarketing fraud schemes are those
in which the perpetrators tell their target that they have won
something. Typically it's a lottery or a trip of some kind, followed
by a request for a down payment, money for shipping costs, or
a tax payment so that the prize can be delivered. Of couse, once you send in a payment you are likely never to hear from them again.
Other telemarketing fraud schemes will take the guise of legitimate
charities that are looking for handouts from generous members
of the public.
In all cases, it's usually best to ask for a call back number
or to have more information mailed, and then research the information
to determine whether the call was fraudulent or
not. However, don't wait around to ask for more information if the call even hints at a scam. Simply HANG UP.
How not to get stung by telemarketing fraud
Telemarketing con-artists are very good at what they do, and employ
all kinds of techniques to get people to give up their money.
Staying on the line gives the person on the other end a chance
to try new angles and pitches to get your money.
People who are the unfortunate victims of telemarketing fraud
should absolutely not let the crime go unreported. A loss of a small sum might not seem like much, but if it works a hundred
times it's a large amount of money, and a crime that needs to be
Something that telemarketing fraud victims should keep in
mind is that their names and contact information may be added
to telemarketing fraud databases that are traded between criminals
as potentially easy targets.
Therefore, people in the US who have fallen
victim once should be extra careful not to get defrauded again. Register with a Do
Not Call List sponsored at either the state or federal level, and if you get another suspicous call, simply say - just before you hang up - that you are on a Do Not Call list and will report the caller to the proper authorities.
Common Fraud Schemes - FBI consumer guide with tips and advice
on avoiding telemarketing fraud including credit card, prize promotion
and charity schemes, with contact information, phone numbers and
Internet resources to report a suspected scheme.