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MAIN Arrow to Legal Advisor Home Legal Guide Arrow to Telemarketing Fraud Telemarketing Fraud

Claiming 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 fraud?

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 reported.

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.

also see -> Federal Law Enforcement | How to Avoid Identity Theft

White Collar Crime


More about telemarketing fraud around the Web:

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.

FTC Consumer Information - Phone Scams - Why they do it and how they try to hook you, with practical tips on how to handle an unexpected sales call, and what to do if you get scammed.


The information provided on these pages is intended as reference
only and does not constitute professional legal advice.

 

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