Many legitimate companies sell their products or services through telemarketing and charities also use telemarketing techniques – however, unfortunately fraudulent telemarketers scam people every day. Here are some tips to help you avoid these scammers:
- Know who you’re dealing with. If the company or charity is unfamiliar, check it out with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau.
- Be aware that “no complaint” is no guarantee. Fraudulent operators open and close quickly, so the fact that no one has made a complaint yet doesn’t mean that the company or charity is legitimate. You still need to look for other danger signs of fraud.
- Don’t believe promises of easy money. If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. One should always remember, that an offer that sounds too good to be true, probably is.
- Think twice before entering contests operated by unfamiliar companies. Fraudulent marketers sometimes use contest entry forms to identify potential victims.
- Never pay to play. It’s illegal for a company to require you to buy something or pay a fee in order to win or claim a prize. Buying something doesn’t improve your chances of winning.
- Resist pressure. Legitimate companies will be happy to send you detailed information and give you time to make a decision. It is probably a scam if the marketer demands that you act immediately or will not take “No” for an answer.
- Guard your personal information. Only provide your credit card or bank account number when you are actually paying for something. Do not give your social security number to a telemarketer.
- Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to scams that take advantage of people who live alone. Seniors need to be wary when dealing with salespersons, particularly over the phone.
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