Telemarketing is an old tactic, but many businesses still use it for cold calls. With the rise of robocalls, more and more telemarketers can call you, and even scammers are getting involved. If you would like to know more to protect yourself in the event of telemarketing abuse, check out these four dos and don’ts when dealing with a telemarketer.
1. Do: Ask Them to Stop Calling
Telemarketers do have some rules they must follow. First, they are supposed to crosscheck target phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry. If you added your number to this list, telemarketers are not supposed to call you. Of course, some telemarketers ignore this list, forget to check, or miss your number.
If you listed your number but a telemarketer keeps calling you, ask them to stop calling. You may need to send a request in writing so they have a copy in their system. However, once you tell a company you no longer want calls, they are supposed to stop calling. If they continue to ignore it, they may be a scammer rather than a legitimate business.
2. Do: Track All Calls
Regardless of whether the caller is a scammer or an employee with a reputable company, you should track all the calls. If a company keeps calling you after you’ve added your number to the Do Not Call Registry, you may be able to file a complaint or even sue them for every call. In fact, you can get up to $500 for each time a telemarketer called you if your number is on the Do Not Call Registry.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) also offers protection. This act limits when telemarketers can call and requires they provide contact information and employer information. You can recover up to $500 per phone call if it violated the TCPA. However, if you can prove the telemarketer willingly violated the TCPA, you may get up to $1,500 per phone call.
When tracking your phone calls, make sure to get the caller’s name, phone number, and employer. If the number on the caller ID is different from the number they provided, make a note of that too. You may also want to include times and how long the calls lasted.
3. Don’t: Engage
You can talk to the telemarketer long enough to figure out if they are a telemarketer (and to ask them not to call or gather information), but you should avoid engaging them any farther. Engaging too much can make it look like you are interested, so even if you get off the phone with them, they may call back, thinking you are a potential sale.
If the caller is actually a scammer, engaging too much may allow you to give away too much information like your name, birthdate, address, etc. In some cases, the scammer may even record your voice, so if you say “yes” to something, they can use the recording later. The best action is to gather the information you need, tell them you aren’t interested, ask them to stop calling, and hang up.
4. Don’t: Fall for Telemarketing Scams
In most cases, spotting the difference between a real telemarketer from a legitimate company and a scammer is simple. First, telemarketers have legitimate jobs, and if they break rules, they could get fired, especially if you end up suing. Therefore, they are less likely to be unnecessarily rude or ignore your requests to stop calling.
Scammers will be more willing to break the rules since they are already breaking the law. They don’t care about anything except getting information or money from you. Luckily, a scammer may exhibit some obvious signs before they get any information from you.
First, scammers usually rush you to make decisions. They may try to scare you by telling you that you are going to get arrested, or they may yell at you and try to intimidate you. A huge concern, however, is when anyone wants you to pay with gift cards. No legitimate business or government agency would accept gift cards as payment, but since they are hard to track, scammers love them.
Telemarketing abuse is common, but it can be stopped. You can stop unwanted calls by adding your number to the Do Not Call Registry, and you may even be able to sue. If calls continue, be mindful of scammers. If you would like to know more or if you want to start a lawsuit, contact us at Heidarpour Law Firm.