It’s no secret that telemarketers can be a nuisance. But did you know that some telemarketers resort to fraud to get your hard-earned money? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there were about 496,000 complaints about imposter calls in 2021. And that number is only increasing.
As a consumer, you should know the different types of telemarketing fraud to protect yourself and your finances. Here are six tips to help you avoid telemarketing fraud.
1. Don’t Give Out Personal Information to Telemarketers
Telemarketers may try to obtain your personal information to accomplish their fraudulent plans. This information includes your name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth, Social Security number, and bank account information.
If a telemarketer asks for any of this information, it’s a red flag that they may be trying to scam you. Hang up the phone and report the call to the FTC.
2. Be Wary of Telemarketers Who Claim To Be From Your Bank or Credit Card Company
Some telemarketers pose as representatives of your bank or credit card company and claim that your account has been compromised or that there is a problem with your account. They may say they need your personal financial information to verify your account or prevent fraud.
Do not give out your personal information. Hang up the phone and call your bank or credit card company directly to find out if your account has a problem.
3. Do Not Purchase Anything From a Telemarketer Without First Doing Your Research
If a telemarketer offers to sell you something, be wary. Before making any decisions, do your research to ensure that the product or service is legitimate and that you’re getting a good deal.
You can start by checking online reviews to see what other consumers say about the company and the product. You can also contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.
4. Always Ask for Any Charity’s Details Before Making Any Donations
Telemarketers may solicit donations for charities that do not exist or that use very little of the money they receive to support their stated purpose. Before you donate, look up the charity’s name, address, and telephone number.
Hang up the phone and call the charity directly to find out how much of your donation will go to the charity and what the charity will use the money for.
5. Be Wary of Promises of Free Gifts or Prizes
Winning a contest or sweepstakes is a great feeling. But beware of any telemarketer who contacts you out of the blue to tell you that you’ve won a free prize.
In many cases, these “prizes” come with strings attached. For example, you may be asked to pay a fee to claim your prize. Or, you may be asked to provide your credit card information to “cover shipping and handling costs.”
If you’re contacted about a free prize, hang up the phone and do not provide any information.
6. Take Your Time Before You Make Decisions
When it comes to telemarketing fraud, one of the scammers’ favorite tactics is to pressure you into making a decision immediately. They may say that the offer is only open for a limited time or that only a few spots are left.
Do not fall for this tactic. Instead, hang up the phone and take your time to make a decision if you’re interested in the product or service.
Telemarketing fraud is a serious problem that’s only getting worse. Follow the tips above to protect yourself from being scammed.
If you’ve been the victim of telemarketing fraud, Heidarpour Law Firm can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.