Spotting a telemarketing scam is not always as easy as one thinks. After all, if it was, why would so many phone consumers fall prey to telephone fraud every year? What makes solicitation scams so difficult to detect? Part of the problem is that most people already have a great dislike for telemarketers and when it comes down to it, they wouldn't know the difference between an aggressive sales person or a con artists. The other reason why a scam is hard to recognize is because most telephone customers don't know their own privacy rights or the rules that apply to legitimate telemarketing firms.
If you are not aware, you should know that telemarketing companies are required to follow the laws stipulated by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). By knowing what these laws are, you will have an easier time distinguishing between a scammer and a telemarketer. To give you an idea, here are some warning signs of a telemarketing scam you should watch for:
- The caller does not identify themselves or their company after providing you with their greeting. Telemarketing agents are required to introduce themselves as well as the company they are representing. The company should have an actual name, and not be referred to as “the greatest", “the largest" or “the best", etc. (I. E. “I'm calling on behalf of the greatest security company in the world").
- The caller is rushing through the sales pitch, is avoiding answering your questions, and appears to be in a hurry to make a sale. A reputable company will take their time to talk with you, and help you understand what is being offered. They want your business, and are not attempting to make fast money. They will take the time to answer your questions. Any caller that is selling aggressively and tries to bully you into the deal by telling you what they are offering is a “one time deal", is not someone with honest intentions.
- You have been told you won a free gift or prize, but you need to pay a small shipping fee. Any free gift, etc. , you have to pay for is not free, nor is it worth your time. Never pay for a free gift, or provide your personal information in exchange for one either.
- You are asked to provide your personal identification information. There is no reason for any phone solicitor to ask you for your bank account or credit card number, social security number, driver's license information, address, etc. , especially when you have not agreed to make a purchase. Moreover, always ask the caller why they are collecting this information.
What you need to remember is if any telemarketing call sounds suspicious, or you are not sure what is being offered, always tell the caller “No thank you" and hang up the phone. Never provide your personal information over the phone without knowing who you are giving it to. Finally, remember that the only way you will stop telemarketers and annoying calls is if you know your rights as a phone consumer and can recognize a true telemarketer from a false one.
Dwayne is an old consumer advocate who has way too much time on his hands (the wife says) so he rants to his audience on EzineArticles.