Scammers Calling…

An excellent article from AARP.

Have you ever gotten a phone call like this?

  • A caller has a hot tip on a new investment that will yield lots of quick money, and insists you must immediately decide or the opportunity will be gone.
  • Someone calls with an urgent request for a disaster relief charity and asks you for your credit card number to make a donation, but you are not sure you’ve heard of the charity.
  • A tech support caller says virus activity has been detected on your computer, and then asks for access to your computer to fix it or to wire money as a fee to get it fixed.

These are all examples of telemarketing scams. Scammers prey on people by getting them excited about unexpected riches or worried they’re going to miss out on a great deal. Basically, their goal is to get you “under the ether,” an emotional state that can lead to poor decisions.

What can you do to protect yourself – or those you love – from unscrupulous and persuasive scammers?

What Are Telemarketing Scam Buzz Phrases?
It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable telemarketers and criminals who use the phone to rob people. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the danger signs of fraud. If you hear some of these buzz phrases on a phone call, hang up.

  • You’ve been specially selected (for this offer).
  • You’ll get a free bonus if you buy our product.
  • You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery.
  • This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.
  • You have to make up your mind right away.
  • You don’t need to check our company with anyone.
  • You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.
  • You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.
Tips to Avoid Telemarketing Fraud
It’s very difficult to get your money back if you’ve been cheated over the telephone. Before you do anything by telephone, remember:

  • Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company; legitimate businesses are happy to give you information.
  • Always check out unfamiliar companies or charities with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, attorney general, or charity watchdog groups.
  • Get the caller’s name, business name, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business, then verify these.
  • Don’t pay in advance for services.
  • Resist pressure to make a decision immediately.
  • Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor.
  • Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.
  • Keep your credit card, checking account, or Social Security numbers to yourself. Don’t tell them to callers you don’t know — even if they ask you to “confirm” this information. That’s a trick.
  • Don’t send cash by messenger, overnight mail, or money transfer.
  • Don’t agree to any offer for which you have to pay a “registration” or “shipping” fee to get a prize or a gift.

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