In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to worry about telemarketing frauds, but this is the real world, and as the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Statistically speaking, the figures of the Federal Trade Commission indicate that Americans lose hundreds of millions of dollars – over a billion, in fact – through telemarketing fraud. Therefore, it’s better to be aware of the various kinds of telemarketing scams that exist these days. If you’re in the know, then there are fewer chances of your becoming a victim of fraud.
Such crimes happen when we’re caught off guard, or when telemarketers get us so confused that we agree to something without even fully understanding the implications of doing so. This is something that is very common, and it’s not surprising to note the high statistics of telemarketing scams over the last few years. However, telemarketing fraud isn’t a blanket-term. It includes scams of various kinds.
The Shapes and Sizes of Telemarketing Fraud
There are many different types of telemarketing fraud out there, and it’s always good to be aware of them. If you know what to expect, then nobody will be able to fool you; especially not over the phone. Some of the more common types of telemarketing scams are –
- Automated Debit Scams – these involve telemarketers acquiring your credit card number or your bank account number, and a large sum being debited from your account in lieu of something either totally worthless or worth less than a fraction of the debited sum.
- Telephonic Investment Scams – con artists who are able to impress through the way they talk, manage to convince their victims to invest a large sum of money in something that they claim will give great returns, with little or no risk involved for the investor. A lot of people lose money this way.
- Magazine Telephone Scams – fairly self-explanatory, these scams involve telemarketers selling multiple-year subscriptions to magazines or products like movie or music DVDs, at a ‘highly discounted’ rate. Mostly, however, one finds that these magazines or DVDs are actually available for less than half that ‘discounted’ rate.
- Sweepstakes Scams – in these scams, a ‘representative’ of a lottery or sweepstakes company calls up, asking for the individual’s sensitive bank account details. If provided, these are then used to transfer money from the victim’s account to the scam artist’s account.
- Limited-Period Special Offer Scams – these scams work on the principle of a ‘special offer’ being valid ‘only today’ to pressure people into buying a certain product or service, without giving them enough time to think about it.
- The bottom line is that you should stay alert and exercise caution when dealing with telemarketers. As long as you don’t let down your guard, you should be safe from the menace of telemarketing fraud.