The Top Ten Telemarketing Scams
Friday, September 1st 2000, 12:00 am
News On 6
Millions of people pick up their telephone each year and head the following statement. "You're going to be receiving your final share of the nearly tens of thousand of dollars in our national bonuses." This is the same promise that John Green of Oklahoma City was made several years ago. "They'll promise you anything,â€ he said. â€œAnd they get rather convincing."
Telemarketers in the scam will tell say that you are now eligible to receive your share of over $25,000 in gifts, awards and prizes. "They hook you and then once theyâ€™ve hooked you, you're like a fish,â€ Green explained.
It's a hook that caught Green and cost him thousands of dollars.
Lawmakers are fighting telemarketing fraud, but there are still scam artists who use the telephone to trick you. Knowledge is the best protection.
The National Consumers League has released its latest list of the top ten telemarketing frauds.
Travel scams -- the offers of free trips or discounts. There's usually a hidden fee, and the trip never materializes.
Buyer's Clubs -- which typically offer free trial memberships and then charge a fee without permission.
Telephone Cramming -- when a phone company charges you for optional services you never ordered.
Credit card loss protection -- companies use scare tactics to sell consumers unnecessary insurance.
Telephone slamming - phone companies switch service without the customer's knowledge or consent.
Advance fee loans -- companies charge an advance fee and promise loans. The loan is rarely, if ever, approved. Advance fee loans are illegal.
Work at home schemes -- selling kits that promise big profits which never materializes.
Companies charge an advance fee for a credit card -- and the card never arrives.
Magazine sales -- fake sales for magazines that are never received.
Prizes and sweepstakes is the #1 scam -- A telemarketer tells you that â€œThe owners of the company and the board of directors, they think that it's about time that you receive an award worth talking about." The rip-off happens when the caller promises big money and prizes for a fee. Victims rarely get what was promised. "In a few cases, I got a bunch of junk,â€ said Green. â€œMaybe a $5.00 toaster."
The best way to fight telemarketing fraud is to hang up the phone.