Tips: Ways To Protect Yourself from Telemarketing Fraud

In today’s fast-paced environment, we often overlook things that seems obvious.  However cautious we are or think we know what to look out for, people still get ripped off one way or another over the telephone.  According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 19 percent of all fraud cases were reported in 2010.  The following are 6 ways you can better protect yourself from telephone scammers:

1. Don’t Call Me.

Simply ignore the pleas and pitches of anyone who calls you uninvited.  Regardless if they’re salespeople or companies you’re aware of– just ignore their calls.  And don’t rely on your caller I.D. also as that can be faked.

2. Give Them Nothing.

All fraudsters want information.  It is best to tell them nothing.  For instance, if they try to confirm your name, don’t tell them.  Or if they want to verify your address, hang up the phone.  Giving no information to them is your best defense.

3. I’ll Call You.

In certain cases, callers will insist they have to speak with you–whether they’re from your bank,etc.  Simply tell them you’re going to call them directly and don’t accept the phone number they give you.  Instead, look in the Yellow Pages or on the Internet with the phone number that best describe what the company or call was about.  Do some confirmation to see if the call was legitimate or not.

4. Stay Alert.

In reality, even if you initiate a phone call, you might not be safe.  Before you give any personal or financial information over the phone, do the following first…

  • Ask the person to mail you information.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Take a look at the company’s website.
  • Ask for references.

5. Take Your Time.

Scammers often gives you a deadline before making a decision.  So if you feel pressured to make a decision–hang up.  You’ve spent a lifetime earning your money.  You deserve a little time to choose how to spend it.

6. Be Part of the Solution.

You can help prevent others from falling victim to scammers.  If you’ve received a call, mailing or email you think might be from a scammer, report the incident to the FTC by calling its consumer hot line at 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).

Following these tips should keep scammers out of your way.  Be smart and stay safe.

Credit source: Ron Burley from AARP.

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