While most telephone solicitations are legitimate, some fraudulent businesses will use the telephone to peddle worthless products and services.
The following are sales practices which are commonly used in telemarketing frauds. Be alert to them:
- high pressure sales tactics;
- refusing to take “no” for an answer;
- insisting on immediate decisions;
- making offers that sound too good to be true;
- asking for your credit card number before you decide to purchase;
- offering to send someone to pick up your payment immediately at your home or place of business;
- claiming that your investment is absolutely without risk;
- offering something free, then requesting a payment of some kind;
- refusing to provide written information or references; and
- claiming that you can trust the caller.
Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of telephone fraud:
- do not make hurried decisions;
- request written information and read all sales brochures and contracts thoroughly;
- do not pay any money until you fully consider and understand the terms and conditions of the product, service or investment being offered;
- ask what state or federal agencies regulate the soliciting firm;
- check out whether the firm is registered and ask for references;
- ask for information that you can use to consult with an attorney, accountant or financial advisor;
- ask about cancellation and refund policies;
- never provide personal financial information over the phone, unless you are certain the caller is legitimate and will not abuse the information; and
- hang up the telephone as soon as you suspect fraud.