Many of us have experienced the annoyance of having a sales call interrupt dinner time. But more than just being annoying, there could be a scam waiting for you on the other end of the phoneline. Telemarketing fraud comes in all shapes and sizes: you might have won a free trip, a government grant, or maybe a guaranteed credit card or loan.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) points out unfortunately, it’s very unlikely anyone is offering you a free vacation or free money. Telemarketing fraud very often targets the elderly, or those of us looking for loans or credit cards. But no matter what form the calls take, one thing they have in common is they attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting victims in order to separate them from their hard earned money.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself against becoming a victim.
- The FTC reminds us to be skeptical. If you have questions about the legitimacy of a call, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
- When you make a purchase over the phone or online, use a credit card. Federal law protections against fraud make it easier for you to recover money lost in a scam.
- Make sure your phone number is registered on the National Do Not Call list.
Check out the FTC’s site to find many more resources on protecting yourself against telemarketing fraud and other kinds of scams.