Telemarketing fraud is one of the most common scams the FBI investigates. Here are some warning signs and tips to avoid being taken.
Warning Sign No. 1 -- Act Now -- Steer clear of a caller who tells you "you must act now or the offer will expire."
Warning Sign No. 2 -- You've Won -- Hang up on a caller who says you've won a free gift, vacation or prize, but you have to pay for postage and handling or other charges.
Warning Sign No. 3 -- Give Credit Card or Bank Number -- Scammers often try to get you to give personal information on the phone.
Warning Sign No. 4 -- No Validation Needed -- Scammers often say you don't need to talk to anyone else about the offer.
Warning Sign No. 5 -- No References Needed -- Scammers frequently say you don't need written info about the company or any references.
Warning Sign No. 6 -- High Profit, No Risk -- A scammer might say, "You can't afford to miss this high-profit, no-risk offer."
Avoidance Tip No. 1 -- Don't Buy -- You shouldn't buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses are happy to comply with a request for more information.
Avoidance Tip No. 2 -- Get Written Info -- Always ask for and wait to receive written material about any offer or charity and ask someone else to review, too.
Avoidance Tip No. 3 -- Consumer Protection -- Check unfamiliar companies through a consumer protection agency, such as the Better Business Bureau or state attorney general.
Avoidance Tip No. 4 -- Get Identity -- Get a salesperson's name, business, phone number, address and license number before buying.
Avoidance Tip No. 5 -- Percentages -- Before giving money to charity, find out how much money actually goes toward the cause.
Avoidance Tip No. 6 -- Guarantee -- Before giving money, ask yourself what guarantee you have that a solicitor will use the money in the way they claim.
Avoidance Tip No. 7 -- Paying In Advance – Don't pay in advance for services. Pay only after it is delivered.
Avoidance Tip No. 8 -- Money Messenger -- Be wary of companies who send someone to your home to get money. They are taking money without leaving a trace of who they are or where they can be reached.
Avoidance Tip No. 9 -- Take Your Time -- Legitimate companies won't pressure you into making a snap decision.
Avoidance Tip No. 10 -- Understanding -- Don't respond to an offer you don't understand thoroughly.
Avoidance Tip No. 11 – Personal Info – Don't give out personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, date of birth or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar people or companies.