Telemarketing Scams

Sometimes a telemarketing call is nothing but a phone scam

Most telemarketing calls, although highly annoying, are made by legitimate telemarketing companies. Unfortunately, there are many large telemarketing scam rings out there that like to prey on unsuspecting consumers.

In many cases, these telemarketing scams are directed the elderly, who are seen as easy marks. Beware, however, as scammers aren’t choosy. They are happy to prey on anybody with money available for their scam. Don’t let it be you!

How to recognize and avoid telemarketing scams:

  • High-pressure sales tactics are commonly used by scammers. Even scammers will start out nice to try to “make a sale.” What separates scammers from legitimate telemarketers is that scammers will resort to abusive tactics.
  • Legitimate telemarketers will ask for a sale, but when you say “no,” they will back off. After all, they want to call you again sometime
    with another product. Thieves will, after you tell them no thanks, result to hard selling, insults, and even vague threats if they
    aren’t successful at their scam.
  • Scammers will require you to “act now” or lose the opportunity forever. Yeah right. If somebody really
    wants your business they will be happy to extend the same offer in the future. Rare is the business that has all the customers they want.
  • People who ask for your credit card number when you have not agreed to a sale yet are most likely big-time
    scammers. There are other ways to verify people’s identity. Your credit card and social security numbers should be protected like the
    gold at Fort Knox. Know exactly whom you are dealing with before ever divulging this vital information.
  • If an offer sounds to good to be true, it probably is. This outstanding advice will never become obsolete.
    Crooks will make any kind of promise they can to swindle you. Don’t fall for it. Greed is not good. Being greedy makes you more susceptible to fraud.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, ever allow somebody to come to your home to pick up money for a telephone
    purchase. Not only is this a sure sign of a scam, but it could possible put you in danger.
  • Avoid any telemarketer that want to give you something for free but only after you pay an up front fee.
    Free is free. Anything else is fraud.
  • Any business, telemarketing or otherwise, that cannot provide basic reference information about their
    business are likely to be crooks. This basic information includes, but is not limited to; address, phone number, place where they are
    licensed, or confirmation that they are registered with a direct marketing regulatory agency, are likely illegitimate.

    The scammers will offer many excuses for why this information is not available. If the information is not available, then neither
    should be your business.

  • Beware of any promises of risk-free investments. In my years of learning about investments, I have never
    found any that are risk-free. Okay, maybe government bonds are risk-free, but I have never heard of any government agency having
    telemarketers on their staff to sell such bonds.

    It is our belief at Fraud Guides, and we think that most everybody will agree, that any investment that would really be 100% risk-free
    would not require telemarketers to sell it. There would be more investors than opportunities for such a venture.

Protect yourself against telemarketing scams by taking a few simple precautions:

  • The first thing you may want to do is register with the National Do Not Call Registry
    ( This works
    like a charm for reducing the number of solicitation calls. It is also worth noting that legitimate telemarketers are
    registered with a government regulatory agency and must comply with the registry. There are a few who do not. You can
    find more information at the National Do Not Call Registry website.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be pushed into a hurried decision. Keep in mind that if you want
    something badly enough, you are likely to seek it out on your own without the prompting of a phone call.
  • Don’t be afraid to request that additional information be mailed (never dropped off) to you so
    that you can do more research. Any resistance at doing this is a red flag. Really good scammers may even have professional
    looking information to send, so make sure that you use due diligence when looking over any materials that you might receive.
  • Always seek advice from people you trust before entering into any investments or contracts. The
    person trying to sell you a product or investment should have no problem with this if they have confidence in the product they are selling.
  • Get any promises or great deals in writing. People can say whatever they want on the phone, but
    written agreements are binding. This doesn’t automatically indemnify you against fraud, but it certainly doesn’t hurt either.
  • Resist giving financial information over the phone. As hard as it is to believe, credit cards aren’t the
    only way to pay for purchases. Personal checks still have a place in the world. Do not give out personal financial information
    unless you are convinced (and be a very hard sell) that it is absolutely necessary.
  • Finally, if somebody is menacing you over the phone, hang up. You may also tell the telemarketer not
    to make any more calls to your number. If they persist, document the times of the calls and contact your state’s Attorney General.
    Attorneys General offices typically handle complaints regarding consumer fraud.

13 Responses

  1. William Crabtree says:

    Received call from (907) 341-4332 asking about my son, wanted me to verify his birthdate. I asked them to identify themselves and what the call was about and the person refused. I asked them to not call again.

    Received call from “private number” from same person about 30 seconds later, ranting about how if I did not like having to give birthdate to call my Senator. Then he gave my full name, birthdate and last 4 of SSN. Still would not let me know who he was and why he was calling. Mentioned a “civil case” with no specifics. Very abusive.

    Background noise sounded like boileroom in telemarketer or survey place.

    Do not know who the person was or any civil cases or legal trouble of any kind.
    What should we do.

  2. Robert Thomas Howard says:

    We received a phone call on May 7, 2015 saying that they were the IRS and they had been trying to contact us. They also said they were going to sue us and wanted us to call the following phone number 509-588-7570.

    Tom Howard

  3. Walt H says:

    There’s a check fraud going on in Maine.
    I have the check if you want to follow up on this particular scam.

  4. Rudy says:

    I received a telephone call on my cell phone from a blocked number. They advised me the Federal Government was giving out $10,000 in free grant money that could be used however I saw fit, and it never had to be repaid. They told me I had call XXX-XXX-XXXX and give them the confirmation number have me. Called the number to get as much info to report because I knew it was a SCAM. In short the Federal Government will send me a $10k grant via Western Union but I had to pay a $250 WU fee that couldn’t be deducted from the Grant.

    • Linda Riley says:

      Thank you. Just got the same phone call stating the same thing – that I was to get a Fed Grant. However, I had to buy $250 of Apple ITunes Gift Cards to register for this. I did, stupidly, buy these cards and gave them the Control Numbers for them. I feel like a fool. They called back and said that I needed to buy $600 ($200 for each of the 3 cards that I bought) to activate them. That was when I realized that I had been taken. Sigh…

      • In god We Trust says:

        Yes called me many times per day, Im ex-intel spec ops….lol they cant even speak good english. so i played with them, asked for supervisor. then acted like I was super happy, what I got out of this person, she was calling from Hong number said Washington DC…lol then i said darnn didnt know we have federal grants coming from hong Kong. send me the check in the mail….lol. Then I asked for some fried rice…..I guess she figured after she told me where the call was coming from she blew it…lol I am gonna try to call FBI see if these jerk offs will even listen to me.

  5. j says:

    11/4/15 509-2XX-XXXX is calling claiming to be the IRS and claiming they are filing a lawsuit. AMAZING how there is no where to report this crap real time to anyone. Don’t have the manpower or technology for this, but you can record every freakkn phone call and e-mail I am ever engaged in. Selective enforcement of the Law, gotta love it, my tax dollars at work.

  6. koa says:

    This is a scam, I got a call from 866-211-XXXX telling me that I have unused “getaway” weeks for my timeshare and they want to rent those weeks from me to rent to corporations at a high rate. They told me that instead of me paying my rate for these “getaway” weeks, they have negotiated a better rate with the resort because they do so much business with the resort so I only need to pay a lower rate for these “getaway” weeks. They want me to pay them up front and they say they will send me a cashier’s check when the weeks are rented to the big corporations. I called the resort and the network, they said they do not do this. They use a few other phone numbers for this scam: 912-454-8049 (supposedly the sales rep’s direct number), and 912-454-XXXX (their company line). Don’t be scammed.

  7. alex v says:

    I received a call yesterday from number 77345XXXXX from a woman supposedly named “Monica” she kept asking for my husband saying that she was calling from his employer, also she knew both our phone numbers, and our address which really freaked me out, because we have family, and we don’t know what kind of people they are, when I refused to provide more info about my husband she said that this call was to let us know that we had a foreclosure, we don’t own a home or anything to be honest so I asked her again what was her last name and the company name she was calling from and she refused I told her that I knew it was a scam phone call and that I was gonna call the cops, which I did and filled a report yesterday. I hope the cops can do something about this. tried filling a report with the Illinois attorney general, but there is not a phone scam report. I then sent an email, and I am really hoping that they read it and that they can do something about this.

  8. Leslie Winners says:

    Received phone call today from someone posing as my “oldest grandson”; didn’t sound like him and he called me “Grandpa”, so I did not speak his name. Caller went on to explain circumstances: had an accident in New York in a rented car and was DUI; needed $1000 fine and “Legal Aid” would see no charges were filed; even provided a case number. Caller provided number for legal aid and name of his legal aid attorney. Decided to play along and see just how far this would go so I called him “Patrick”, I have no grandson Patrick. Then we got disconnected. The “legal aid attorney” called asking if I had talked to “Patrick” and did he explain situation. I said yes but that I did not have a “Patrick” grandson, but his name was “Michael”; he said let him check name on case file, indeed the name on file was “Michael”. Finally told him that I had had enough and I had no grandson name “Patrick” or “Michael”.
    Be careful if you get a call like this and be certain NOT to volunteer any information to them until you are absolutely certain of the veracity.

  9. D Suhr says:

    just got a call from “Publishers Clearing House” that we won money, cars and wanted us to give them our bank info so that 2500,.00 would be the “taxes” on our prize……..totally harassing my husband…..after checking further, the call was from Jamaica!! This lying so-and-so said he was in the state of Texas and would get our car to us today…..what a joke……stupid…….glad my husband is a smart cookie 🙂

  10. Kathy Snyder says:

    Got a phone call from someone posing as my grandson and said he flew to Orlando with his friend Steven Johnson and the rented a car at the airport and on the way to Steven’s fathers house had an accident on the freeway. They did not pull right over but went to the next exit and the police pulled them over. They tried to explain but the officer would to listen and arrested them both. Since they tested clean for drugs they have them in a holding cell and they need bail to get out. He asked me to keep this to myself and just help him thru this. He told me to call 403-389-6216 and speak to James Matthews,who is the attorney.. He would need $6,000 to get out on bail. I told him he was not driving and he would be freed.Knowing this area code was not an Orlando area, I looked it up and it was Alberta, Canada. Since I did not call the attorney, he called back in 15 minutes. I said that maybe his sister could help him and he should call her. Then I asked him to name his sisters. When he said Becka, I knew he was not who he claimed and told him he blew it and hung up.

  11. Sandy Bean says:

    What can be done about scammers that “mine” working and or disconnected phone numbers? I often get calls from our local school district, as I have children in the district I answer it, only to find out it is a “mined” number and a scammer is on the other end. The NO CALL LIST does not work. I even got a call one day from my own phone number. Interesting. Legally, how can we stop this, and how can this practice of stealing telephone numbers be stopped? Getting to the point that I never answer my phone and it rings all the time.

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