How to Know When Scammers Call
- Most phone sales calls are made by legitimate companies promoting legitimate products or services. But where honest companies seek out new customers, so do scammers. Toll fraud is a multi-billion dollar business that involves the sale of everything from bad or nonexistent investments to the sale of misrepresented products and services. If you have a phone, you are a prospect, becoming a victim is largely up to you.
- There is no way to positively determine if a sales call is legitimate simply by speaking to someone on the phone. No matter what or how many questions you ask, expert scammers have practiced the answers. That is why sales calls should be treated with caution. People or companies that you do not know should be checked before buying or investing. Legitimate callers have nothing to hide.
- Telephone scammers likely know more about you than you think. Depending on where you got your name in the first place, they may know your age and income, health and hobbies, occupation and marital status, education, the house you live in, the magazines you read, and whether you bought them over the phone. in the past. Even if your name comes from the phone book, phone scammers (and women) assume that like most people you would be interested in having more income, that you are receptive to a deal, that you basically sympathize with people in need. , and you are not willing to be rude to someone on the phone. As admirable as these features are, they help make the scammer’s job easier. Scammers also exploit less admirable characteristics, such as greed.
- Fraudulent telemarketers have one thing in common: They are skilled liars and adept at verbal “snow work.” Your success depends on it. Many are trained to “say whatever it takes” by “boiler room” operators where they work in rows of telephone desks making hundreds of repetitive calls, hour after hour. The first words uttered by most victims of toll fraud are “the caller sounded so credible …”
- Toll scam perpetrators are extremely good at looking like they represent legitimate businesses. They offer investments, sell subscriptions, provide products for homes and offices, promote travel and vacation plans, describe job opportunities, request donations, and the list goes on. Never assume that “you will recognize a phone scare when you hear it.” Even if you’ve read stories about the types of schemes that are most frequently practiced, innovative scammers are constantly coming up with new ones.
- The motto of telemarketers is “just give us a few good mooches,” one of the terms they use to describe their victims. Although the majority of victims are normally intelligent and prudent people, even scammers express their amazement at the number of people who “seem to have their check stubs by the phone.” Unfortunately, some families part with the savings they worked for years to accumulate based on a phone conversation of just over 15 minutes, less time than they would spend considering the purchase of an appliance.
- The person who “initiates” the phone call may be you. It is not uncommon for wiretaps to use direct mail and advertise in reputable publications to encourage potential customers to make the initial contact. It’s another way that scammers mimic the perfectly acceptable marketing practices of legitimate companies. So just because you’ve written or telephoned asking for “additional information” about an investment, product, or service doesn’t mean you should be less cautious when shopping over the phone from someone you don’t know.
- Victims of a phone scam almost never get their money back or, at best, no more than a few pennies on the dollar. Despite the efforts of law enforcement and regulatory agencies to provide whatever help they can to victims, scammers generally do what other people do when they get money – they spend it!
- Before you call any number back, you can do a quick reverse phone number lookup and have more information on the telemarketer than they have on you.
With broadband internet services and our wireless phones, it is actually possible to conduct a background check with a reverse phone number lookup while the scammers are still on the phone with you.