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The calls come every day— dreaded telemarketers. Many are legitimate but still a nuisance; others are frauds and can cause you monetary losses, grief, time and concern.

It’s important to know a few basis rules when dealing with telemarketers. If the caller indicates any of the following, hang up immediately:

· You can’t lose. Death and taxes are sure things; everything else is a risk.
· You must invest/commit immediately. No legitimate offering hinges on a spontaneous decision.
· You were selected specifically to receive this offer. You and thousands of others are on a list of potential suckers.

You don’t owe telemarketers courtesy. You didn’t ask them to call and interrupt your day or night: if they don’t take, “I’m not interested,” as an answer then hang up—immediately.

Remember the old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Common sense is your best protection.

There are other rules, too, when dealing with these unsolicited callers:

· Never, ever, give out your social security number, bank account numbers or credit card numbers.
· If you’re tempted to purchase something from a telemarketer, tell them you want to check with your state’s attorney general and ask for the name of the telemarketing firm, the salesperson’s name and employee number, and a number where you may call back. Give it some time and make the call to check the validity of the information you were given. Should it not check out, don’t bother the attorney general; if it does, contact the AG’s office and inquire as to the legitimacy of the firm.
· Ask friends, neighbors and relatives about the “deal.” It’s better to be a little red-faced if they voice negative opinions than to be out a sum of money.
· Should a “sale” continue to a contract stage, read the fine print before you sign.

If you suspect fraud, it should be reported to the National Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060.