What are some different types of telemarketing scams? What do you need to look out for?
Telemarketing scams can strike in many forms. They usually call you at dinner time or in the early evening hours. They may use high-pressure sales techniques, telling you you only have a few short hours in which to act. They may want your credit card information over the phone. And they may even take money out of your accounts without you giving permission. Here are some different types of telemarketing scams.
• "Telefunding" schemes–Someone will call you over the phone and tell you they're raising money for a certain cause. They sound legitimate and offer to take your credit card information right there and then. But you may never know that that person will deduct the amount you specified and pocket the money themselves. They never have worked for the non-profit group you think they do. The trick here is to never give monetary donations over the phone. Always ask them to send you information so you can make an informed decision.
• Investment scams–A telemarketer will call you, giving you the "opportunity" to invest your money in a variety of products. It could range from gemstones to oil to other investment opportunities. The only problem is, they aren't who they say they are. And when you give them your credit card or bank account information, they deduct the money, and you never hear from them again and don't have any interest in the investments specified. Always be leery of strangers who call you with investment opportunities.
• Sweepstakes scams–A telemarketer will call you and tell you you've won a sweepstakes prize. They'll say that in order for you to collect your prize, you simply have to give them a delivery deposit on the prize or make a refundable deposit. The prize will then be at your door the next day. Generally, the scammer will ask you for your credit card or bank account information in order to process the order. You may never see a prize the next day, or if you do, the prize is not what you expected it to be.
• Vacation Certificates–Someone will call you, telling you that you've won a vacation for two to a tropical destination. When you agree to accept this prize, which is at no cost to you, you later realize that it actually has cost you hundreds–and maybe thousands–of dollars, because they don't tell you they won't pay travel costs for your guest. Before traveling, be sure to confirm all arrangements and make sure you thoroughly know what you're getting yourself into.