5 Things to Know to Help You Avoid Telemarketing Fraud
The statistics on scam calls are quite shocking. After analysing over 50 billion calls over a period of 18 months, First Orion predicted that about 44% of calls in 2019 were scam calls. The company refers to this as the ‘scam call epidemic’ and it seems to be growing faster than predicted. Of all the calls made in 2017, about 22.7 percent of them were fraud. The percentage increased to 29.2 percent in 2018 and rose to 44.6% in 2019.
All in all, it is important to note that scam calls made from telephone numbers are fewer. Spam callers are relying on new techniques which include neighbourhood spoofing where the caller ID shows a local number is calling. The first 6 digits of these calls are usually your phone number or the number of a person you call frequently. This creates the illusion that you know the number and thus you end up picking up.
With these and more strategies being used, you have to learn how to stop unwanted phone call. But how do you avoid telemarketing fraud? There are several things you should do.
1.Take note of red flags
The main reason most people end up being defrauded is because they ignore the obvious signs. There are certain lines you will hear immediately after picking up that will let you know you are dealing with a fraudster.
“You have won a free vacation/gift/prize!!!” But you have to pay for the postage and handling or other charges they come up with.
“You must act now or the offer will not be good.”
“You must send money or give your credit card number or bank account number”
The caller says you don’t need to speak to anyone including your lawyer, spouse, consumer protection agency or accountant.
You can’t afford to miss this high profit, no-risk offer
Fraudulent telemarketers prey on the desperation of their victims. So long as a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. The first rule of telemarketing safety is to ignore the pitches of anyone that calls you uninvited. Don’t rely on your caller ID; it can be faked as we saw earlier.
2.Give them nothing
Even if they claim to offer a juicy deal, fraudsters are usually hunting for information. Even as you search for the best solution on how to stop telemarketers from calling your cell phone, you must always remember that your best defence is to give these callers nothing; don’t even give them you first name. Don’t reply to any question that requires you to give them any details about you. Hang up if they want to verify your address.
Telemarketers, even scammers, are trained to never take ‘no’ for an answer. They are ready to keep pressuring you even if all they succeed in doing is wasting 98% of your time. The important rule to bear in mind is that any information you give them will be used as a tool to part you from your money or even harm you.
3.Don’t buy anything from an unverified company
The main reason why most people end up being scammed is because they never take the time to verify the company the telemarketer claims to work for. Legitimate companies are happy to give you the information you need about them and you will be able to verify their existence using channels like the local consumer protection agency or watchdog groups and so on. All in all, not all bad businesses can be identified using these organizations.
The best solution here is to offer to call them. If the caller claims to be from your bank and needs certain information, tell them you will call them directly or visit the nearest bank branch. When you offer to call them directly, fraudster will offer you a number you can call to get proof. Don’t believe them. Don’t call the number given to you. You need to find the number yourself using the Yellow Pages or the internet.
As a company, you will be better off using tools like MessageEasy.com. This is a reliable tool on how to stop spam calls. Whenever a telemarketer contacts you, you direct them to MessageEasy.com where they have to register using an email and leave details about their offer. You can then verify everything the telemarketer is claiming and contact them if you feel they are legit.
4.Take your time
Since time immemorial, the objective of fraudulent telemarketers has always been to make a sale as quickly as possible. That is why they will keep pressuring you to take action. Scammers will always want to create a false deadline. If you ever feel pressured the best way forward is simply to hang up.
Regardless of how great a deal is; you deserve time to choose how you spend your money. If an offer sounds great, hang up and talk it over with your friends. You also need to take this time to verify the company the telemarketer called you from. If hear things like: “the offer is only good for today” or “the price will go up soon” or “there is a limited supply”, simply hang up. If a deal is legitimate there is no need to rush.
5.Note how you are asked to pay
The best clue on how to spot a scam lies in how you are asked to pay. Fraudsters want to be paid fast and in cash. They don’t want to wait for cheques to clear or get funds through credit cards. If the only method of payment offered is money transfer, it is probably a scam.
While it is good to get a tool to stop unwanted sales calls, you will not be able to stop spam calls completely. Your best defence is to be alert and use systems like MessageEasy.com Always verify everything before taking action.
“Of all the calls made in 2017, about 22.7 percent of them were fraud. The percentage increased to 29.2 percent in 2018 and rose to 44.6% in 2019.”