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Telemarketing Fraud is Making a Comeback

While there are many legitimate companies that use the telephone for marketing, consumers and business lose millions of dollars to telemarketing fraud each year. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable telemarketers and criminals who use the phone to rob people. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the danger signs of fraud. If you are a victim or attempted victim of telemarketing fraud, it's important to report the scam quickly so that law enforcement agencies can shut the fraudulent operation down.

by: Charles Essmeier

Financial scams have been around for a long time. Anyone who has ever received a message from someone in Nigeria with millions of dollars to share might be surprised to find out that this scam has been around, in some form, since the early part of the twentieth century. It has been updated for the Internet Age, and as many people have discovered, it still works. With many people rightly concerned about the increased amount of financial fraud that uses the Internet as a tool, some people might be surprised to see that another old form of fraud is making a comeback, and that is telemarketing fraud.

A current telemarketing fraud involves a caller who claims to represent a company that has recently held a sweepstakes. The caller informs the person who answers the phone that he or she has won a prize of some value. It might be a car or a washing machine, but it will always be something that most people would accept with little thought. The caller then explains that there will be some costs associated with delivering the prize to the winner, such as shipping charges and taxes. These charges, the caller explains, can be paid for with a credit card. Then the caller asks the victim for personal information, including a credit card number.

Of course, there is no prize and there are no fees. Once the caller has the victim's credit card number and other personal information, he or she can then use this information to spend like crazy using the victim's credit card. Or they can arrange some more elaborate crimes using identity theft. Either way, the victim will find themselves with a very complicated situation that may take years to unravel.

Should anyone call you to tell you that you have won something, be careful. Ask if they can provide the information in writing. Be aware that in most states, it is illegal to ask for fees from someone who has actually one a prize. If it is a prize, then it should be free, and that includes delivery. If you are at all suspicious of the person on the phone, then hang up. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

About The Author

©Copyright 2005-06 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including, a site devoted to information regarding home equity lending.

© 2007

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