Seniors are Common Targets for Telemarketing Fraud

People who are over the age of 60 are often targets for scam artists selling bogus services or items over the phone. Women and people who live alone are more likely to receive these calls. Most telemarketing scams involve low-cost vitamins, inexpensive vacations, health aids and various free prizes.

Protect Yourself from Telemarketing ScamsThese scams come with some warning signs. The following are common components of scams:

– Action must be taken immediately to avoid letting the offer expire.
– It is necessary to pay postage or handling charges to receive a free gift, vacation tickets or prizes.
– The caller says there is no need to verify the company’s credibility with any bureaus, friends or attorneys.
– The caller says consumers do not need to have written information about the company.
– In the first couple minutes, the callers says a bank account number, credit card number or check number must be provided.
– The caller says the listener cannot afford to miss this profitable or no-risk offer.

How To Avoid Telemarketing Fraud
There are ways to avoid these scam artists and their harmful practices. After giving money to one of these fraudsters, it can be very difficult to be compensated. Before buying anything over the phone, remember the following tips:

– Never buy items from unfamiliar companies.
– If a company will not provide requested information, hang up the phone.
– Do not make a purchase before receiving written material about the product or service.
– Always ask a professional before making any investment purchases.
– Ask a local consumer protection agency for data about new companies.
– Verify the salesperson’s phone number, address, name and city before doing business.
– Ask about commission percentages before giving any money to charities.
– Think about what guarantees are offered that the money will be spent wisely.
– Beware of companies offering to send sales representatives to pick up money.
– Never pay in advance for any type of service.
– Do not let a company pressure an immediate decision when more time is requested.
– If a free prize is offered, there should never be a charge for postage or handling.
– Callers stating that free prize fees are applied toward taxes are breaking the law.
– Do not respond to offers that are not completely understandable.
– Keep in mind that personal data is often sold to third parties.
– Do not give any financial data to a caller. Always verify information before buying.
– Do not provide personal data such as a Social Security number or birth date.
– Beware of people offering to help recover any types of losses.

If a caller is using pressure tactics or trying to push a sale, the best thing to do is politely decline and hang up the phone immediately. Consumers who receive calls from fraudsters should report them to local, state or federal law enforcement agencies immediately.

About Brian Hendricks

Brian Hendricks is the President of Fidelity Insurance Group. Brian started Fidelity in 2003 with 0 clients. Today Fidelity Insurance Group is a Premier Independent Insurance Agency in Florida with over 3,000 families and businesses insured. Brian currently serves on advisory boards for 2 of the largest property insurance companies in Florida. Knowlege, Integrity, and Committment are his and his agency's guiding principles.
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