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Telemarketing - the scam that never stops

By now, most adults have experienced a period of excessive telemarketing calls at one time or another.  While you may hang up or completely ignore them, telemarketing scams are actually more successful than you may think.  Because of this never ending problem, it is very important to keep yourself aware and understand how to identify these scams.  This will help you to elude these financial traps that attempt to pump you for personal information and steal your money. 

For those of you who are not familiar these fraudulent techniques, here are few examples of the most popular telemarketing scams and how they operate:

Credit Cards: This is by far the most frequently attempted telemarketing scam used today.  It is broken down into the following categories:

- Financial issues - A telemarketer calls and notifies you of financial woes.  They typically pretend to be a creditor, requesting payment up front while arranging funds to be directly accessed from your account.  The scam artist may ask for a credit card number, bank account number or a social security number, critical information that should never be given away over the phone. 

- Free gifts - In this variation, a scammer requests a credit card number while offering a free gift in exchange.  You may be told that the gift will be validated after verifying a credit card number.  In truth, if a consumer truly receives a gift, it is likely to have been charged on their own account with more charges to follow.

- Loss protection - A phony telemarketer offers you a credit card with loss protection insurance.  When receiving a call like this, you should know that these additional protection plans are worthless.  If you're curious about adding protection, directly contact your credit card company and learn what they have to offer. 

Investment scans:    This type of scam focuses on the "big dreamer".  It promises an unbelievable return to those willing to invest their money in precious items such gold, silver, rare coins, vintage stamps, and even oil well leases.  At the prices a scammer will offer, these deals are too good to be true.  Never purchase anything over the phone from someone you don't know or any service you did not request. 

Lottery scams:    In this scam, a telemarketer calls to tell a consumer of a rare opportunity to win thousands of dollars in lottery prize drawing.  They are then swindled into purchasing high stakes in the competition to increase the chance at winning.  Though it sounds tempting, this is merely another telemarketing scam. 

Many other telemarketing scams exist from work-at-home schemes to product assembly services.  The best approach against this crime is to never make purchases over the telephone unless it was you that initiated the contact.  You can also elude these dangerous situations by registering your phone number with FTC's Do Not Call Registry, a national service that will not cost you a penny.  According to federal law, telemarketing agencies are required to maintain their own Do Not Call list, in which they must fulfill when a user makes that request.   

Many other telemarketing scams exist from work-at-home schemes to product assembly services.  The best approach against this crime is to never make purchases over the telephone unless it was you that initiated the contact.  You can also elude these dangerous situations by registering your phone number with FTC's Do Not Call Registry, a national service that will not cost you a penny. According to federal law, telemarketing agencies are required to maintain their own Do Not Call list, in which they must fulfill when a user makes that request.

 

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.