As the telemarketing age continues to grow, more and more companies and businesses sell or advertise their products and services through telephone marketing. Many of these companies are legitimate and they do this approach either by calling the prospective consumers or advertising their products and services to a number of consumers to call them. Charities even use telemarketing. The bad news is, telemarketing is not only used today by legitimate companies and charities. Most of those who solicit consumers by phone are fraudulent telemarketers. They rob people through their expertise in the so-called “sales talk” everyday with telephone as their weapon.
Statistics show that there has been a growing number in cases of telemarketing fraud. Last year, 2005, it was revealed by the National Fraud Information Center that the top ten telemarketing frauds include prizes or sweepstakes, scholarships and grants, magazine sales, credit card offers, face check scams, advance fee loans, lotteries, work at home plans, phishing, and travel or vacation scams. Of these mentioned telemarketing frauds, the scholarships or grants scams top the list.
Now let’s take a look at the common definition of telemarketing fraud. According to some experts, the term telemarketing fraud refers generally to any scheme to defraud. In telemarketing fraud scheme, the persons carrying out the scheme employ the telephone as their primary means of communicating to their prospective targets. They tend work with their telemarketing fraudulent scheme to persuade people to send money to their scheme. Usually, when these telemarketing fraudulent companies solicit people to buy their products and services, to donate funds to charitable causes, or to invest money, the telemarketing fraud operation typically employs a number of false and misleading statements. In addition to this, most telemarketing fraudulent operations even use representations and promises just to trap their unfortunate victims.
There is one particular telemarketing fraudulent tactic commonly used by most telemarketing fraud companies – the so-called “reloading”. Reloading is actually a term that refers to fraudulent telemarketer’s practice of re-contacting victims after their initial transactions with the telemarketer. This term also refers to the telemarketing fraudulent operation in which the fraudulent telemarketers solicit their re-contacted victims for additional payments. Perhaps one concrete example of this telemarketing fraudulent operation is the prize-promotion scheme, in which victims are often told that they are now eligible for even higher levels and values of prizes for which they must pay additional fees or taxes.
Today, although many consumers apparently find it difficult to believe that there are telemarketing fraudulent people who will contact them on the phone and lie and misrepresent facts just to obtain their money, the sad reality is that at any given time, there are at least several hundred telemarketing fraudulent operations. Some of these telemarketing fraudulent operations employ as many as several dozen people. Much worse is that not only the individual consumers are victims of telemarketing fraud. Businesses, from large corporations to small “Mom and Pop” stores are targets for a variety of telemarketing fraudulent schemes as well.
With the rapid growth of telemarketing fraud, perhaps the best way that people can do to avoid telemarketing frauds is to do business with companies they only know and trust. People should also understand the offer, check all the bills and invoices carefully, guard their financial or other account information, and educate their employees about avoiding telemarketing fraud.