Telemarketing Fraud is Making a Comeback

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Telemarketing Fraud is Making a Comeback Powered By Docstoc
					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 scam 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.

This article was posted on March 06, 2006