Georgia Law Consumer Fraud

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Georgia Law Consumer Fraud Powered By Docstoc
					  Telemarketing Fraud:
      It’s a Crime
  University of Georgia Cooperative
          Extension Service
Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer
                Affairs
Telemarketing Scams
Prize Offers and Promotional
            Sales
– Con artists require
  payment for you to
  receive a prize.
– Prizes are worthless or
  overpriced.
– In Georgia, it is illegal
  to require someone to
  make a purchase to
  receive a prize.
International Lotteries
              – The caller invites you to
                participate in high-stakes
                foreign lotteries
              – U.S. Consumers spend
                $120 million per year on
                these international lotteries
              – Federal law prohibits the
                cross-border sale or
                purchase of lottery tickets
                by phone or mail
      Charitable Solicitations

– Con artists use the name of
  a charity (or a similar name)
  to obtain a donation
– Paid solicitors raising
  money for a charity in
  Georgia must identify
  themselves as paid
  solicitors at the beginning
  of the call
– Georgia law prohibits a
  charity from sending a
  courier to a residence to
  pick up a cash donation
Disaster-related Solicitations


                 – Con artists take
                   advantage of tragedies
                   and disasters to solicit
                   contributions
                 – They play on your
                   emotions to donate to
                   victims of the tragedy
                   or disaster
             Magazine Sales
– “Discount rates” may
  be more costly than
  news stand prices
– Subscriptions may be
  “negative option
  renewals”, meaning
  your credit card will be
  charged for renewals
  until you contact the
  company to cancel
Investments

        – Con artists promise large
          returns for fraudulent
          investments
        – They may tell you they
          have “inside information”
          or that this is a “one-time”
          offer
        – If it sounds too good to be
          true, it probably is
        – Investigate before you
          invest
              Travel Packages

– Free or low-cost vacations
  that end up costing more
  than you were led to believe
– You may pay for a vacation
  you never receive
– You may be required to sit
  through high-pressure sales
  presentations
Credit Card Offers

           – Often require an “advanced
             fee”
           – May only be able to use the
             card to purchase over-
             priced items from a special
             catalog
           – Most companies offer credit
             cards at not cost other than
             the interest on purchases
             Health Products


– Miracle cures and
  supplements that are
  often of little value and
  may even be harmful
– Sometimes offer prizes
  to entice you to buy
Credit Card Loss Protection
           Plans
                – Claim to protect you
                  from liability due to
                  fraudulent use of your
                  credit cards
                – Federal law limits your
                  liability for
                  unauthorized charges
                  to $50 per card
            Recovery Scams


– Con artists target
  victims of other frauds
– Promise to recover
  losses for a fee
– Law enforcement
  agencies NEVER ask
  victims to pay for
  investigations or to
  recover losses
Telephone Cramming and
       Slamming
            - Cramming: charges on
            your phone bill for
            services not requested or
            used.
            - Slamming: unauthorized
            switch of your long
            distance carrier.
            - Avoid slamming by
            requesting a “PIC freeze”
            from your local telephone
            provider.
  Before You Send Money to a
         Telemarketer:
• Check references
  – Contact your local Better Business Bureau
  – Contact the Governor’s Office of Consumer
    Affairs
  – Contact the Secretary of State’s Office
    regarding non-religious charities
Before You Send Money to a
       Telemarketer:
             • Request that written
               information about the
               company be mailed to
               you.
             • Ask for an address and
               telephone number for
               the caller.
                 Warning Signs
                  The Caller:
• Requires an immediate
  decision
• Tells you the offer is good
  for today only
• Gets hostile when you ask
  questions
• Encourages you not to tell
  anyone
• Requests immediate
  payment
How Callers Get Your Name
             • Filling out and
               returning junk mail
             • Registering for prizes
               and sweepstakes
             • Warranty cards
             • From lists sold by
               others
            Limiting Access
• Sign up for the
  Georgia No Call List
• Notify companies you
  do business with that
  you do not want
  information about you
  sold to others
• Call (888) I OPT OUT
  to stop credit card
  offers

				
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posted:11/15/2010
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