In October, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Minnesota charged 60 defendants in a $300 million telemarketing scheme that defrauded 150,000 elderly and vulnerable adults in 50 states.
With that in mind, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips for handling telemarketer calls:
• Take your time. If it is a good deal now, it will still be a good deal after you take a couple of days to think about it, research the company, and ask the advice of a trusted friend.
• Don’t take telemarketer claims at face value. Fraudulent telemarketing schemes will use deceptive sales tactics and might misrepresent the cost of a subscription or product.
• Be cautious and do your own research. Do not make a purchase until you have verified a company’s existence and reliability. Investigate a company’s reputation before doing business with it. Be particularly careful about providing your banking information or other personal information over the telephone, especially if it’s an unsolicited caller.
Lastly, it is OK to hang up. If something seems off, if you’re not interested in the offer, or if you feel pressure to make a hasty decision, hang up the phone
If you have been the target of a scam, your first contact should be the local authorities. Also, feel free to contact us with details (we can keep your name confidential, if you wish).
Send your story to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 507-831-3455. Stories will appear in an upcoming edition and in our Thursday noon website report. By sharing your story, you may prevent others from being scammed.
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