Understand Your Basic Telemarketing Rights

How can you tell the difference between a legitimate telemarketing call and a scam? If you think it's difficult, you're not alone. Three-quarters of the adults recently surveyed by Consumer Federation of America said that they thought it was hard for most consumers to tell. And while 9 in 10 said that they were concerned about the possibility of fraud when they get telemarketing calls from companies they haven't done business with before, many did not know their basic telemarketing rights. Knowing your rights can help you spot a scammer.

For instance, is a company that you don't have a relationship with calling you to try to sell you something even though you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry? Is it a prerecorded sales pitch when you never gave the company written permission to make that kind of robocall to you? Why doesn't the company's number show on your Caller ID? If you know what telemarketers are supposed to do and they seem to be violating your rights, STOP! Legitimate companies usually follow the rules, scammers don't.

Other danger signs of telemarketing fraud are also easy to spot, once you know what to look for. High-pressure sales tactics, requests for payment to claim a prize, promises that you can make easy money working at home, guarantees of big returns on investments with little or no risk, and offers to settle your debts, help you get a loan, save your home from foreclosure, fix your credit record or recover money you've lost to scammers - if you pay the fee in advance - are all common clues. Another is if the telemarketer will only accept payment made with a money transfer service or a prepaid card product.

To help you protect yourself from telemarketing fraud, Consumer Federation provides tips, a guide to your telemarketing rights, and a funny video at www.consumerfed.org/fraud. Remember, money sent to scammers is often lost for good. So don't fall for fraud, and report violations of your telemarketing rights to help stop scammers.


Blog Topic: 
Scam Alerts


Called by cell phone promised a $1000 shopping spree and lock you into magazine subscription five magazines costing $49.99 a month and another magazine order through another company also by cell phone contact. One company from Florida mentioned with the shopping spree with a catalog not worth the $1000 shopping. Help me they are calling again and want me to get locked in for two more years I protested and they want my credit card no. and wanted to know my occupation and age.

I complained prior to my moving over a year ago and thought it was over and they had quite with a little settlement payment to get out of their said contract but they called few days ago. They said they were Readers Services( ?) I protested and my sister hear the conversation between me and that company. I want out.
Please help.

Don't be pressured into providing your credit card number for something that you don't want to buy. And if the terms of the previous offer were misleading or not made clear to you, you may have a basis for saying that you want to cancel with no further obligation. Contact the consumer protection division of your state attorney general's office for advice and to see if it can help you straighten this out.

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