How Not to Fall Victim of Phone and Online Marketing Scam

by admin on November 23, 2011

According to Visa Canada, one in five people have fallen victims of telephone and online marketing scam. The survey on deceptive marketing practices included 1,000 persons and found that 61 percent of clients were shopping over the phone or online over the past twelve months. Surprisingly, the survey also revealed that 27 percent of those shopping online did not pay attention to the terms and conditions of sale. Head of payment system security Michael D’Sa explains that those who do not bother reading before agreeing to the terms and conditions may end up buying things they do not want. For example, they may fail to uncheck the pre-checked boxes or miss reading when the free trial is over. Complicated delivery and return policies are another issue and may stick clients with purchases they did not expect. This is not to say that merchants engage in fraudulent activities or are not legitimate. They are just sly and deceptive in nature, Mr. D’Sa notes (The Globe and Mail).

While reading the fine print is important when shopping online, how do you go about shopping over the phone? There are ways to make sure you do not become victim of telemarketing fraud. One warning sign of fraud is if a person calls to inform you that you have won a prize, cruise, or free gift. You just need to pay for postage and handling (plus some other small charges). Or you can’t afford to miss this no-risk and high-profit offer. Yeah, right. They just don’t want you to give this offer a second thought.

Another sign of telemarketing fraud is if a caller tells you that you should act now, or the offer will not be good. What if they ask you to give your bank account number, credit card number, send money or have a cheque picked up by courier? Another warning sign. An obvious one is if the caller tells you that you do not have to tell about the company to anyone, including your accountant, lawyer, family, or consumer protection agency. What is the bottom line? Do not buy anything from unfamiliar companies. You want more information, and legitimate companies understand this. They will be happy to provide it. They should send you written materials, but if you happen to get a brochure about costly investments do not rush to accept the offer. In any case, it is best to talk to someone whose advice can be trusted.

In general, many unsolicited phone offers are illegal scam, but people are easily duped. Then, they do not inform the authorities either because the amount of money is not large enough or they are ashamed. Some believe that the police will not do anything about it.

Finally, who is the likely victim of telemarketing fraud? Cons usually target persons over 50 years of age, and the elderly, in particular. At the same time, people in their forties suffer the greatest dollar loss.

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