Thursday, May 29, 2008


The next time your phone rings, know who is calling you.
That's the advice from the Federal Trade Commission.

Operation "Tele-PHONEY" is underway. It is the largest sweep ever conducted by the FTC on suspected fraudulent telemarketers.

The FTC unveiled the “Who’s Calling?” consumer education campaign, which encourages consumers to:
1) Recognize the signs of telemarketing fraud.
2) Report fraud to the FTC and state attorneys general.
3) Register phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry if they want to receive fewer telemarketing calls.

The campaign features a new Web site – in both English and Spanish – and two short videos. See the here.

Beware of that "free" gift offer...
Telemarketing magazine subscriptions, these defendants allegedly disguise their sales pitch as a survey, at the end of which they offer “free” or low-cost magazine subscriptions. They send a bill weeks later, stating that consumers agreed to pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions. When consumers complain or attempt to cancel, the defendants tell them that they are obligated to pay the bill and may not cancel because they entered into a “verbal contract” during the survey call and the defendants have already paid the magazine publishers for the subscriptions. The defendants then attempt to extort payment by harassing the consumers at work, threatening to initiate collection actions, or threatening to submit derogatory information about them to the major credit bureaus.

“The caller asked for my bank account information. I cannot remember everything he said. I just thought that I needed to confirm my account information in order to avoid losing my Medicare benefits.”
Juanita Tortella, 77

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