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Each year, telemarketing scammers target millions of people with offers for credit, "free" prizes and more to get them to wire money or give up their account information. Know the warning signs of phone fraud.

Transcript

Telemarketing fraud is a crime that affects millions of Americans every year. Telemarketing scammers will say anything to commit fraud, even if you're the one initiating the phone call.

Hi, I see you're responding to our ad for a guaranteed line of credit. We believe that everyone deserves a loan. However, We do charge a small processing fee in order to get your application in the system. All I need is your bank's routing numbers - they are at the bottom of a check..

I was thinking about starting a business, but I didn't have any start-up cash. My credit isn't so hot, so I thought this would be a great way to get the money I needed. I didn't realize it was a scam. Now I know better.

Hello.

Mr. Johnson, we've got a credit card for you, guaranteed.

Look, I'm not interested. Don't call me again or I'll report you to the FTC.

Telemarketing scams usually start with a phone call, but they can also start with an online ad or a piece of mail.

I clicked through an ad on the Internet and filled out a form. It seemed legitimate. They called a few hours later and said people like me were making lots of money with just a small investment. They said it was easy to get started, and their business experts were just a phone call away. I didn't know they were a fraud! I still get calls for bogus business opportunities; I must be on some sort of list. But now I know better!

I understand you want to make money from home.

I'm not interested. Goodbye!

The Federal Trade Commission and your state Attorney General are working hard to stop telemarketing fraud. You can help.

Recognize, Report, Register

First, learn to recognize the signs of telemarketing fraud, like callers who ask for money first or who want to know your bank account, credit card or social security number. Scammers may even have your billing information before they call you. Often, they're trying to get you to say okay so they can claim you approved a charge.

Second, if you have been scammed - or you think someone is trying to scam you - report it to the Federal Trade Commission. It's as easy as going to ftc.gov and clicking on the link on the right. It's more helpful to the FTC if you can give the name or the phone number of the company that called you and the date they called.

Third, join the millions of Americans who have registered their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. It's easy! You can register online at donotcall.gov. Be sure to complete the process by clicking the link in the confirmation email you receive. You can also call toll-free 1-8-8-8-3-8-2-1-2-2-2 from the number you wish to register.

And remember, although telemarketing scammers may seem friendly, they're anything but. They're trying to worm their way into your wallet. You can stop them by keeping your information to yourself no matter how tempting the offer.

Let's say goodbye to fraudulent telemarketers! Visit FTC.gov/phonefraud to learn more about how to recognize and report telemarketing fraud.
 

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