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Avoiding Telephone Fraud

It seems every time you log on these days, you read another email warning you of the latest telephone fraud scheme, designed to rob you of your money, and your peace of mind. Telephone fraud can sound so innocent, from peddling vitamins, to incredibly enticing - a high-profit no-risk stock market con. Telemarketing crime has consumers losing billions each year, and yet it continues to happen more and more frequently, when what starts off as a simple phone call turns into a devious spoken weapon. But how can you prevent this from happening to you? What can you do to avoid falling into this kind of trap?

First rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Con artists and swindlers are pros at making you believe that you can get something for nothing. They are deft at coaxing information out of you, against your better judgment. Consider this - you receive a call that you've won a free prize, and there are no catches, except that the company offering you this amazing gift says they just need you to pay shipping and handling. You dole out your name, address and credit card information, and before you know it, your Visa card is maxed out - only you didn't do any of the spending. What about those companies who urge you to join a vacation club, throwing you a line about receiving a free trip. And who doesn't want a free vacation, right? You wind up paying for cost of the non-existent trip and then some, after they're done with you. Yes, telemarketing fraud is an insidious crime, which uses the easiest method of communication to reach its victims. Here are a few ways you can pinpoint a possible con from the get-go, and protect yourself and your family from serious financial and identity problems in the future.

If you don't recognize the name of the company calling you, do your homework. If they aren't forthright about their business practices and you can't confirm them with the Better Business Bureau, then hang up the phone. A company who truly wants your business knows that cold-calling rarely works, so ask them to send you written material about their organization. Then check their references. Although not all bad businesses can be identified using this kind of resource, it's certainly a good start.

Never give out any personal information over the phone, including credit card information, dates of birth, social security numbers, etc. Never pay for a "free prize", and don't pay in advance for a service you have not yet received. What about charities? Keep in mind, it is never rude to refuse to donate over the phone, and take time to think about giving. If you feel pressured into donating "right now", then assert yourself and simply say, No, thank you. A real charity will be happy to receive your donation at any time.

The bottom line is, telemarketing crime happens, and it is a tough pill to swallow that your information and money wasn't taken by force, that you in fact gave it out. Protect yourself, protect your family. Always question a suspicious offer or a business you don't know off hand. Take an active role in making sure you are never the victim of this kind of fraud. If you have information about a possible fraud, report it to your state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.

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MPC Call Center offers inbound call center and outbound call center services, help desk solutions, order taking, lead generation, appointment setting, and sales support. We are a U.S. based live operator call center for small, medium, and large companies.