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RECOGNIZE Phone Fraud Learn about common telemarketing scams and how to avoid them.
REPORT Phone Fraud Your complaint helps law enforcement officials track down scam artists and stop them.
REGISTER For the National
Do Not Call Registry
The Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home.

Recognize Phone Fraud

Anyone with a phone can be victimized by telemarketing scam artists. That's why every sales call you get by phone is an opportunity for a gut check: Ask yourself these questions - and if the answers give you some doubt about the caller's intentions or methods, end the call.

When you get a telemarketing sales call, ask yourself some questions:

Who's calling - and why? Telemarketers must tell you it's a sales call, the name of the seller and what they're selling before they make their pitch. If they don't give you the required information, say "no thanks," and get off the phone.

What's their hurry? Fast talkers who use high pressure tactics could be hiding something. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.

If it's free, why are they asking me to pay? Question charges you need to pay to redeem a prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay, it's a purchase - not a prize or a gift.

Why am I "confirming" my account information - or giving it out at all? Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They're trying to get you to say "okay" so they can claim you approved the charge.

What time is it? The law allows telemarketers to call only between 8 am and 9 pm. A seller calling earlier or later is flouting the law. Report them to the FTC.

Do I want more calls like this one? If you don't want a business to call you again, say so. If they call back once you've asked them not to, they're breaking the law. Report them to the FTC.

Isn't there a National Do Not Call Registry? Yes, and putting your number on the Registry will stop most telemarketing calls - but not all. You still will get calls from businesses with which you do business, unless you tell them to stop calling you, too. But calls from sales people from unfamiliar businesses may be the sign of a scam.

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