Many legitimate companies and charities solicit consumers by telephone and consider it an effective way to raise money or increase company business. Unfortunately, others are simply up to no good. We at the Hamilton Police Department believe seniors can prevent telemarketing fraud by being educated consumers.
Studies have shown that senior citizens are more at risk to be targeted by telemarketing scams than other age groups, and fraudulent telemarketers direct anywhere from 56% to 80% of their calls at older Americans. These con artists believe that senior citizens are vulnerable and more susceptible to their tricks.
However, Hamilton Police Department is helping many seniors to be shrewd and savvy citizens by keeping these tips in mind:
Offers too good to be true usually are. Ask to receive the “unbelievable deal” or the “amazing prize offer” in writing so you can read it carefully before making a commitment.
Never give out your personal information over the phone or Internet unless you have initiated the contact. Legitimate business callers will never ask you for this information over the phone.
If a caller asks you to pay for an offer in advance or asks for your credit card number or Social Security number, tell the person you don’t give out personal information over the telephone. Offers too good to be true usually are. Ask to receive the “unbelievable deal” or the “amazing prize offer” in writing so you can read it carefully before making a commitment.
Remember that legitimate telemarketers won’t be turned off if you use these techniques. They will appreciate dealing with an educated consumer. It’s not rude - it’s shrewd!
If you have any questions concerning a telemarketing organization, please call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section at 800-282-0515.