It's a good idea to educate yourself on how telemarketing fraud works because you may be a scammer's next target.
Last week, I received a phone call from a so-called Bank of America telemarketer who was offering new line of credit to select Bank of America customers. Bank of America calls every once and while, so I didn't suspect a thing until this unpleasant scratching noise started coming from the telemarketer's receiver.
This was the first red flag. Bank of America is too wealthy and professional to provide BofA representatives with inadequate telephone equipment. I knew something was up right then. Being the curious person I am, I allowed the conversation to play itself out.
After introducing himself as a Bank of America representative, he mentioned a new line to credit that I was eligible for. I told him politely that a new line of credit was not necessary, but he insisted on proving the significance of dual credit cards in my life.
After explaining briefly why I needed the card, he said, “MBNA changed its name to Bank of America because they merged this year.” Maybe it was an attempt to build rapport or maybe this guy was a complete moron. Either way, I was 100% sure that this clown was a scammer. The MBNA-Bank of America deal was announced last summer, yet the scammer referred to the merger as a recent occurence.
I laughed, and informed him that his attempt at my banking information had been denied. The conversation ended as quickly as it started, and I could only think about all the innocent customers he would try his scam on next. The government should lock up these scammers, and throw away the key.
If people educates themselves on telemarketing fraud, we'll be one step ahead of these heartless scammers.
The National Fraud Information Center is a great resource for diagnosing and preventing telemarketing fraud. Bookmark that page for future reference. If you have any doubts about a telemarketer, refer to the prevention guide before you give out any personal information. It only takes a little information to get scammed, so be extremely careful of what you tell strangers over the phone.
What's your telemarketing fraud story?
Tarik Pierce is the founder of InvestorTrip.com and regularly contributes articles to this website.
While living overseas, he uses PureVPN for a low cost VPN service.
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While his background is mostly related to trading stocks, he recently gained interest in real estate crowdfunding with Fundrise.