2013-01-31 / Top News

Attorney General gives phone fraud tips

You worked hard for your money—don’t let a stranger steal it from you.

Telemarketing fraud tips

• Telemarketers may only call between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. It is a red flag if you get a call from a company outside of those hours.

• Be wary of telephone calls and postcards with offers “too good to be true.” They usually are!

• Ask a lot of questions and listen carefully to the answers. Take notes during the call. If the caller does not answer your questions, Hang up.

• Refuse to be pressured into making a hasty decision. Legitimate callers will allow time for consideration. Take your time!

• You should not be asked to pay in advance for services. Pay for services only after they are delivered. Don’t believe that you have to give the company money for taxes on your prize. Taxes will be deducted from your winnings or you will pay them directly to the government.

• Be skeptical if you are told you have won a prize but have to pay something to receive it. Never pay for a “free” prize. Free is free.

• Never wire money – that is a sure sign it is a scam. Do not send a certified check or money order to a telemarketer. Once the money is sent, you cannot get it back!

• Never give out your credit card or checking account number over the telephone unless you initiated the call with the intention of ordering or reserving something.

• If the telemarketer offers to send a messenger to pick up your payment, that’s a sure sign it’s a scam.

• It is illegal for a telemarketer to call you if you have asked not to be called. You have the right to ask the telemarketer to be placed on their company-specific do not call list.

• Check out the telemarketer or the company they represent with the Consumer Protection Division before making a decision.

• Do not be embarrassed if you think you have fallen victim to a telemarketing fraud.Anyone can be a victim of a scam artist. Report it to Consumer Protection!

• Remember that con artists lie. It is hard to imagine there are people who are so cruel that they will tell you that you’ve won something when you haven’t, but it’s true!

Prepared by the Consumer Protection Division of the North Dakota Office of Attorney General 1050 E. Interstate Avenue, Suite 200, Bismarck ND 58503 (701) 328-3404; Toll-free (800) 472-2600; TTY: (866) 290- 4236 www.ag.nd.gov.

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