You may have listed your phone number on the Do Not Call List. But, don’t be surprised if your telephone rings and the friendly voice on the other end of the line says, “Hello … due to your outstanding credit, you are eligible to receive a low-interest credit card with no annual fee. All I need is your checking account number for the initiation fee of $30.”
In addition to the credit card scam, fraudulent telemarketers are bombarding unsuspecting consumers with scams and cons involving “winning a grand prize,” including cars, vacations and even money. The caller gets the consumer to reveal their bank account number which is needed for shipping costs or to transfer the prize money directly into their account.
As soon as this information is known, the scam artists are able to issue drafts to debit the consumer’s checking account without authorization. While many banks go to great lengths to review new telemarketing company accounts and watch for transactions that are not correctly approved, enough transactions get approved through this theft-by-telephone scam to make it attractive to criminals.
The purpose of the Do Not Call List is to protect us from unwanted telemarketers – most of whom represent legitimate business. Scam artists, on the other hand, go out of their way to be friendly and pleasant – preying on those individuals who are lonely, gullible and/or naive. Quite often their targets are elderly, so if you have a parent who is liable to believe whatever he or she hears over the phone, do everything in your power to help them ward off these criminals. If you receive what you believe is a fraudulent call, report it to your local police immediately.