Philippines Telemarketer Fraud – Don’t Be a Victim
You have probably heard of all the reasons to be cautious online when it comes to your financial information. Phishing scams, online dating fraud and empty investment opportunities are just a few of the ways that victims are taken advantage of when it comes to the internet. Fraud exists in other forms of communication though, too. And the Philippines happens to be one of the leading countries in the world for this fraud, thanks to the English language and lots of call centers.
The FBI has an entire webpage dedicated to common scams, including telemarketing fraud. By simply answering your home or cell phone, and providing even the most basic of information, you can open yourself up to being a victim of telemarketing fraud. The basic gist is this: a caller will find a way to gather information from you that can then be used to access personal information or financial accounts. On the surface, it sounds like an obvious scam that is easy to detect – but these fraudsters are smooth talkers and experienced. Philippines investigators say many times victims do not even realize that a phone call is what led to them being scammed until months later when they revisit the details.
When you receive a telemarketing call, the following phrases are red flags:
- You have to act quickly, or the offer will go away.
- You have won a free gift, but must pay for the postage and handling.
- You must give your credit card or bank account number now.
- You can’t afford to miss out on this opportunity.
- The deal will be gone forever once you hang up the phone.
- We need your information for the security of your account.
You should also look out for any caller that tries to convince you to avoid talking to family or friends about the offer that is being made, or to take the time to look into the company before making a decision. If you feel rushed into making a choice, then you should beware.
To avoid falling prey to telemarketing scams, follow these suggestions:
- Never pay in advance for services. Always wait until the services are complete to hand over money. If dealing with someone in the Philippines, get a background check.
- Make an agreement with yourself regarding what personal and financial information you are willing to share over the phone, and what info will always be off limits. You will want to go over these details in your mind long before it becomes a real-life issue.
- Do not be afraid to take some time to think about whatever is being offered. A legitimate company will respect that you need the time to make an informed decision and will grant it.
- Get information from the caller, including his or her name, title with the company, direct phone number at work and all of the contact information for the company. While on the phone, ask for a website address and then check it while the caller is still on the line. If the caller seems nervous or defensive about giving you his or her information, there is a problem and you should hang up.
- Ask for written material about the offer, either through email or regular postal mail. Wait until you have seen those materials and had time to read through them before making a decision.
- Ask charities how much of your donation goes to help the cause, and how much is spent on other things like promotional materials and salaries. You can also double check charity ratings on the site CharityWatch.org that gives charities a ranking based on how money is spent.
When you aren’t sure if your own research is enough, contact a private investigation firm to verify the person, company or offer you are considering. A reputable private investigation firm can help you avoid loss of money, property, and personal information through proper due diligence.
© 2014 Philippine PI
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