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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


“Ring, Ring, Ring!!! Act now or the offer will expire….”

Nov 13

Ring, Ring, Ring!!! Act now or the offer will expire

The first three comments to this post that share thoughts on how to handle telemarketer calls will receive a PMID Camelbak water bottle.

I’m sure you have experienced this situation at one time or another.  You’re about to have dinner with your family, the phone rings and the caller ID shows “Private Caller.”  You try to ignore the call, but become concerned that it could be your parents calling or an emergency call from a friend.  You end up picking up the line after the third ring. To your disappointment, it’s a telemarketer on the other end trying to sell you something or sign up for something – there goes dinner.

Nowadays, most people would hang up the phone or politely say they are not interested. However, some people are not that aggressive and end up becoming lured into the telemarketer’s sales pitch.  According to the FBI, if you hear one of the following statements from a salesperson, it could be a red flag that the representative is really an identity thief:

“You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”

“You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.”

“You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

“You must send money; give a credit card or bank account number to qualify.”

Some identity thieves use these tactics to try and have you send money or provide personal or financial information.  This is an opportunity for the scammer to try and collect as much information about you to later use it for financial gain.

The next time you receive a call from a telemarketer using the above pitches, it would be a good idea to decline the opportunity and, if something seems wrong, file a complaint with the National Consumer League’s Center.  After all, you deserve your privacy and a quiet evening.