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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.

2 Comments Add your comment

  1. Randy
    Jan 08 at 12:13

    If the phone rang at dinnertime, my mother always used to say, “If it was someone we know, they should already know that we don’t answer the phone during dinnertime. Anyone else can call back at another time if its really that important”. I have already registered my number in the do-not-call registry and if the telemarketer still manages to get through and I answer, I kindly decline and ask that they please remove me from their calling lists. Another goodie I like to use is to ask them if there is a website for them I can go to to unsubscribe from their marketing. This both helps them in their marketing by making them seem more genuine while at the same time, I can make sure that I’ve done everything possible to make sure that I probably don’t hear from them again. HopefullyI will soon be enjoying my new camelbak product as this article promises.


    Becky Reply:

    Hi Randy, Thanks for the comment. The contest related to this blog post already ended.


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