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Plenty of Telephone Scams

I like to research and write about a variety of subjects that I find interesting.

Definition of a Scam

A deception, trick, fraud, or swindle in order to get money from someone. It includes a person who "borrows" or cheats money from a person with no intention of paying you back.

This article is a review only of telephone scams.

How and Where Do They Know My Name and Telephone Number?

First of all, How do they get our telephone number? There used to be a national Do Not Call registry number. You could register your telephone number, so solicitors would be blocked from calling you. What happened to that?

They still have it. The number is 1–888– 382–1222. Call that number from the telephone you want to have blocked. It's free to register. Or, you can go online at donotcall.gov for more information.

The Do Not Call number can only block legitimate calls. The calls that we get are from professional scammers. USA.gov/Stop-Scams-Fraud list 6 specific scams they want the public to be aware of in 2020. The website also tells how to report scams.

Scammers will use whatever information they have at their disposal. How and where do they get our information? We give it to them.

Surveys and contests we complete online. When you sign up for an app, you give them information. Obituaries. We share too much on social media, such as Facebook or on LinkedIn.

They can get hospital, credit card information, etc. by paying for their annual mailing lists.

The Telephone Calls

At my house, the automated telephone calls start every morning at 9:15 AM., Monday through Friday. They continue all day until 8:00 PM. How do I know? I'm home every day.

There is a way to tell that it is a scam call. When you pick up and say hello, there is a long, silent pause.

Here are a few of the robot calls I receive on a weekly basis. I expect the calls will multiply over the holidays. All of them try to separate you from your money, or separate Medicare from its money through you.

They call to offer my car an extended warranty. Or, request a change of my auto insurance company. They must've gotten this information from an insurance company mail lease list.

We have made several attempts to speak to you about…

You have been recommended by a healthcare professional that you may be interested in the medical alert bracelet.

We would like to inform you that your Amazon account will be renewed for…

This is your final courtesy call.....

Our records indicate that you are eligible to receive a new hearing aid for a risk-free 45-day period.. I don't have hearing problems.

You sent an online request for information on how to lower your debts. How much are your credit card debts? Is it between 3,000 and 5,000? Is it between 5,000 and 7,000?

I made no such request, and I'm certainly not going to give my personal information to a stranger over my telephone.

The most recent call came as a surprise. First, it wasn't a person-to-person call. It was recorded. Said my identity was compromised. If I wanted to know more, press 1. I hung up.

Something like identity fraud should be a person-to person call. Not a recorded message. Secondly, the recording never said who they were. No agency, no police department, no nothing. They expected me to trust and believe a recording telling me I'm a victim of identity fraud. I don't think so.

Their Tactics

Scammers who call, try to keep you on the phone line. They talk fast, making point after point, trying to find that piece of information that will intrigue you.

Donation – How much should I put you down for?

Donation – Thank you for your past donation. If I send you a donation card, will you send back what you can?

Who are these people? Probably a scam organization trying to get money for their personal use. They make it bad for legitimate organizations.

You filled out forms online that requested information on (name you don't recognize).

The more information you give them, the better they can talk about a product that can help you. You have diabetes? Yes. Well, we have a glucose, monitor, at no cost to you. Do you need a back brace, ankle brace, knee brace?

These products they try to sell you, are at no cost to you, because they bill Medicare. Lord only knows what they charge Medicare for the purchases. It is probably why Medicare needs so much government money each year.

Also there companies who sell mailing lists For money. They even include mailing list income in their annual budgets.

Why Do I Listen?

I sometimes listen because the calls are interesting. I used to do the same thing for a short while. But I didn't ask personal questions. These are cold calls. You get a percentage of money collected.

Now I don't like to do it, but I've had to learn to hang up once they start to give their speech. Especially when I am in the writing zone. Voice mail help me screen calls. Scammers rarely leave messages.

So, my advice to you is, when you get one of these scam calls, Hang Up!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Carolyn Gibson

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