ALERT: Telemarketers are EXTINCT, evolved into teleSCAMMERS!

  • 27 January 2013
  • 6 replies

Userlevel 2
I cannot remember the last time I got an annoying but legimate telemarketing call.
In order to help you all out and get to the meat and potatoes of this fast, let me start with the key take-away from this post:
Do not do any business with any "company" that calls you over the phone anymore.

There have been multiple "companies" (see how I'm using quotes) that keep repeatedly calling us with an automated war dialer which has a short delay to make sure a human answers. The Caller ID is either completely blocked (no data sent at all), a fictious number and state name, or a very general, pretend "company" name with a number that when called back has an automated system for removing you from the calling list which does NOTHING but hang up on you.
The only way to talk to a real person is when they call you. And when they do call you, they may claim to be Card Services for your credit card to lower your interest rates. If you ask to be put on a Do Not Call list, they will tell you that they are allowed to call you because they are your credit card company. They are lying. And even if they were, the federal law states that even if you have done busines with an entity, they still must put you on their own Do Not Call List if you specifically ask to be. I tried using this approach, and they get angry and insist they have no Do Not Call List. I suppose it is no surprise that they are breaking that law when they've already let go of sanity and are breaking every other law....war dialers...obscured caller ID...calling me when I'm on the federal DNC in the first place...the list goes on.
So what happens if you believe that they are the companies they say they are? Well, the most common is Card Services. They are not your card service. It is a complete scam. The representatives are probably paid minimum wage to be a part of a scam organization and given training in how to "describe" aka lie about what they are going to do "for you" more like "to you".
I also have gotten a scam offering to install home security using the name of a real home security company. I looked up the real company online, called them, and this nice represetnative explained to me that it is a known scam and they have a notice about it on their website.
Telemarketers are now complete telescammers. They are almost as bad as the Ukraine/Russia originating My Canadian Pharmacy e-mails you get. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH ANYONE OVER THE PHONE THAT CALLS YOU!
Very scary world out there.

6 replies

Userlevel 7
And on the humorous, but sad side because it happens: Remember, Microsoft does NOT cold call people to let them know they have a problem with Windows and offer to remote in to fix the issue.... 
Userlevel 7
You are exactly right! Telemarketers have always been annoying, but they are taking it to a new level recently. Home security systems, automobile extended warranties, government grants, you name it. There are all sorts of scams out there.
Userlevel 6
I have in the past received several calls from "card services."  They are relentless and use a variety of numbers.
Typically, if I receive a call from an unrecognized number, I don’t answer, but Google it.  If there is a history of abuse, this is what I do:
I file a complaint with the FCC against the caller at http://www dot fcc dot gov/complaints.  I get an acknowledgement after I submit the complaint, and, after a while, the FCC will send me a formal email acknowledging my complaint, assign a complaint number, and advise that it is investigating the complaint.
At a minimum, a complaint should be filed with the FCC.  The form only takes a few minutes to fill out and you can file a complaint against three different numbers.  I think this is the most effective way to deal with this problem.  If you file a complaint with the FCC, be sure to submit the link to the Googled thread in the complaint form.  That way, the FCC will be aware that the caller has done this repeatedly.
This is a copy of an email I received from the FCC acknowledging each of my prior complaints.  It might take a few weeks to receive the acknowledgment, but you should get one:
“Dear Consumer:
Re: Case # 12- XXXXXXXX
Thank you for contacting the FCC regarding possible violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and the Commission’s telemarketing and junk fax rules.  Information provided in consumer complaints like yours helps the Commission to combat abusive or unlawful practices in these areas, including taking enforcement actions against individuals or companies.  In this regard, the Communications Act authorizes the Commission to issue citations and, in some cases, impose substantial fines upon entities that violate telemarketing and junk fax rules.
Although the Commission does not resolve individual complaints, each complaint is individually analyzed and assists us in enforcement actions to protect consumers like yourself.  You should be aware that the TCPA also provides for enforcement of the telemarketing and junk fax rules by state attorneys general and by individual consumers.  With respect to the latter, the TCPA permits individuals who have received certain unlawful telemarketing, such as junk faxes or telemarketing calls, to sue the violator in state courts where they may be awarded up to $1500 for each violation.
We invite you to visit the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau’s Internet web site at http://www dot fcc dot gov/cgb for more information.  You may also call the FCC’s Consumer Center toll free at 1-888-CALL-FCC [1-888-225-5322], TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC [1-888-835-5322].
Sharon C. Bowers, Division Chief
Consumer Inquiries & Complaints Division
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau“
Please invest the small amount of time necessary to file the complaint, particularly if you are irritated by these obtrusive and incessant calls.  Since I have been filing formal complaints with the FCC, the number of spam calls I receive has gone down to almost nil, but it takes time and persistence.
It is my understanding that similar safeguards will soon be put in place for spam and phishing emails.
Badge +7
Oh and then there is this!
Yep, cold calling you and getting you to infect your PC via a call center in India. 
Userlevel 7
Thanks STV0726 you brought it to our attention ;)
I really hate telemarketing and as soon as I recognize that they are trying to sell me something or similar I am instantly replying with the well-learned phrases ... "Thank you for your call but I am not interested at all. Good bye." ... and then I end the call immediately. I honor a rule ... if I want something, I will go for that myself but I don't want to be bothered with things which I am not interested.
Userlevel 7
Thanks browell for the link. Interesting video couldn't stop laughing about "The Big Flag", "Flashing I" , "How many Elephants", "Mouse Button". It's sad that some people do fall for this scam.