Dealing with Unexpected Sales Calls

Sep 14, 2018 Safety & Security

Protect yourself and your loved ones from unwanted spam and sales calls with the following tips.

A woman on the phone, she is standing inside.

It happens all the time – the phone will be ringing and you’ll look at your screen, thinking it’s someone important. Instead what you’ll see is a blocked, hidden, or local number you don’t recognize calling you. Unexpected sales calls and scammers are becoming more popular and more people are becoming victims. And it can happen to anyone; in 2017, millennials reported losing money to fraud more than older people, but people 70 and older had a higher average loss to fraud scams.

Learn how to identify fraudulent sales calls and how to deal with them.

How do I know it’s a scam?

There are a couple of things to look out for when receiving a sales call to tell if it’s a scam. First, their goal is to get you to say yes for whatever they’re pitching, and just because they give you a website link that has reviews and customers doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. If someone says “You’ve been selected for this offer” or “You’ve won one of ten valuable prizes,” chances are it’s just a scam.

If you hear something like this, it’s best to decline the offer and hang up. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

What do I say in response?

First, ask yourself questions like “Who’s calling and why?” and “If it’s free, why do I need to pay for it?” The law says that telemarketers have to disclose that it’s a sales call and can only call you from 8 am to 9 pm.

Resist pressure and don’t give away any personal info like your Social Security Number and credit card numbers.

Research offers before you accept and charities before you donate.

Try to avoid saying ‘yes’, especially if they start asking things like “Can you hear me?” This is a tactic to get you to respond so they can record it and use it down the road.

Also don’t be afraid to hang up on suspicious phone calls. If it’s a bill or something you owe, they can always contact you via mail. You can also look up the phone number of the place they’re claiming to be and call the number you find instead.

How can I protect myself?

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