Identifying and Countering Misleading Information in a Telemarketing Deal

Telemarketing is an evolving industry. It has undergone tremendous changes over the years, necessitating adjustments with regards to policies and technological approach of the business. Among notable changes taking place around the globe is a more stringent approach to law enforcement.

In Australia, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a responsibility to ensure telemarketing rules and regulations are followed. Despite the tough measures put in place, telemarketing still poses are great challenge to consumers, who are by default in a position of vulnerability. It is all too easy for savvy telemarketers to extract information from or make enticing, yet unfounded promises to consumers.

How Misleading Can it Get?

Most telemarketers are in genuine business and play an essential role in bridging the marketing gap. However, there are just as many scammers who take advantage of vulnerable call recipients.

As outlined below, various elements work in favour of telemarketers, helping them to easily engage with consumers. Here are some factors:

  • Traditionally, telemarketing is acceptable, widely used and has remained mostly reputable across several generations and areas of business.
  • Ordinarily, telemarketing is harmless, and many people have no problem picking up a call and striking up a conversation with a stranger on the other end.
  • Misleading telemarketers promise a high and quick return on investment with low or no risk to the investor.
  • Genuine and fraudulent telemarketers ride on the reputation of existing, new and well-established organizations or even government agencies.
  • Calls are persistent to a point where powerless, vulnerable recipients give in to the high pressure. They get hooked without thinking much about the promises.
  • Telemarketers sound and behave in a professional manner, using very convincing language, while constantly pointing out prospective advantages or gains of joining in.

Deceptive telemarketing calls may be executed through complicated schemes or simple normal phone calls. Here are some misleading techniques that scammers use to obtain information or lure recipients into deals:

Robocall Scams

Robocalls use automated dialing to either a mobile phone or landline. Automated calls are relatively cheaper, and businesses use them for customer outreach. They may be timed to call frequently and persistently until you give in.

“Can You Hear Me” or “Yes” Scam

Such calls come from unknown numbers and jump straight to asking “can you hear me?” If you answer yes, scammers may record and use this affirmative answer as a voice verification tool to charge your credit card or get access to other accounts.

International Lottery

Callers attempt to sell you sweet-sounding lottery tickets. They ask you to pay a certain amount that sounds negligible, say from between $1 to $100, with promises of exciting returns.

Payment Processor Scams

Callers lure you by asking you to serve as a payment proxy. You are expected to receive cheques and cash for transfers all over the world in exchange for retaining a cut. Mostly, the money comes from the elderly, susceptible targets who fell victim to scammers.

Family Emergency Scams

Scammers who use this kind of track quite often have some background information they take advantage off. The scam usually involves a young caller pretending to be a family member in need. They claim to be in need of financial assistance and request that you don’t tell anyone.

Grants from the Government

The caller claims that you’ve qualified for a government grant and attempts to obtain personal information ostensibly required to process the grant. They may get enough information to enable them to make withdraws from your account.

Advance Free Loans

Scammers identify an individual who is attempting to get a loan but has a poor credit score. They then ask you to pay a certain amount to cover for security deposit and processing in a way that circumnavigates the poor credit score.

How to Avoid Falling Victim

To a large extent, the easiest way to avoid telephone scams is to be vigilant and prepared to verify every call you receive. By doing due diligence on the caller you will easily establish the credibility of a call or lack thereof. There are many alarming signals you can pick in a phone conversation which will help you identify authenticity. They include:
Overall poor quality of the call: this includes inconsistency in information, outright misinformation and general lack of essential communication techniques.
Scam calls will be highly pressurizing and insistent on money, gifts, and low-risk deals.
Calls tend to put a lot of emphasis on the collection of personal information and promises of financial gain.
Trusted organisations will rarely ask you for financial details over the phone.
Scammers use threats such as possible fines, cutting off telephone or internet connections.

How to Protect Yourself.

It is not cowardly to be cautious nor is it unacceptably impolite to outrightly put off a potential scammer. You can also make use of the following precautionary measures:-
Avoid picking automated calls from numbers you don’t know
Never give personal details such as credit card numbers, bank details and so on.
Delete voicemail messages when you are done with them
Lodge a complaint with ACMA or any other agency if you feel such calls pose a serious threat to you.

Stay Enlightened: Telemarketing is Here to Stay

The law provides sufficient mechanisms to help deal with phone scamming threats. In this regard, it helps to know your rights and how to legally approach potential scammers.
As the industry evolves, it is anticipated that scammers will get more creative as well and advance their techniques and schemes. If you feel in doubt, get in touch with a legal expert for guidance – Contact Sajen Here

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