Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams — from a few dollars to their life savings.
Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money.
Some seem very friendly — calling you by your first name, making small talk, and asking about your family.
If you get a call from someone you don’t know who is trying to sell you something you hadn’t planned to buy, say "No thanks." And, if they pressure you about giving up personal information — like your credit card or Social Security number — it’s likely a scam.
Hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Often, scammers who operate by phone don’t want to give you time to think about their pitch; they just want you to say "yes." But some are so cunning that, even if you ask for more information, they seem happy to comply.
They may direct you to a website or otherwise send information featuring “satisfied customers.” These customers, known as shills, are likely as fake as their praise for the company.
Here are a few red flags to help you spot telemarketing scams.
If you hear a line that sounds like this, say "no, thank you," hang up, and file a complaint with the FTC: Register your home and mobile phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry.
This won’t stop all unsolicited calls, but it will stop most.
If your number is on the registry and you still get calls, they’re probably from scammers ignoring the law. Scammers use exaggerated — or even fake — prizes, products or services as bait.
Some may call you, but others will use mail, texts, or ads to get you to call them for more details.