Be alert for these statements when a telemarketer calls you. They are important warnings telling you to be suspicious:
- You've "won a prize," or "a prize has been reserved for you."
- You've been "selected to receive" a special offer.
- You must "act immediately" or lose your chance for a special offer.
- You must spend money to "reserve your free gift" or "pay for shipping for your gift."
- You're promised "fantastic financial returns" or "risk-free investing."
- You're told that a "legal loophole allows people in the know" to profit from a "one-time-only situation."
- You're asked for your credit card number and expiration date "to make sure you are a credit card holder."
- You're asked for your Social Security number or personal financial information, such as your bank account number.
- You're asked to donate to an agency that sounds like a well-known charity, such as the "American Cancer Center" (instead of the American Cancer Society).
- You're asked to give to an organization you don't know, but that sounds like it's linked to a public agency, like the "Police Support Center."
Remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Where can you call if you think you've been cheated?
- Steuben County Sheriff’s Office 607-622-3901
- The National Fraud Information Center: 1-800-876-7060
- The Federal Trade Commission: 1-202-326-2000
- The Postal Service, for mail fraud: Check your local phone book for the postal inspector.
- The attorney general's office for your state, or the district attorney or consumer affairs agency in your region: Check your local phone book.