Sales Call Scam
The phone rings, and the person on the other end congratulates you on winning a cruise to the Bahamas. You find this odd, as you don’t recall entering a raffle. The person advises you that all they need are some personal details. When you hesitate, they tell you this is a limited time offer and you need to act now.
This might be one form of the Sales Call Scam.
What Do They Want?
This caller was trying to earn your trust or play on a sense of urgency to steal your identity. They might ask for a Social Security Number or your banking information. They might even try to assuage any doubts by referring you to a website with ‘positive’ testimonials or agreeing to mail you paperwork.
What are the Warning Signs?
Be wary if the caller uses any phrases like these:
- You’ve been specially selected (for this offer)
- You’ll get a free bonus if you buy our product
- You’ve won one of five valuable prizes
- You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery
- This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else
- You have to make up your mind right away
- You trust me, right?
- You don’t need to check our company with anyone
- We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit credit card
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Here are some other guidelines for responding to these suspicious calls:
- Resist pressure to make a decision immediately
- Keep your credit card, checking account, or Social Security numbers to yourself. Don’t tell them to callers you don’t know — even if they ask you to “confirm” this information. That’s a trick.
- Don’t pay for something just because you’ll get a “free gift”.
- Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
What Should You Do?
People who say “Never look a gift horse in the mouth” are probably trying to sell you a dud horse. Just ask the people of Troy. 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.
If you find yourself victimized by this scam, contact us and your other financial institutions as soon as you can. We’ll help you with the next steps needed to protect your accounts and your personal information from further exploitation.