Identity Theft and Telemarketing Fraud
Your personal information is valuable.
Protect it! Guard your:
Social Security number
Bank and credit card numbers
Driver’s license number
Some criminals lie on the telephone to
get your personal information. They
may lie about who they are, claiming
that they're from a legitimate company
and that you have a problem with your
Or they may pose as representatives of
a bank or government agency and ask
you to confirm your billing information.
Once they have your personal information, they can use it to commit identity
theft charging your existing credit
cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing
fraudulent checks, or taking out loans
in your name.
FTC - Protecting your Identity and Personal Information
What Can I do to protect myself from phone fraud?
Register for the National DNC
Program by calling toll free: 1-888-382-1222
You can limit the number of legitimate telemarketing calls you receive at your residence by registering your home phone number on the LPSC
DNC Program and/or National DNC Program.
Putting your number on these programs will stop
most normal telemarketing calls - but not all. You
still may get calls from businesses with which you
normally do business, and a few other possible
exemptions, but calls from sales people from unfamiliar businesses may be the sign of a scam. Because both of the DNC programs are working very
well to keep legitimate telemarketers in compliance with their laws, registration does effectively
reduce the total number of calls that you receive,
making it easier for you to spot those that may be
calling vishing, or for any other criminal purpose.
What is Vishing?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation describes
Vishing as a new form of a phishing scam, or using technology to hijack identities and steal
money. One of the latest breakthroughs in telecommunications-Voice Over Internet Protocol, or
VoW, enables telephone calls over the web, and
unfortunately makes it that much easier for criminals to contact consumers. VoW service is fairly
inexpensive, especially for long distance, making
it easy to make fake calls, and use technology to
avoid costs and disguise identities. The intention
is to provide the consumer with a false sense of
security that will encourage the consumer to re
lease personal information.
FBI - What is Vishing and examples of scams.
If I get the caller ID information it should
be able to track them, right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, the technology is readily
available for criminals to mask the numbers they
are calling from, thwarting enforcement efforts to
identify them. Remember, the good guys have to
go through every LEGAL means to catch these
criminals, the crooks go through every means
available to evade detection. That's why it is im
portant that you understand that educating yourself,
and your friends and family, to the dangers of identify theft is your best protection against this type of
crime. Do Not Call was never designed to stop
fraud, but we can help you get your complaint to
the appropriate authority.
What should I do if I suspect fraud?
First, if it is someone representing themselves as
someone authorized by a company you do business
with, and they want personal information, take
their name and contact the company yourself before releasing any information. Do not accept a
"call back" number from the representative, call
the company yourself and ask to speak to the employee or someone in management. Don't ever be
frightened into revealing personal information.
Business are well aware of the problem of identity
theft and will support your request if their activity
However, if you get a call and a recorded message
offers you a product or service and asks you to
"Press 1" if you are interested or another number to
be placed on their Do Not Call rolls, we believe, at
this time, that the bulk of these types of calls to be
related to identity theft attempts or vishing scams.
We recommend that you simply hang up the phone
without pressing either button. You may report
this call to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting
http://www.ftc.gov or calling toll-free, 1-877-FTCHELP
Recognize Phone Fraud
Anyone with a phone can be victimized by
telemarketing scam artists. That's why
every "sales" call you get by phone is an
opportunity for a gut check: Ask yourself
these questions - and if the answers give
you some doubt about the caller's inten
tions or methods, end the call.
When you get what appears to be a telemarketing sales call, ask yourself some questions:
Who's calling - and why? Telemarketers must
tell you it's a sales call, the name of the seller and
what they're selling before they make their pitch.
If they don't give you the required information,
say "no thanks," and get off the phone.
What's their hurry? Fast talkers who use high
pressure tactics could be hiding something. Take
your time. Most legitimate businesses will give
you time and written information about an offer
before asking you to commit to a purchase.
If it's free, why are they asking me to pay?
Question charges you need to pay to redeem a
prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay, it's a
purchase - not a prize or a gift.
Why am I "confirming" my account information - or giving it out at all? Some callers have
your billing information before they call you.
They're trying to get you to say "okay" so they can
claim you approved the charge.
FTC - Video explaining telemarketing fraud
File a Complaint Regarding
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
works for the consumer to prevent
fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to
provide information to help consumers
spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call
toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-
The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing,
identity theft and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a
secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Check out the FTC website for more information about your rights under the
FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and
ways to protect yourself from abusive
and deceptive telephone sales practices.
FTC - Instructions on filing a complaint with the FTC
RELATED INFORMATION IN THE BATTLE AGAINST FRAUD