Anyone with a phone can be victimized by telemarketing scam artists. These calls usually originate in a "boiler room," a rented space with desks, telephones and experienced sales people who talk to hundreds of people across the country every day. You can be reached in a variety of ways such as: "cold calls" directly to your home; direct mail where you get a card or letter advising that you have won a contest or prize and need to call to claim it; or through television, newspaper or magazine ads. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibits misrepresentations, requires certain disclosures be made, and also establishes rules for telemarketers. The Rule covers most types of telemarketing calls to consumers, including calls consumers make in response to postcards or other materials received in the mail. This rule provides that it is illegal for a telemarketer to call you if you have asked not to be called or if you have registered with the Federal Do Not Call List. Calling times are restricted to the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Telemarketers must tell you they are making a sales call and the name of the company doing the selling before they make their pitch. They are not allowed to misrepresent any information. Telemarketers must tell you the total cost of the products or services offered and any restrictions on getting or using them. It is illegal for a telemarketer to withdraw money from your bank account without your express authorization. If you have the slightest doubt about a telephone offer, insist that the seller provide information in writing and check it out.
Mail and Phone Solicitation
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