Marketing calls are annoying but some of these calls are more harmful because they are fraudulent. Be aware of strangers who call you because they might be trying to scam you Recognizing and being aware of these fraudulent callers will help you protect yourself. When you get a phone call, ask yourself four questions: Who is calling me and what is their purpose? Why are they hurrying me on the phone? Are they asking me to pay for something? What time is it? If you discover yourself doubting the caller, immediately end the call. Keeping these tips in mind will help protect you from identity theft and fraud.

Determining Phone Fraud

Remember that legitimate telemarketers are required to inform you it’s a sales call, the seller’s name, and what exactly they are selling. They must tell you all this information before they begin their sales pitch. If they do not, immediately end the call.

If you’re feeling rushed or more nervous as you’re listening to the salesperson, this is your warning that they might be trying to pressure you into something that is not legitimate. Do not be rushed as most genuine businesses will permit you time to think things over as well as provide written information before asking you to commit.

If the salesperson on the phone says something is free, then you should not have to pay a cent. Warning bells should be going off if you are instantly asked for money immediately after being told it was free.

It is important to remember that telemarketers are only permitted to call between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Don’t be afraid to tell a person not to call you again. Once you put them on notice that you don’t want to receive any more phone calls on them, they are not allowed to call you again.

Reporting Phone Fraud

If you want to help stop these fraudulent phone calls, report all suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

You can also register your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry by calling 1-888-382-1222.

If any violations occur once you’ve put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, report violations by calling 1-888-382-1222.