- Don’t be pressured to make an instant decision.
- Don’t give your credit card, checking account, or Social Security number to unknown callers.
- Don’t pay for something just because you’ll get a “free gift.”
- Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
- Check out an aid organization before you give. Ask how much of your contribution actually goes to the charity.
Ask that written information be sent to you so you can make an informed giving decision.
- Don’t endow your money with an strange caller who insists you make up your mind immediately.
- If the offer is an investment, check with your state securities regulator to see if it’s properly registered.
- Don’t send cash by messenger or overnight mail. If you use cash rather than a credit card in the transaction, you may lose your right to dispute fraudulent charges.
- Make sure you know the per minute charge for any 900-number call you make.
- Don’t agree to any offer where you have to pay a “registration” or “shipping fee” to receive a prize or a gift. If you have to pay, it’s a purchase – not a prize or a gift.
- Don’t authenticate your account information over the phone or by email. 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 a charge.
- Check out unsolicited offers with the Better Business Bureau, local consumer protection agency, or state Attorney General’s office before you agree to send money.
- Beware of offers to “help” you recover money you may have lost previously.
Be wary of callers saying they are law enforcement officers who will help you get your money back “for a fee.”
- Don’t be afraid to say “no thanks” and hang up the phone.
- If you don’t want a business to call you again, say so. If they call back, they’re breaking the law.
Tip to Rip-Off
If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you,” and hang up the phone.
“You’ve been specially selected to hear this offer.”
“You’ll get a wonderful free bonus if you buy our product.”
“You’ve won one of five valuable prizes.”
“You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery.”
“You must send money right away.”
“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 don’t need to check our company with anyone”- including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
“We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.”
“You don’t need any written information about our company or references.”