Although it may seem like telemarketing fraud has been replaced as a source of scams and identity theft by computer-based fraud, according to the National Consumers League, more than 36% of all consumer complaints last year involved telemarketing scams and this figure is an 11% increase from 2012. The truth is that many times sophisticated computer programs are used in today’s telemarketing scams that enable the scammers to make their calls appear on Caller ID as if they are coming from a legitimate source, such as the IRS through a technique called “spoofing” where your Caller ID is manipulated so that it does not show the real source of the call. Other times, computers are able to produce millions of illegal robocalls that trick victims into paying a scammer under many different pretenses. Phony robocalls are actually quite easy to distinguish from legitimate telemarketing calls. Robocalls are illegal in all instances, so if you get a robocall from Rachel from card Services or anyone else, immediately hang up. It is a scam.
It is important to remember that you can never be sure who is on the other end of a telephone call and if they are legitimate. For this reason you should never provide personal information or send money in response to any telephone call. If you do want to take the calls of a telemarketer, ask them to send you written material, which you can then investigate for legitimacy before making any payment. You also may wish to be more proactive and sign up, if you have not already, for the National Do Not Call List. Here is the link to go to sign up: https://www.donotcall.gov/