Consumer Publications List
robs consumers of approximately $40 billion every year. In 1995, the Federal
Trade Commission passed a new regulation aimed at stopping telemarketing scams.
The new regulation:
telemarketers from calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., and from
calling consumers who have told that telemarketer they don't want to be called.
that telemarketers promptly disclose their identity, the purpose of the
call, the nature of the goods or services being sold, the odds of winning prizes
if any are offered, the fact that no purchase is necessary to participate, and
the method by which a consumer can enter without making a purchase.
that telemarketers disclose refund and cancellation policies and tell
consumers if refunds and exchanges are not allowed.
Unless you are
totally familiar with the service being sold and you have previously done
business with the company, be wary of paying in advance for services you will
receive at a later date. The new regulation specifically bars telemarketers who
sell credit repair, advance fee loan or recovery services from collecting a fee
until seven days after the service has been performed.
help, but you must continually exercise caution to avoid telemarketing scams.
Fraudulent telemarketers pay no attention to laws, and until they are caught by
the authorities, they continue to defraud people.But there are ways you can
telemarketers constantly come up with new ways to woo consumers into giving them
money. One relatively new form of fraud is known as "recovery room scams." In
these scams, telemarketers call consumers they know have been victims of fraud
and offer to help get their money back - for a fee. Here is a recent example:
The Federal Trade
Commission recently filed charges against telemarketers who falsely identified
themselves as affiliates of a government consumer protection agency, called
elderly people who had been victims of telemarketing scams and offered to help
them get their money back. Consumers were told that for 5 or 10 percent of what
they lost, the caller would recovery their lost money. Consumers paid $200 to
$1,000 relying upon the caller's representation that he was affiliated with the
government, but they never recovered any money - they only lost more.
Remember, if you
get a call from a stranger offering you a terrific deal, don't agree to pay any
money until you have had time to check out the caller. You can contact our
office for information. If the caller says you must act right away, it is
probably a telemarketing scam. People making legitimate offers are always
willing to give you time to think and gather information.
Maryland Attorney General's Consumer Protection
DivisionConsumer hotline: (410) 528-8662 or 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TDD: 410-576-6372