Knowing Your Telemarketing Rights Can Help You Avoid Scams -

Knowing Your Telemarketing Rights Can Help You Avoid Scams

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As if telemarketing calls weren't bad enough, it's becoming more difficult to figure out which calls are actually scams.

A new survey finds 9 in 10 of you are concerned you may not be able to tell the difference. Knowing your telemark rights can be just the clue you need.

Jackie Bishop owner of Art Eats Bakery in Greenville says she gets "at least 25-30" telemarketing calls a week.

In a Kitchen where time is money, the calls are at best annoying, at worst costly.  

"A few years ago we got a call and they were saying I just want to verify your information for the business and they wanted you to give the name of the business and then I got a bill, it was an online directory.

The bill was $800, and she fought it. But a lot of people do get tricked into paying upfront fees to callers who offer services like repairing your credit or reducing your debts.

The Consumer Federation of America says that's a sign of a scam.

If you take away one thing, know this, real telemarketers are not allowed to ask for a payment in advance of services, and they must tell you you don't have to pay a fee to win something.

Other Telemarketer rules:

- By law they must promptly tell you if it's a sales or charity call, the name of the company and what they are selling.

- Plus, they can't ask for a payment without revealing the total cost, and they can't charge your account until you've agreed.

"I think that's very helpful to know that because you know, if they're asking for things like that and you know that's not allowed then obviously that's a scam so you can cut that right off," said Bishop.

If you are dealing with a legitimate business, you should know, the telemarketers must put your number on their "no call" list if you ask. The only way to make the scammers stop, is just hang up.


While it's not a complete fix, it can be helpful to put your number on the do not call registry. It applies to both your landline and cell phone. But you should know, political calls, charity calls and survey calls are all exempt.

To get on the list call 888-382-1222 or click here.

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