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Telemarketing Scams | Consumer Information
Phone Scams
In the last week we have received an unusual amount of reports of phone scams.  The reports indicate that the victim is contacted by telephone and told that they either won a prize or that they are late on a bill.  The victim is asked to purchase a pre-paid card from a local store or to wire money.  The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has found that almost all of these crimes originate from outside of the USA.  The suspects are purchasing MagicJack and other V.O.I.P. phone systems, hook them up to a computer or internet connection and they are now free to call internationally from their home country to the USA for free since it appears to be a local call. 

The Federal Trade Commission has a task force that investigates these crimes and urges victims to contact them as they have been pretty successful in working with other countries to apprehend and prosecute these suspects.  Below is a small section from the FTC website.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov) or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm).

If someone wants to report this type of crime, they should file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by either going online or calling the phone number provided above. 

Phone Fraud