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Older Americans Tend To Be Targets For Telemarketing

Southeast Alaskas Island News of Thorne Bay, Alaska

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BBB Points Out Phonies; Listen for Scam Signals

The Better Business Bureau rings in the conclusion of Older Americans Month with some advice for the elderly: Beware of telemarketing phonies.

Senior citizens tend to be trusting, polite & home during the day; making them more susceptible to convincing pitches that could eventually land them on "sucker lists."

Many businesses use telemarketing as a legitimate sales practice, but flyby-night solicitors may have no intention of providing promised products or services. In other cases, fraudulent callers may try to "verify" personal identifiers by falsely claiming affiliation with known charities, organizations, associations or govern-ment entities.

Receivers should listen for scam signals and look out for callers who:

Block phone numbers.

Do not respect the do-not-call requests.

Make calls before 8am or after 9pm

Don't disclose the nature of calls up front within the first 30 seconds.

Refuse to provide background data, lull contact information, contracts er receipts.

Uie high-pressure sales, harassment, threats or other abusive tactics.

BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers pointers:

Do not touch that dial. Do not respond to any suspicious mail offers, phishing emails or phone calls from unknown phone numbers. Those who attentively listen or reply to offers & sales pitches are often viewed as easy targets for future solicitations. For more insight, read Welcome to the Sucker List.

Dial down on data release. Avoid giving out phone numbers & other contact information on surveys, sweepstakes, applications and online forms unless it is necessary.

Review Completing Surveys Can Increase Telemarketing Calls & Junk Mail.

Get dialed in on the telemarketing rules. Recognize regulations from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) & Telemarketing & Consumer Fraud Abuse Prevention Act. Read Telemarketer Troubles.

Keep authorities on speed dial. Add phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry at or call 888-382-1222; report complaints to this Registry, the state Attorney General and BBB if unwanted calls continue.

Copyright 2012 Southeast Alaska's Island News, Thorne Bay, Alaska. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 18, 2012

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