How Do You Recognize Phone Scams?


Quick Answer

Promises for free bonuses; special prizes, especially overseas; amazingly low-risk investments; and other unbelievable goodies tied to demands for on-the-spot purchases and personal information are signs of a telephone scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Swindlers use exaggerated or fraudulent prizes or services to lure in victims.

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Full Answer

Many phone scams fall into one of several categories, explains the Federal Trade Commission. For example, phone offers for travel packages often offer lavish trips at little or no cost, although the hidden fees add up in a hurry. Even after the victim makes a payment for the trip, many times these vacations never take place, and if they do, the accommodations are far less luxurious than what was promised.

Foreign lotteries with huge prizes are another common phone and email scam. Selling these tickets to people in the United States is against the law, which proscribes selling lottery tickets by mail or phone across state and national lines. People who buy these tickets are likely to never get them at all, notes the Federal Trade Commission.

The extended car warranty can be a real boon if a person is buying a high-mileage used car from a dealership. However, scammers like to call and offer extended warranties once they find out the make and model of the victim's car, states the Federal Trade Commission. Often, the companies behind these warranties are not even real, making the plans worthless.

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