Special Offers Fraud

Now that 2021 is over, scammers will be working to take advantage of people looking for end-of-the-year deals. They’ll usually start the scam with a sense of urgency: Act now before this deal is gone forever!

Scammers will try to sell you on time-sensitive special offers. Some of these will be offers of a product or service for a small fee, normally for shipping fees. Be sure to read the terms and conditions if available. Usually deep within the terms and conditions, it will state that there is a trial period, usually 14 days to try the product/service then you will be charged the full amount if you don’t call to cancel.

And if no terms and conditions are offered, ignore the “deal.”

These are all examples of “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.

Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud—what a caller may say:

  • You must act “now” or the offer won’t be good.
  • You’ve won a “free” gift, vacation, or prize. But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
  • You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier. You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
  • You don’t need to check out the company with anyone. The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
  • You don’t need any written information about the company or their references.
  • You can’t afford to miss this “high-profit, no-risk” offer.
  • You must pay by using a gift card.

If these or similar “lines” are spoken from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone.

Visit the RCB Bank Security Center for more information on how you can protect yourself from fruad.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.