Crime Overview Telemarketing Fraud

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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Economic Crime Unit, telemarketing fraud is one of the fastest growing types of white collar crimes in the United States. The National Consumers League reports that 92% of adults in the United States reported receiving fraudulent telemarketing offers in 2006 alone. Telemarketing fraud has become an increasing problem during the last several years, with millions of victims and at a cost of more than $40 billion each year.

Telemarketing fraud often targets the elderly. In fact, the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) found that 56% of the names on telemarketers lists were aged 50 years or older. While telemarketing fraud often targets the elderly, it also targets other disadvantaged groups such as the poor and the uneducated. However, telemarketing fraud knows no boundaries and can victimize anyone.

Telemarketing fraud is fraudulent selling, conducted over the phone or via other forms of communication such as the mail or the Internet. The common types of telemarketing fraud include: advanced fee fraud (lottery or loan), pyramid schemes, overpayment fraud, charity fraud, and even misrepresented office supplies fraud. Telemarketing fraud is a serious crime punishable by fines or several years in prison.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are several different common types of telemarking fraud. One is telemarketing via cold calling, just as a telemarketer would do when selling a legitimate service or product. In this kind of scam, the criminal can get telephone numbers from either a regular telephone directly or from a mailing list. There are also lists called sucker lists which have compiled information, such as name, address, phone number, and spending records, of those who have previously responded to telemarketing solicitations, whether fraudulent or not.

Another kind of fraud is through direct mail schemes. In this version, the victim may get a letter, postcard or email stating that they have won some contest, prize or lottery. These can be scams, especially if it's something you didn't actually enter or apply for. They will be asked to respond to the promoters, and to provide additional information. After that, they may be contacted by a scammer who uses persuasive or aggressive tactics to get their hands on the victim's money.

Telemarketing fraud does not have to be initiated by the fraudster in order to be considered fraud. A person can respond to a broadcast or print advertisement, or a banner advertisement on the Internet, and still be victimized by the unscrupulous businessperson.

If you have been accused of telemarketing fraud, whether you are guilty or not, you should contact a criminal lawyer or attorney. Criminal lawyers and attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with crimes by arguing their cases in courts of law. The criminal lawyer will do his or her best to defend you against the charges, regardless of your guilt or innocence, or of the lawyer's own personal opinion of your guilt or innocence.

If you have been arrested for telemarketing fraud, you must request a defense attorney at the time you are arrested, if you cannot afford a private attorney, or contact a private criminal lawyer or attorney as soon as possible after the arrest. A criminal attorney who specializes in telemarketing fraud defense will be familiar with important telemarketing fraud laws of the state in which the crime took place, as well as with local court customs and procedures. They will be able to find witnesses and expert witness, comb through the records of similar cases, and determine the best way to defend your in your particular circumstances.

If you are suing a convicted criminal for damages resulting from telemarketing fraud, you should also hire a civil lawyer or attorney. If the person was not convicted and you want to sue for damages, you should still hire a civil lawyer or attorney. If you are ready to contact a criminal lawyer or attorney, visit the American Bar Association. The ABA website offers free access to their lawyer locater to help you find a suitable criminal lawyer or attorney in your area.