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OT: How do you handle telemarketers
Posted: 17 October 2012 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Here’s a question for everyone: how you handle telemarketers?

Let me first start by saying that I use a device called a Telezapper which sends out the “disconnected line” tones whenever someone calls. This is usually enough to stop most telemarketers since the tones tell their computers that my number has been disconnected so it’s a waste of time to keep calling me.
My phone number is also on the FTC and State of Florida Do Not Call lists, which makes it illegal for telemarketers to call me. I also report any telemarketers when they do call me.

Within the last month, though, I’ve been getting calls about once a week from “card account services”, who are quick to say they’re not with “my bank”. Every time they call, I tell them to stop calling and I report them to the FTC Do Not Call List, yet they keep calling. Whenever I ask them for their company’s name and phone number, the person says they’ll give it to me after I give them my credit card information. I’ve even told them that I want their information to make sure it’s not a scam- after all, how do I know they’re not a “phishing” company out to steal my information?
I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m telling them that I’m reporting to the FTC Do Not Call list, which means their company could be fined and they could lose their job.

Does anyone have any good ideas on how to get them to stop calling? And, no, I don’t mean nasty things like blowing an air horn in their ear- these are still people who need to work for a living and doing something like this could be considered assault.

Thanks

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Posted: 17 October 2012 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I subscribe to a service that stops “cold” calls reaching me.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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If these people will not tell you the company they are working for until after you give then CC info, then I would be 99% sure it is a phishing scam. I would report it not only to FTC, but the FBI and in your case the State of Florida DOJ.  I would also tell them that intended to so.

They might get the idea not to call anymore.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Aside from has already been said (and it does look and sound a lot like a phishing scam) generally politely but firmly though with persistent little so and so’s like this lot I’m sorely tempted to take a leaf out from the TV series Bones and begin questioning the caller, asking them what are they doing calling a crime scene, do they know the victim, etc…

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Posted: 17 October 2012 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Give them nothing, but do keep them on the line as long as possible.  If they get insistent, then tell them your goal is to eat their time and nothing else.  They don’t give a damn about “do not call” lists, but when they find you’ve just been holding them on the line with no intention fo giving them anything, they will stop.  It may take three or four tries, but they somehow do learn. 

Polite is not something I do well.  With them, not at all.

D.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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act stupid and just keep repeating everything they say.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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You could try driving the idiots calling nuts. 

When they call, launch into a totally irrelevant topic of conversation.  If they try to interrupt you, remind them they are being terribly rude and go right back to it.  Keeping a book of bad poetry or dull philosophy nearby to read to them is helpful if you can’t come up with topic of conversation.  If you really want to drive them up the wall, whisper rather than speak in a normal tone of voice.  When they tell you they can’t hear you, calmly tell them they need to get their hearing tested.

This method also helps to discourage the current run of calls made by volunteers who are working for those seek election or re-election.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The other day I got a call which said: “May I speak to the person responsible for your cable service decisions?”
I responded:  “No”

There was a long uncomfortable silence (well…uncomfortable for them..I was laughing)

Rawn

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Posted: 17 October 2012 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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They get a sentence out then I interrupt and say “I’m not interested, goodbye” and hang up. I noticed that the cold call blocking service is not working so they’re using the phonebook which is illegal. The next one of those calls I get I’m going to get their company info and report them.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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JHoagland - 17 October 2012 12:07 PM

... My phone number is also on the FTC and State of Florida Do Not Call lists, which makes it illegal for telemarketers to call me ... Within the last month, though, I’ve been getting calls about once a week from “card account services”, who are quick to say they’re not with “my bank”. Every time they call, I tell them to stop calling and I report them to the FTC Do Not Call List, yet they keep calling. Whenever I ask them for their company’s name and phone number, the person says they’ll give it to me after I give them my credit card information. I’ve even told them that I want their information to make sure it’s not a scam- after all, how do I know they’re not a “phishing” company out to steal my information?

They are a phishing company out to steal your information.

Anyone who persists in calling you even though you’re on the Do-Not-Call list is 99% likely to be a scammer. This particular outfit are definitely scammers. When they called me, they were calling themselves ‘Credit Card Services’, and hung up on me when I asked them to give me the real name of their company. They also use other generic names like ‘Cardholder Services’.

When they called me, the caller had a strong South Asian accent, so I’m guessing that they use Indian call centers to run the scam. The people behind the scam are apparently American, though: one investigation pointed to an individual in Florida who used various business names, including Castle Rock Capital Management, but he’s by no means the only scammer trying this particular trick. Note also that they may use IP telephony-based ‘spoofing’ techniques to fake or conceal their number: the number that shows on your CallerID may not be their real number.

Because they’re scammers, they won’t stop calling, and they hide their identity well enough that the FCC will take a long time to catch up with them. You can either choose not to answer, or you can tell them “No, I know this scam. Don’t bother calling me again”, but they’ll keep calling you anyway.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Oh, one other thing you can do, if you have time to spare and want to waste some of theirs.

When they ask for a credit card number, give them one from Graham King’s site. These are numbers that will pass initial verification ... but aren’t real card numbers. Invent a name, expiry date and CVV code to go with them, and let them try to figure out why they can’t get any money out of your account.

If they complain that the number doesn’t work, give them another number and make them try that too. If you do a really good job, the call center running the scam may flag your number as a time-waster (calls that take too long and don’t earn anything cost the call center money) and they may leave you alone.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Card Services is a bad one. They get shut down for calling the do not calls, but in a few weeks they reappear. Sometimes with a different name. Always the same pitch.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Varies, depending on how blatant they are - my usual response to the “Microsoft support” one is to say “Liar” and hang up. Sometimes |I give them a lecture on their moral failings, sometimes I just say not interested and hang up.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I had a call trying to sell me a newspaper subscription - I told them I can’t read. 

Same call a week later - I put on my best “almost crying” voice and whined “Is this some kind of cruel joke??  Don’t you know I’m blind???”

They never called back.

Had another from a phone company claiming better rates - I said “I don’t have a telephone.”

Long silence - then they hung up without another word.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Ask them to hold - put the phone down on the desk and walk away - takes them about 30 mins to 2 hours to figure your not coming back, plus it costs them not you.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Hang up. That’s all you need to do. The “card services” calls I get are always recordings.
If I’m bored enough and have the time to kill with an actual person on the line, I let them talk until they run out of breath and then do one of the following:
Say “Hello?” over and over as if I can’t hear them until they hang up.
Tell them they have a nice voice and ask them what they’re wearing. Sometimes they hang up so fast the click hurts my ear.
Say, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening…could you repeat that?”
Fake a foreign language…easier than you might think. “Ebest grommel tormid?”
Just keep saying “Grandma is that you?” over and over.

But yeah just hang up.

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