If You Give Sears Your Phone Number, They Might Harass You Like A Clingy Stalker

Sears, Sears. We know that you’re desperate. But acting clingy and desperate is no way to win over customers, especially the ones who have just made a purchase in your store. While it seems like every retailer is pushing their service plans on customers, they don’t usually resort to phone stalking, like what you did to your poor customer Mike. He had to resort to contacting the FTC and your corporate offices about the stalking.

It’s over, Sears. You should have taken the hint one of the first few dozen times you called. Now Mike really never wants anything to do with you again.

Woman Sentenced To 15 Years In Jail For Swindling $30 Million In Telemarketing Timeshare Scheme

Woman Sentenced To 15 Years In Jail For Swindling $30 Million In Telemarketing Timeshare Scheme

Telemarketing itself isn’t a crime (more’s the pity) but using that method to cheat 22,000 people out of around $30 million sure is, as one one woman sentenced to 15 years in prison found out recently. [More]

Bill Introduced To Let Robots Call Your Cellphone

Bill Introduced To Let Robots Call Your Cellphone

Since ’91, it’s been illegal for telemarketers to use autodialers and other robot-like devices to call your cellphone. Last week, a bill was introduced to change that. While in the past email hoaxes have gone around saying that your cellphone could be opened up to telemarketers, HR 3035 seeks to let businesses contact your cellphone “for informational purposes.” [More]

Make The Telemarketer Repeat Themselves A Zillion Times Until They Hang Up

Make The Telemarketer Repeat Themselves A Zillion Times Until They Hang Up

Now this is how you mess with a telemarketer. Reader areaman in the comments on “Annoy Telemarketers Into Leaving You Alone” pointed out this clip of comedian Jim Florentine taking on one of those debt consolidation companies. She keeps trying to read through her pitch and he keeps insisting that there was a part in it he didn’t hear and makes her go over it again and again. “No, no, before that,” is his constant refrain. She tries to soldier on but eventually hangs up in frustration. Classic. [More]

Telemarketers Want Me To Sell My Timeshare. I Don't Own One.

Telemarketers Want Me To Sell My Timeshare. I Don't Own One.

Reader Deon is confused by all the telemarketers calling him and sending him letters, asking if he wants to sell his timeshare. The confusion largely stems from the fact that he doesn’t own a timeshare. He’s tried getting off their lists but it seems his name and number as a “hot lead” keep getting sold around. [More]

10 Confessions Of An Insurance Telemarketer

10 Confessions Of An Insurance Telemarketer

One of our readers works sales in an insurance telemarketing operation. He’s stepped forward to give us the skinny on how he gets commission, the real reasons that drive some of their tactics, and what personal information you should never give over the phone to a telemarketer. [More]

Keep Your Small Dog Info To Yourself; The Person Calling You Doesn't Need To Know

Keep Your Small Dog Info To Yourself; The Person Calling You Doesn't Need To Know

Here’s a weird possible scam going around. Our reader Chris writes, “Every day for the past week, I’ve been getting an automated call that asks me, ‘This is Survey 2010. Do you have a small dog?'” [More]

Chase Scare-Calling Customers To ReUp For Overdraft
"Protection"

Chase Scare-Calling Customers To ReUp For Overdraft "Protection"

Jen said Chase left a message on her phone asking her to call back. Thinking it was about fraud, she did three times, and when she finally reached the person who called her, she got a creepy and misleading pitch for overdraft protection. They wanted her to come into her local branch and “go over her overdraft protection choices.” Who has time for this crap? [More]

Chase Made Me A Weird Telemarketed Offer I Easily Refused

Chase Made Me A Weird Telemarketed Offer I Easily Refused

Tim says a Chase marketer called him up and offered him $150 upfront in exchange for a commitment to knock $1,800 off his credit card balance within the next seven months. Intrigued, Tim asked the company to send documentation for the offer, but the guy on the phone refused. He says the number on his caller ID checks out as a Chase number and doesn’t know what to make of the strange promotion. [More]

Target Point Consulting Calls Stranger At Home To Insult Him

Target Point Consulting Calls Stranger At Home To Insult Him

Jon says someone called him earlier this month and claimed to be from a company called Target Point Consulting, and asked Jon to answer a survey. When Jon said no and asked how the caller got his number, which is on the Do Not Call list, things got interesting. [More]

When Telemarketing Fraudster Calls, You Might Want To Let It Go To Voice Mail

When Telemarketing Fraudster Calls, You Might Want To Let It Go To Voice Mail

Doug, who sent in this photo of what showed up on his caller ID when a roboscammer rang him up, possibly has the most effective phone screening system ever. Or maybe it’s just that the scamming company on the other line is at least honest about how it defrauds people. [More]

Weird Auto-Dialer Scam Curses At You If No Operators Are Available

Weird Auto-Dialer Scam Curses At You If No Operators Are Available

There’s a strange auto-dialer message going around right now that asks you to call back for important info. When you call back, you might end up being offered lower interest rates on your credit card… or you might get a voicemail inbox where a man yells at you, “You stupid f***ing b*tch!” [More]

FTC Shuts Down Multi-Million Dollar Cramming Business
Inc21

FTC Shuts Down Multi-Million Dollar Cramming Business Inc21

Inc21 supposedly sells web hosting and other Internet-related services, but the FTC says that in reality it contracted with offshore telemarketers who helped it cram charges onto unsuspecting customers’ phone bills, earning $19 million over the past five years. Customers who complained about the charges said they were either never contacted in the first place, were promised a free trial, were told that the telemarketer was just verifying business information, or explicitly refused Inc21’s offer and were charged anyway. [More]

10 Confessions Of A Telemarketing Insider

10 Confessions Of A Telemarketing Insider

Out of the shadows steps a dark figure, sporting wrinkled khakis, a retractable namebadge, and a headset dangling from his ear. It’s the telermarketing insider, and he’s going to confess to you how his industry really works and how you can resist and even fight back:

Capital One Calls To Dun For Payment Before It's Even Due

Capital One Calls To Dun For Payment Before It's Even Due

Cory says Capital One‘s Collection Department called his mother-in-law the other day in an attempt to reach him, which was weird because his account is in good standing. Their reason? They just wanted to remind him that his credit card payment was due soon. Oh, and to try to upsell him.

Ring Ring Hello, I'm Not A Debt Collector!

Ring Ring Hello, I'm Not A Debt Collector!

Nothing says “wow I can’t wait to see who is on the other end of the line” like a company that programmed their number to show up on caller ID as “NOT A COLLECTER.”

Don't Threaten To Kill Telemarketers

Don't Threaten To Kill Telemarketers

We know how you feel; telemarketers suck. But no matter how much they’re in the wrong, please don’t threaten to burn down their place of business and then kill them and their families—even if they call you a jackass—because they may report you to the police. Then, if your police are anything like the ones in St. Louis, Missouri, you’ll likely be arrested and charged for making terrorist threats, like poor Charles Papenfus.

Federal Judge Shuts Down Car Warranty Robocallers

Federal Judge Shuts Down Car Warranty Robocallers

“Oh hell no!” Federal District Judge John F. Grady told a marauding group of car warranty robocallers who managed to annoy pretty much everyone over the past few months. The judge slapped two Florida companies with an immediate restraining order and froze their assets, which should be enough to finally end those maddening robocalls.