A Typology of Profit-Driven Crimes

Appendix IV: Popular "Telemarketing" Frauds

The top ten "telemarketing" frauds reported to the National Consumers League’s  National Fraud Information Centre in the first six months of 2000 are:

Prizes and Sweepstakes:
phoney prize awards requiring payment of fees first
fake sales or renewals for subscriptions never received
Credit Cards:
phoney promises of credit cards requiring advance payment of fees
kits sold with false promises of profits
Advanced Fee Frauds:
promises of loans requiring advance payment of fees
Telephone Slamming: 
phone service switched without the consumer’s consent
Credit Card Loss Protection:
unnecessary insurance sold using scare tactics or
Telephone Cramming:
billing consumers for optional services they never ordered
Buyers Clubs:
unauthorized charges for memberships in buyers clubs consumers never agreed to join or didn’t agree to renew after initial trial offer
Travel and Vacation:
offers of free trips or discount travel that never materialize

Top Ten Telemarketing Fraud Complaints, January 1, 2000 - June 30, 2000

Top ten Telemarketing Fraud Complaits

Figure description

Top Ten Telemarketing Fraud Complaints, January 1, 2000 - June 30, 2000

This pie chart shows the complaints related to the ten most commonly used fraudulent telemarketing practices for the period between January 1 and June 30, 2000. The most common complaint was about prizes and contests asking for fees to be paid up front. (22% of cases), followed by subscriptions or renewals of subscriptions to magazines people had not subscribed to (19% of cases). False promises of issuing credit cards (in exchange for advance payments) accounted for 15% of complaints while 11% of complaints were related to the sale of work-from-home start up kits (with false promises of profit). Strong-arm tactics by telephone companies (i.e. transferring telephone service providers without the consumer’s consent) and requiring up front fees for loans each accounted for 9% of cases. A smaller proportion (5%) of complaints related to the sale of unnecessary credit card protection insurance. Lastly, false promises of trips and memberships to buyers clubs (membership fees, without the consumer’s consent) each accounted for 3% of the complaints.

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