Scams: Be Aware of Telemarketers Disguised as Researchers

A new VoxPop survey discovered that Canadians are frequent victims of fraudulent telemarketing strategies. The poll found that, in 2006, 41 percent of adults Canadian were contacted to participate in a research survey that actually turned out to be an attempt to sell them a product or service or ask for a donation.

In Canada, fraudulent telemarketing is illegal. “Legitimate survey researchers never, under any circumstances, sell or ask for money, and they always give the research company’s name and information on the nature of the research at the beginning of the call,” said VoxPop spokesperson, Brendan Wycks, Executive Director of Marketing and Research Intelligence Association (MRIA). “Any attempt to sell or raise money following a survey request is a scam. People who receive such calls should immediately report the company’s name and, if possible, its phone number to PhoneBusters.” Its toll-free phone number is 1-888-495-8501. Also, anybody who’s been contacted to participate in a survey can verify the legitimacy of any research.

Telemarketers are required by law to identify their company and disclose their true purpose at the beginning of a call. The Canadian law also requires business organizations to obtain valid consent from Canadians before collecting, disclosing or using their personal information. Like any other Canadian, newcomers should never give away personal, financial or any kind of sensitive information.

As we explained in Canadian Newcomer Magazine Issue 6, you can avoid falling victim to telemarketing scams following very simple rules: never give them your bank account, credit card or other personal information including social insurance numbers, full name, date of birth, full address, mother maiden name, username and password of online services or driver’s license number.

CNM