Are Reimbursement Scams the New Thing?

Everyone knows scams have always been an issue, especially since the internet has grown, but now it appears a larger scam has developed.

It starts off with a phone call. An unknown individual will claim to be with a software, computer company, advising that their company is closing down and that software was purchased by you years ago. They’ll inform you that you’ll be receiving a reimbursement of $100 or more, because you didn’t get the total amount of years covered by the warranty. Free money sounds great, but are you really going to get this money? No. In fact, you’ll be paying them. How so?

Once the scammer advises you on the amount you’ll supposedly receive, they’ll ask you for financial information to send you the money. After they claim to have sent the money, they’ll say they accidently sent you too much, or they accidently added an extra zero, making it $1000 instead of $100, and you’ll need to send the difference back. Most of these scammers will ask that you send via wire transfer or by a gift card.

Unfortunately, many are falling victim to this newer scam. If you ever receive a phone call or email, stating you’ll be receiving a refund, be sure to listen to all the details and ensure a reputable company is calling you. Most of the time, companies will not attempt to refund you, even if they’re going out of business.

Tips to Avoid Telemarketing Fraud

It’s almost impossible to get your money back if you fallen for a telemarketing scam. Before buying anything, remember:

  • Don’t buy from unfamiliar companies. True companies understand you want more information about them before making a purchase.
  • Always request and wait for written information about offers. If you receive information about investments, ask an expert, but beware-not everything written is real.
  • Always research unknown businesses with your local Better Business Bureau. Not all bad businesses can be identified however through groups such as the BBB.
  • Take note of the sales persons information, such as name, business name, phone number, address and business license number. Take time to verify this information before starting a business transaction.
  • Before you send money to a charity, find out how much of it goes towards commissions and what percentage actually goes to the investment.
  • Do not pay in advance for services; only pay after the services are delivered.
  • Do not trust companies who wish to send a messenger to your address to collect money. This is just a way for the scammers to collect revenue from you without leaving a trace.
  • Always take time and making a decision. If the business rushes you, chances are they have something to hide that you might not be fully aware of.
  • Don’t send money for a “free prize”. If the caller says the payment is for taxes, they are violating federal law.
  • Never send money or give personal banking information. This includes banking account and routing numbers. Also, avoid giving out Social Security numbers and dates of birth.
  • Know that the information you share with a telemarketer is shared with other telemarketing companies. You should expect to receive increased contact regarding offers.
  • If you have information about fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law-enforcement.