Thursday, September 15, 2011

Phone Scams - these people really tick me off

I hate telemarketers.  Okay, I don't hate them personally, but they are sleezy salespeople doing a crass job.  Same with those swindlers who come to the door.

This week I've had at least 4 phone calls from people doing telephone surveys.  All of them said they were from companies identified only by initials - two were from S.P.T. Research.  I didn't let them get very far. 

When a real survey company phones, they identify who they are doing the survey for and what the information is going to be used for.  These guys just say they are doing a survey about "air quality" or "recycling" in your area and didn't give the name of a client - only the name of their company.

Of course, after telling each one of them to get lost (in stronger and more determined language each time - I actually started giving answers the first time, but didn't last long) I took a look online.

SPT has a website.  But there are probably many companies with this name, and I'm not sure if I have the right one.  However, this site that I did find is suspicious - the only way to contact them is through e-mail - with their site opening up your e-mail program (which I did NOT do because I do not trust them).  There are a few pages filled with double speak, and a couple that don't open at all, but to the trusting mind it probably looks pretty professional.

I also typed in "SPT SCAM" and found several message boards where people are complaining about phone calls from this company.  See ... here's the thing.  In Canada we have the "no call" list.  If your number is on this list, telemarketers are not allowed to call you and you can complain.  But market researchers CAN call you.  So apparently (according to the message boards), they call, asking all sorts of questions, get your address and then send someone to your house with a prize - at which point they try to sell you something. 

The last one who called got a very prickly me on the other end of the phone.  I asked what the company name stood for (she thought it was the initials of the owner's name) and told her that I didn't believe that this was what she was really doing and when I asked her how I could get the phone calls to stop, she just hung up on me. 

Several of the message boards say that the people have told them they are calling from the Phillipines.  And one had a plane ticket to Australia on his credit card after it all.

It's a reminder to us all to not trust any stranger who calls your house - don't give them any information (when they start asking about how much we earn and such, it makes me cautious) and certainly don't tell them where you live.

I must appologize to any of the legitimate telephone research companies who call my house.  I won't answer your questions and I probably won't be very polite!

3 comments:

  1. Check with your local BBB. They usually have an up to date list of the latest scams. I didn't think about the market research angle. I did one the other day and was surprised at some of the questions.

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  2. i know where you're coming from, Sandi. when my telephone was new and i get calls like that, I've been nice and polite. but when I'm getting more and more calls, i started looking at them differently.

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  3. well, every time i get a call like that, i get the phone number and report that to this consumer complaint site http://www.callercenter.com. that site is free and with a lot of people visiting the site, these scammers sure get lesser chances of scamming more people.

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