Timeshare Pitches Disguised as Political Polls
Timeshare telemarketers are taking advantage of the upcoming political election season to disguise their timeshare pitches as political polls to get around the national "Do Not Call" registry. By pretending to be a political poll, the robocall can confirm that a person is at home and then switch that person to a timeshare cruise sales pitch.
Normally telemarketers are not allowed to robocall people who are registered on the "Do Not Call" registry, but there is an exception for political polling. Consumers receive a call requesting them to take a "political poll" that consists of three questions.
Once finished, instead of the poll being over, the consumer is transferred to a live operator who offers them a "free" cruise. That "free" cruise ends up not being so free when the operator requires a $59 per person "port fee" that must be placed on a credit card to complete the reservation. While the $59 per person fee still may seem like a great deal for a cruise, the cruise itself is a timeshare sales cruise and requires the consumer attend a timeshare presentation on the cruise. This places the consumer in a high pressure sales situation where there is little escape.
Here are a few basic precautions to always take when receiving unsolicited phone calls:
1. Never give your credit card information to somebody who has called you. Always insist on calling them back if you are going to make payment by credit card.
2. If you are interested in an offer that you get from somebody who has called you, always hang up and check out the company through the Better Business Bureau before committing to anything.
3. If you are told that the offer is a limited time offer only available during that particular phone call, decline. It's most definitely a scam.
4. If you received a pre-recorded sales pitch and you are on the "Do Not Call" registry, contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the violation.
With the political season moving into high gear, you can expect to receive more and more scam phone calls of this type. Be aware that they are going to be more prevalent and take the precautions you need to avoid being scammed.
(Photo Credit: TST)