Tampa Telemarketing Fraud Lawyer
Federal case? Let Joffe Law, P.A. fight for your freedom
Virtually every household that has ever owned a home phone has been on the receiving end of a telemarketing call. As this method of making sales reached the height of popularity in the 1980s and ’90s, scammers had also begun to incorporate telemarketing into their preferred methods of advancing financial schemes. There are multiple different types of telemarketing schemes. Although technology and marketing have advanced beyond simply making phone calls, some more traditional telemarketing scams are still around while others have received a modern upgrade. Charges related to this type of federal offense are serious. Always consult with an experienced Tampa telemarketing fraud attorney as soon as you think you might be under investigation.
Magazine subscription scam
People who have a legitimate interest in receiving magazines may be vulnerable to a magazine subscription scam. This scheme involves a representative calling from a fraudulent company and offering one or more subscriptions to popular magazines for an unusually low price. If the call recipient agrees to the deal, he or she later receives random magazines at a grossly inflated price. In another version of the magazine subscription scam, potential victims are called and told it is time for them to renew their subscription and request that potential victims provide their credit card number in order to do so. The credit card number is typically later used for identity theft or to simply make unauthorized charges.
Fake non-profit organizations have long operated scams over the phone. The caller will claim to be a representative of a legitimate organization, or he or she may claim to represent a completely made-up organization. He or she will contact individuals and attempt to solicit a donation for the cause the fraudulent organization the caller claims to support. Charity fraud scams often spike after a natural disaster such as a storm or earthquake has occurred. If the disaster has occurred outside of the U.S., it is even easier to convince call recipients that the fraudulent organization is legitimately involved with the existing relief effort. If the target gives his or her payment information over the phone, it’s likely to be used to advance an act of identity theft or bank fraud. A telltale sign of fraudulent charitable organizations is the person over the phone may use high-pressure sales tactics and behave aggressively in their attempt to solicit the call recipient’s financial information.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Free lottery, sweepstakes or gift
Most people have received a call promising a free gift, vacation, sweepstakes winnings, or lottery proceeds. These calls are most often telemarketing scams, especially if the call recipient has not entered a contest to win a prize. These “free prizes” usually require the payment of a fee for “processing,” “taxes,” or some other “service.” The caller typically asks for a credit card number and refuses to provide additional information about the company in writing. If the call recipient requests time to think about whether or not he or she wishes to take action, the company representative insists that the call recipient act now.
Telemarketing fraud is often just one component of a larger fraudulent scheme. Telemarketers are typically working to gather information that can be used to create a file and create fraudulent financial and credit profiles to commit crimes such as:
If a Tampa defendant is found to have committed telemarketing fraud while participating in a larger scheme that involved one or more other white collar crimes, the person may be convicted of multiple crimes, including telemarketing fraud. Therefore, a defendant may find him or herself facing a long list of federal charges and more than a decade in prison stemming from one fraudulent scheme.
Working for a fraudulent company
In many cases, companies employ telemarketers to make the phone calls that help fraudulent schemes. The employees who work for the company may be paid a commission for every person they convince to provide their personal information or sign up for the fraudulent product or service. In many cases, the employees are completely unaware that they are working for a company that is engaging in federal financial crimes. Nevertheless, employees may be subjected to law enforcement raids and criminal investigations once the criminal activity is detected. Individuals in Tampa who unexpectedly find themselves being investigated or charged for participating in a telemarketing scheme should immediately contact a Florida telemarketing fraud defense attorney.
Penalties for telemarketing fraud
Telemarketing fraud falls with the federal government’s jurisdiction once the transmission has crossed state lines. In standard cases, a person who is convicted for federal telemarketing fraud may be sentenced to a maximum of five years in federal prison. The maximum prison sentence may exceed 10 years if the victim of the fraud is over 55 years of age. Seniors are especially vulnerable to telemarketing fraud; therefore, the law imposes harsher sentencing in cases that involve seniors in an effort to curb the financial abuse of older people.
Contacting a Tampa telemarketing fraud defense attorney
A telemarketing fraud charge can lead to a lengthy prison sentence. Therefore, anyone who may be caught up in a telemarketing fraud investigation is advised to contact a Tampa telemarketing fraud defense lawyer for a free case evaluation. After conducting the evaluation, the attorney will inform the person of the potential consequences of his or her federal case and provide preliminary advise regarding the person’s options and the best approach to defending the accused against the federal charge.