Hello, Today I got a call on my cellphone from an unknown number: (913)-370-9619. When I picked up the phone, the lady started talking so fast that I missed the introduction. Her voice was smooth and computer like but I could not really tell for sure. She asked me if I wanted to go for a free cruise to the Bahamas in exchange for telling my friends and family about their service.
Before she can tell me more details she wanted me to see if I qualify:
- If I am above 18 years of age
- If I have a credit card (because on the cruise’s casino you can pay by credit card only)
- If I am willing to travel within the coming 18 month
I started asking random questions to see if she’s a bot but she was giving some answers that kept rising my suspicion. I told her “I will hang up” and then she said: “Wait, I am not trying to sell you anything”. When I insisted to hang up she tried to bait me by saying: “Don’t you want a free trip to the Bahamas?”, then I replied: “No” and then she asked again. As if it is hard for people to sense the scam and what seems to be good to be true. After I finally hang up with her, I started looking online and indeed there are know scams about the Bahamas Free Cruise. For example check this site.
Here are some guidelines to protect yourself in the future from telemarketers and scammers alike:
- When you answer the phone, make sure the caller knows your name. If s/he does not know your name then it must be a telemarketer
- Clarify and ask again about the purpose of the call before you waste your time listening and getting baited in their scam
- Never give personal information (Your name, address, birth date, …)
- Never give credit/debit card information
- Add your phone number to the “National Do Not Call Registry” for free
- While they won’t obey this suggestion, ask the telemarketers not to call you again
- For instance, the “Vehicle protection center” still call me almost every other day even though I told them in all possible ways to stop calling my numbers
- Write a blog post and tell others about your experience so they don’t fall for the same trap
I wish there are laws that prevent scammers from conducting business and if they scam people then we should be able to arrest them. Good luck!