Telemarketing fraud isn’t just annoying, it’s criminal. Smooth-talking telemarketers trick unsuspecting victims into sending money, or telling their bank account or credit card numbers.
The scams frequently promise lottery winnings if you forward cash to pay foreign “taxes,” or pretend to be legitimate charities asking for contributions.
We’re fighting these criminals and shutting them down. If you have been a victim of telemarketing fraud, file a complaint
so we can try to help.
With the public’s help, the private sector and law enforcement agencies can defeat this menace.
The NC Telemarketing Fraud Prevention Project
Since January 2000, Attorney General Roy Cooper has administered the North Carolina Telemarketing Fraud Prevention Project in his Consumer Protection Division.
The project, funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission and a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, fights telemarketing fraud through public-private initiatives that enhance the investigation and prosecution of telemarketing fraud rings.
These sophisticated rings, most of which operate outside the state or outside the country, target North Carolina because of our high number of retirees, enlisted military personnel and low-income workers.
We fight back by increasing public awareness of telemarketing fraud, alerting consumers to the signs of frauds in progress and asking for help in thwarting fraud attempts.
The project has brought a number of enforcement actions against telemarketing fraudsters to shut them down.
How the Project Fights Fraud
The multi-billion dollar North American fraud industry succeeds because its members network to share criminal skills and likely victims. Through similar networking by the public and private sectors, we can combat telemarketing fraud.
Here’s how we do it. An investigator with specialized knowledge investigates and brings cases, and assists prosecutors as they work cases involving NC victims. We help with trial work and the maintenance of a specialized law enforcement database.
We collaborate with Canadian, British and other foreign law enforcement agencies, the FBI, US Customs, US Postal Inspection Service, US Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement in other states to increase criminal and civil enforcement actions against fraudulent telemarketers.
We work with the more than 40 agencies and organizations in the North Carolina Senior Consumer Fraud Task Force to collect information on fraud incidents and share the latest information on fraud techniques.
Public and media appearances by the Attorney General and his staff around the state warn consumers. We hold “Scam Jams,” sponsored by the Better Business Bureaus, AARP, local police and others around the state.
We work with financial institutions, money transmitters (“wire transfer”) companies, overnight couriers, telephone companies and others to obtain intelligence on the fraud industry’s activities and to keep their services from being employed by the criminals.