Of the many certainties in life, one of them is this: If you own a phone, you’re going to receive calls from people and organizations you don’t want to hear from, the ones who will try to solicit you in anyway they can to sell you stuff that in most cases is probably stuff you don’t need or won’t work.
There are MANY different kinds of phone scams taking place today, but the one type of phone scam that is happening more and more often is the one that sells internet services. If you have a website, look for money making systems that deal with online marketing, or worse leave your number with a website that HASN’T proven itself to be legitimate, you’re probably going to be getting calls from one or more of these places.
This is exactly what I’ve been experiencing for many months now. I receive phone calls from many different organizations who always tell me they have some money generating website waiting just for me, to claim (oh joy…). I would say on average, I get at least 1 phone call a day, but in my case, I do it on purpose, so I can expose these places.
How these phone scams operate:
It all starts with you visiting a website that mainly deals with making money online and asks you to sign up to get some free information. Many times these websites say they will not share your information and this is often true, but sadly, in the internet world, the opposite happens very often and the people or places that collect your email/phone don’t care about confidentiality.
They will easily give away that information for money or use it themselves to try and solicit you for any services/products they can so they can get as much money as possible out of you. Also by giving away information with other organizations, they also make your number available for other sales calls from these other places. In short, your number is going to be used over and over. This is the point I’ve reached in my experience.
Now while it is possible to “opt-out” of being contacted by one or more companies, if your number has already been shared with other places, opting out of one place will not ensure you don’t get calls from the others. You will and the only real ways to stop this is by either changing your number or just hanging up if you get a call from these places.
How can you tell if a call you’re getting is probably from one of these organizations?
Well in my case, it begins with an unfamiliar number popping up on my phone, me picking up and hearing an automated message. This automated message will most likely talk about those great things I am about to be sold (first page websites, money making businesses, ect…) and then ask me to press a number to be connected to someone. That will then connect me with the actual company.
And by the way, in my experience, that automated message I just talked about is widely used by multiple companies. In other words, it’s the same message used by different places and I know because I often see a different area code when I get these calls.
5 ways to spot the phone call scam and avoid it:
The first one is very simple. If you hear that automated message once, make a mental note of it so if you ever get a call with that same message, you’ll know you’re about be solicited. Can it be true that not all companies that use these same messages are scams? Sure, but if you’re using this tactic, you will not have my respect or trust.
Hyped offers usually mean hyped quality! If I am being contacted by someone who says they’re selling me a $5,000 a month website for a few $100, do NOT be a fool and think you’re getting a great deal. Who would sell you that!? And if the person on the line is doing this, why are they wasting their time working there and selling you this stuff when they could be doing it themselves?
Another commonly hyped offer: If I am being sold a first page ranked website, that’s also extremely misleading. I know of many 1st page ranked sites that don’t get any traffic because they don’t target any popular keywords so you’re just buying junk.
Don’t let the people on the line control the conversation! A shady salesman’s worst nightmare is a customer who asks too many questions and uses rational thinking! Many times these phone salesman are going to try and pull clever tactics on you and one of the most common is the time constraint. They’ll keep talking to prevent you from thinking and also tell you the offer is going to expire if you “don’t act now”. These are all major tells that you’re being scammed!
The price is just too high. Besides selling junk websites, the price they charge for them is in my experience at least 5 times as high if that website is unique in that there are no duplicates around the internet and if there are, that value becomes 0.
I always advocate making your own websites. Just because you buy a pre-made website doesn’t mean you’ll know what to do with it, how to navigate it, edit it and don’t for a second believe that everything is done for you because it isn’t! Again, it goes back to that point where you’re told, you’ll get a website that makes so and so. It just isn’t so! There will ALWAYS be unanswered questions even though the sales people will want you to think otherwise.
Gigantic up-sells! So you were sold on buying a money making website! But you found out it’s not so easy after all and all the promises and claims fell short, but now you have questions, a lot of them. Where will you go? Well there’s always the place that sold you the website in the first place.
But understand this: If you think you’re going to get free support, you won’t. You’re going to be pitched up-sells such as coaching for WAY more than you initially paid for your site. You’re looking at thousands. This is how these companies do it. They start you off small with a website, then hit you with those up-sells either on the front or back end.
Read about one particular company that tried to scam me and people who did end up buying their first offer and what happened later.
So the sign here is to ask if there’s any up-sell after you make your purchase. Of course this question has to follow after the million other questions you should ask about the site you’re getting.
But I can almost guarantee you the sales person on the call won’t even bother to stick around for that long and will just hang up on you. I’ve had more than one time when I was contacted by phone by people and SEO companies that when I started asking questions, instead of getting an answer, I just heard a click. Like I said, they don’t want anyone who asks too many questions and if they hang up on you or don’t answer enough questions, well then you should know that they’re hiding something!
Avoiding phone scams that sell any kind of internet service is pretty much impossible and unless you know of something I don’t already know, please let me know, but whatever rules are in place, they are VERY easy to get around.
And many of these people just have no shame and no boundaries. To them, a sale is a sale regardless of what they’re selling to people. So your best weapon is education and logic to prevent yourself from being fooled.
And while the focus of this post is on those companies that sell you internet services, you should apply the same way of thinking for any other products/services you are being sold over the phone.
Treat phone scams like you treat junk mail: I always think of these phone scams are email junk. You don’t open up junk emails for a reason, because you know you may get a virus or get scammed. Well think of phone scams as the same thing.
Have you experienced these kinds of phone scams? If so, have you been fooled by them or were you able to spot them right away and prevent yourself from being scammed? Let me know about your experiences!