A NY Criminal Attorney Explains Telemarketing Fraud
Telemarketing fraud scams involve using the phone to trick people into parting with money or to trick call recipients into providing financial and personal information that is used improperly without authorization. Defendants who are involved in telemarketing scams in any way can be charged with a serious criminal offense.
Bukh Law Firms, PLLC provides legal representation to clients who have been accused of participation in telemarketing fraud. We work hard to help you avoid losing money or losing your freedom because of claims you’ve violated the law. Our goal is to resolve your case in a timely manner, to protect your assets, and to keep you out of prison. Whether this means negotiating a plea deal, fighting for the suppression of evidence, or presenting your case in court, our legal team is ready to help. Call now to speak with a NYC criminal attorney with experience in telemarketing fraud cases.
Telemarketing Fraud Definition
Telemarketing fraud involves contacting people via phone with false promises or materially misleading statements in order to convince the person who has been called to part with money or with valuable information. Examples could include:
- Travel package scams: The call recipient is informed he has won a free vacation but must pay a small tax or booking fee, or the recipient is told he has the opportunity to obtain a vacation at a very low cost. The vacation may never take place or there may be very high surprise fees after the person has paid the initial requested amount.
- Credit card or debt relief offers: The call recipient is told he can obtain a low interest rate loan, or benefit from easy credit or debt relief solutions. The recipient provides financial information or sometimes pays a fee for the debt relief, which is never provided.
- Charitable donation solicitations: The call recipient is told of the urgent need to make a charitable contribution. The call recipient parts with money for the donation or with financial information. No charity actually exists or receives the funds, and the recipients personal financial details may be sold or used in an identity theft scheme.
- Foreign lottery scams: These types of telemarketing scams involve informing someone the call recipient that he has already won a prize in a foreign lottery, but must pay a small fee to collect. There are actually no lottery winnings and the call recipient often makes multiple payments in an attempt to recoup initial expenditures by receiving the promised prize.
- IRS debt scams: A caller is told he owes the IRS back taxes. He must pay the money right away to avoid fees, penalties, and potentially serious adverse legal actions like a lien on his property or the garnishment of his wages. The call does not come from the IRS.
- Investment opportunity scams : The call recipient is told he can participate in a great investment opportunity. The telemarketing scam in this case may be microcap fraud, pre-IPO investment fraud, a Ponzi scheme, or another type of investment fraud.
- Extended vehicle warranty scams: Scammers can contact a car owner and urge the vehicle owner to purchase a warranty on his or her vehicle that will provide the owner with extended protection in case of problems. Either no warranty exists, or the warranty provided is worthless and does not protect the consumer.
- Free trial scams: A call recipient is offered a free trial for signing up for something. The free trial may include receiving products or joining some type of membership club. The call recipient is automatically signed up for recurring monthly charges at the end of the “free trial.” Cancelling to end the monthly charges is difficult or impossible for the alleged scam victim.
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In any situation where materially false promises are made or misleading statements are made and a victim loses as a result of the untruths, the individual who made the call or who participated in the scam could face criminal charges. Any co-conspirator who is knowingly involved with the fraud scheme may be charged with all offenses committed by others who participated in defrauding call recipients.
Penalties for Telemarketing Frauds
Penalties for telemarketing frauds will vary depending upon how the scam took place, and the amount of money unlawfully obtained. The greater the amount of money that has been obtained in the fraud scheme, the more serious the penalties under New York State laws found in Article 190 of the New York Penal Code. New York may punish specific types of fraud with additional criminal charges, including charges for making false statements of credit terms or charges for identity theft in connection with frauds perpetrated for the purposes of obtaining information.
In many cases, federal officials become involved in the prosecution of individuals suspected of participation in telemarketing frauds. This can mean charges for crimes like identity theft and wire fraud, which carry maximum penalties that could result in 20 to 30 years imprisonment depending upon whether a financial institution was defrauded.
Defendants could also face a civil lawsuit, and could have assets and accounts frozen and seized if it is suspected that money was obtained through the fraud or that property was purchased from the proceeds of a criminal scheme. As part of the criminal penalties associated with a conviction, restitution to alleged victims may also be mandated. This means that freedom, money, and property are at risk- and defendants must be aggressive in fighting back against accusations made against them.
How a NYC Defense Lawyer Can Help Defendants Accused of Telemarketing Scams
Bukh Law Firms, PLLC understands fraud laws and knows how state and federal authorities conduct investigations and prove cases. Our firm’s goal is to help ensure you do everything possible to avoid a guilty verdict, keep your money, or reduce penalties when escaping the consequences of criminal actions is not possible. Give us a call as soon as you are accused of involvement in a fraud crime so we can help you to develop a legal strategy that makes sense for your situation.