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The lead-generation bait-and-switch

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You’ve probably shared your contact information online to, say, get details about a job opening. Usually, that’s fine. But sometimes you might be looking for one thing and wind up getting something else – like calls about stuff you never asked for or wanted.

Lead generators are companies that collect your contact information, then sell it to marketers who use it to promote their own products and services. While some lead generators are upfront about what they do with your information, others trick you into sharing it for their own profit – regardless of what you asked for.

The FTC sued Day Pacer, LLC for allegedly making unwanted calls as part of a scheme that used just this kind of bait-and-switch. According to the lawsuit, Day Pacer is a lead generator that got its leads from websites with convincing graphics and language to make people think they were in the right place to get what they needed. People went to these websites and shared their phone numbers to get help applying for jobs, health insurance, unemployment benefits and other assistance. But that’s not what they got. Instead, people got unwanted phone calls from Day Pacer with sales pitches to enroll in post-secondary and vocational schools operated by its clients. The company disturbed millions of people with these calls – even though their numbers were on the National Do Not Call Registry.

When you search online for jobs, benefits, or government assistance, you want to be sure you wind up where you need to be. So, once you have your search results:

  • Check out the URL before you click. Search online for that URL, plus the words “review” or “complaint.” Do the same thing with the company name, if you can find it. That will tell you what other people have experienced with that site.
  • Look for sites with “.gov” in the URL. Of course, there are many reliable, non-government, online sources. But government sites are the safest bet. So, for example:

And if you know someone who’s gone through this kind of bait-and-switch, report it to the FTC.

Comments

“Even though they were not on the do not call registry” I’m on the do not call registry and it makes no difference at all. I block calls on my mobile phone and that doesn’t do any good either.
Last week - in 1 day - I counted 12 robo or unwanted calls. Nothing works. And by the way I also was not fooled by but was the recipient last week of a grandparent scam call. Something has to be done to fix this!

Getting a lot of text messages from people that want to do an online interview in Google Hangouts. These are scams!!!! Real HR representatives call you, they don’t text you to do online interviews. They say they represent real companies and even sent me a fraudulent check. Upon verification with the company and the remitter of the check, the person didn’t work there and that company did not cut that check. These scammers are going online and getting info on real companies and using them to falsify checks. They ask you to cash them thus getting your banking info. I didn’t fall for it thanks to being smart and verifying the information prior to action or releasing any personal information to them. I even asked for their tax ID # which they didn’t have. Never flow business funds through your personal bank accounts. Hope this helps someone ......

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