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Rand Mintzer - Attorneys at Law

Telemarketing Fraud

Houston Telemarketing Fraud Attorney

An increase in the frequency and types of phone scams committed in Texas and throughout the United States has drawn the attention of law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the state and federal levels. If you believe you are under investigation for committing phone fraud, or if you have been charged in connection with a telesales scam, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Types of Telemarketing Scams

There are many types of telemarketing scams. Some of the most common phone scams include:

  • Club membership scams in which the person committing the scam pressures the victim into paying immediately. The victim’s credit card information is used to charge unwanted and unordered items.
  • Charity fraud in which the victim is asked to donate to police, fire, military or other charitable organizations with only a small fraction of the donation actually finds its way to the charitable group.
  • Medical discount card sales that promise the purchaser substantial discounts for prescription medications or medical services that never materialize.
  • Get rich quick schemes sold over the phone that promise high profits with no risk but turn out to be bogus.
  • Calls in which a person is asked to pay taxes and fees to collect the winnings from a lottery or contest. Victims who fall for the bait and pay the money get nothing or receive a prize worth substantially less than the money paid to the scammer.

The Texas attorney general’s office investigates hundreds of telesales scams each year through its consumer protection division. Texas law requires telemarketers to offer consumers a full refund on any unopened and undamaged merchandise returned within seven days of purchase.

Penalties for Telesales Scams in Houston

A person convicted of using the phone to commit consumer scams can be prosecuted under federal criminal laws. Penalties for mail fraud or wire fraud include imprisonment for up to five years and forfeiture of the proceeds of the fraudulent conduct. Criminal forfeiture could include the seizure of a person’s assets acquired using the proceeds of phone fraud.

When telemarketers provide false information to banks or credit card companies to open accounts to process a victim’s credit card, prosecutors can charge the offender with bank fraud. Fraud committed against a financial institution is punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years.

Speak With a Telemarketing Fraud Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with committing telemarketing scams, then you need legal assistance. Call 713-862-8880 to set up a free legal consultation with Rand Mintzer, Attorney at Law.