Scam Watch

Scam Watch

Scam Watch

Do you ever get unwanted spam phone calls from OVERLY EFFERVESCENT Fundraising charities? “Hi this is BLAH BLAH from TAKEYOURMONEY, how are you today??”

I do and I always ignore or reject them, but sometimes I get repeat attempts from the same “overly effervescent” person that I can actually understand (not that that makes it any better). So I decided to Google the callers name this time.

Lo and behold, I found dozens of matches on spam reporting sites that matched the callers name exactly, with similar-but-not-identical opening pitches. So, I delved further, read some reports then eventually wound up at a legitimate website that was a direct victim of a scam and posted the following statement on their website:

SCAM ALERT: Your Community Health never calls people to solicit donations. We have heard a report of someone claiming to be ‘Heather Thomas from Your Community Health’ requesting credit card donations. This is not associated with us. Please report calls like this to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scam Watch.

(Link: https://www.yourch.org.au/get-involved/donate/)

The sad part is, they aren’t even the people I was being harassed to support. They are an organisation who are actually there to legitimately help their community (according to their website).

Having had very brief experiences doing this kind of job myself (in my lowest attempts to make money) I know all too well the culture these people are in and I don’t necessarily blame the telemarketers themselves. Half of them are young, transient folks trying to fund their journeys around the world who are energetic and excited and find the whole thing a game (they literally compete on scoreboards at these places). There is also the youth work experience culture who travel to gain worldly experience before they study, settle down, start careers or whatever. I imagine charity fundraising is massive amongst the Visa Waiver Program folks.

In these roles they are under extreme pressure to perform not only from their superiors/team leaders, but also their fellow telemarketers themselves. It is an extremely cut-throat culture and it is designed that way. I personally despise it and consider to be a wicked human activity.

But who is to blame? Who receives this money in the end? In the case of legitimate charities it is extremely complicated. There is an extraordinary cost to “fund” these telemarketing companies with each one housing from as little as 10-20 people on 8 hour shifts, to multiple rooms of 20, 30, 40+ people targeting folks at home and at work at every single hour of the day, worldwide.

The times I have been in groups there usually were no less than 10-20 people in the room whose task it is to make their daily quotas with incentives like cash prize, gifts from the charities themselves and a slew of other “prizes” that the “team leaders” themselves devise in their own time to inspire more calls and get more “gifts” (ie: sales).

Oh that’s right, when you’re asked for money from these people it’s not always worded as being “a donation” but sometimes “a gift”.

I think someone might need to explain the meaning of disingenuous to them. 😏

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