Political poll or phone scam?
OKLAHOMA CITY — Many Oklahomans are fed up with a telemarketer who seems to be getting around the Do Not Call Registry with a new ploy.
Some say it’s a phony political poll meant to get your credit card number.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office is now getting complaints and they say the scam preys on whoever will stay on the phone with them.
Bobby Kessler wasn’t too skeptical of the phone call Monday evening because his number is on the Do Not Call Registry.
“I wonder if it’s related to a political survey, since it’s that time of year and it was a political survey,” he remembers thinking.
The questions were, in fact, political.
“Gas prices, unemployment and Middle East involvement,” Kessler said. “They also asked me who my preference for president was.”
But then Kessler was told he had won a free cruise.
However, there were charges and other fees involved.
“It’s very deceptive because they call for one thing and then shift into another,” he said.
He eventually hung up.
“They can’t call people and offer this cruise and this type of scam, so they do it under the guise of a political survey and they think that’s OK,” Kessler said. “They know darn well what they’re doing and they know that it’s wrong.”
The phone campaign is called Political Opinions of America.
Their website states, “…promotions and giveaways may be available on certain survey campaigns to offer additional incentives for survey takers.”
But Assistant Attorney General Ethan Shaner said if a number on the Do Not Call Registry is called, it’s illegal for one key reason.
“As soon as they begin to ask for credit card numbers or any sort of money for those incentives, it no longer becomes simply a survey call and it becomes telemarketing,” Shaner said. “There’s a reason these calls continue. It’s because they’re lucrative and because they’re very difficult to shut down.”
Shaner said some telemarketers change their business names quickly when they’re being investigated.
He advises everyone to be skeptical of any free promotion over the phone.
The group running the campaign did not return our calls.