The Illinois Sheriff's Association is advising all Illinois county residents that there is currently underway a phone campaign fraudulently using the name and phone numbers of the Illinois Sheriff's Association.
The Sheriff's Association never solicits by phone but does conduct a direct mail campaign throughout the state endorsed by individual sheriffs.
This particular solicitation goes out in February each year.
Telemarketing fraud costs billions of dollars each year. Phone solicitors who want you to "act immediately" or are offering a "too good to be true" opportunity are most like fraudulent.
Remember that if you have any doubts or are highly pressured - just hang up.
Citizens have the right to ask for the name, address and phone number of the organization, or telemarketing firm, for which they are soliciting. They can also ask for the percentage of every dollar paid to the telemarketing firm, or insist on something in writing prior to making a pledge or commitment.
If you cannot get the answers to the these questions do not hesitate to hang up the phone.
Although there are some legitimate organizations that use telemarketers for their fundraising efforts, Illinois sheriffs through the association are adamantly opposed to police groups and associations using telemarketers in their fundraising efforts.
Should you receive a call from someone saying they represent your local sheriff or the association and asking for donations, contact the sheriff's office immediately or gather as much information as you can from the caller and report it to the association at ISA@ilsheriff.org.
Never give out personal information over the phone or internet unless you have initiated the contact. Legitimate business callers will never ask for this information over the phone.
If a caller asks you to pay for an offer in advance or asks for your credit card or Social Security number, tell them you don't give out personal information over the phone.
Legitimate telemarketers won't be turned off if you use these techniques. They will appreciate dealing with an educated consumer.