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January 10, 2009

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Robert Bell

There have been some scams against small business owners in the State of Colorado where people write, posing as (or implying they are from) the Secretary of State's Office.

See:

http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/update08_12_08.htm

and

http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/update12_03_08.htm

I am guessing that it is the same gag, only with robo-calls.

Be Skeptical. Government is just not that efficient that they would use a robo-dialer. Con men, on the other hand, love them.

Note also, that this is similar to a car sales scam that harvests data from Craigslist and Autotrader and then connects you to a high-pressure salesman (in Vegas, natch) to sell you a service for $500 to sell your car for you.

Yes, such robo-calls are illegal. If you call them on it, they claim that your advertisement was an invitation to such calls (not true) or that it "removed your number from the Do Not Call list" (also not true).

The Federal Do Not Call list is about as effective as a restraining order against an abusive husband. The con men pay it no mind....

The good news is, when you get a robo-call, you can pretty much assume it is a scam and just hang up and save yourself a lot of time.

Good Luck.

Robert Bell

How do you know the call is actually from the Secretary of State of Colorado?

Have you called them to check? It seems odd they would be using a robo-dialer. In fact, it seems entirely out of character for a government agency.

It sounds suspiciously like those calls from the "Law Firm" saying you owe someone money. They claim by pressing "1" you have acknowledged the debt.

I would hang up on any robo-dialer call and call back to the Secretary of State and ask what is really going on.

I suspect they probably are not the ones calling, but you have unwittingly signed yourself up for credit protector or something.

Jason

Awesome post. I want to code an autodialer to call you on behalf of your VC.

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