Local News

N.C. Attorney General Turns Table On Telemarketer

Posted February 26, 2002

— There is a new warning about telemarketers from the state's top prosecutor.

North Carolina Attorney General

Roy Cooper said he received a deceiving telemarketing call on his home answering machine.

The message said: "I've been trying to reach you for some time in regards to a drawing you were entered into for a 2002 Jeep Liberty."

Cooper called the company back. He did not identify himself as the attorney general, but learned that he might also receive four free airline tickets.

Of course, there were catches.

Cooper asked "Would it be absolutely free? Could I go anytime I wanted to?"

The woman on the other line said "Yes. The only thing you have to pay for is your hotel accommodations."

However, Cooper learned that the hotel prices were $300 a night for at least 10 nights. He also learned that he had to go to Virginia Beach to get the tickets and was required to sit through a 90-minute sales pitch for time shares.

Cooper was on the phone for 13 minutes asking all kinds of questions he said everyone should ask about offers like this.

"A lot of times, consumers don't ask these questions, and once they get hooked into the process, they find they can't get themselves out," he said.

Cooper warned that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. He said that even though the contests may be legal, many are very deceptive.

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