Local News

Shady Telemarketers Try To Cash In On WRAL's Name

Posted February 9, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Someone is trying to capitalize on WRAL's name and reputation. If you receive a recorded message claiming you have won a cruise from Channel 5, do not buy into it. You've probably heard about these scams before. Someone calls you claiming to be with a certain company or charity but they're very ambiguous about it. Chances are they're not who they claim to be.

Who wouldn't enjoy a cruise after the bad weather we've had. That may be the -->

Sharon Sevilla received a recorded phone call not long after WRAL's 6 p.m. news broadcast.

"She said 'My name is so and so from Channel 5, and your name has been randomly chosen to be eligible for a contest for a vacation trip or cruise for two,'" Sevilla said.

Jim Griffin, WRAL station manager, said the company did not make the call.

"Although they didn't say WRAL, certainly our channel number is channel 5, and people could be led to believe it's WRAL," Griffin said. "We're absolutely running no such contest."

Recorded telephone solicitations are illegal in North Carolina.

When Sevilla was put on hold, she hung up. She got suspicious a few minutes later and pressed *69 after the call.

"The message I got was the number that called my line was unavailable," Sevilla said.

If WRAL was running a contest, there would have been no mistaking it.

"We would clearly identify ourselves as WRAL, Channel 5 in Raleigh," Griffin said.

Telephone scam artists can be very convincing, but there are ways to protect yourself:

  • Ask for written material about the offer.
  • Always take your time making a decision.
  • Never send money or give out credit card information.
  • Do not be afraid to hang up.