Mass-marketing fraud is probably not a term that you’re very familiar with. It’s easier to explain the term by understanding the method of defrauding others. Mass-marketing fraud is a term that refers to any fraud that uses mass-communication methods. The methods of communication may include:
- The internet
- Telephone calls
- Mail delivery schemes
- In-person meetings
The goal in mass-marketing fraud cases is to make the victims transfer money to the person committing fraud. For example, a person might sign up for a “new job” and put down the $100 to start, only to find out later that no job existed.
There are several kinds of mass-marketing fraud. Some of the most common include:
- Online-auction schemes
- Credit-card interest reduction schemes
- Foreign lottery or sweepstakes schemes
- “Romance” schemes
- Inheritance schemes
- Charity schemes
- Work-at-home schemes
- Overpayment schemes
With each of these, the people running the scheme have the potential to make money from multiple sources. They may take only a small amount from each person, which makes it less likely that they’ll be reported.
It is possible to be accused of being behind one of these schemes without that being the truth. For example, if you run an online auction and forget to ship a person’s item but took their payment, they could accuse you of an online-auction scheme. However, if you do have the item and quickly ship it to them or refund their money, then you can typically clear your name. Misunderstandings happen, and they are not the same as intending to defraud others. If you’re accused, it’s important to protect your rights until you can fully explain the situation.