Yesterday I received a call from a telemarketer selling Dish TV or something like that. I handed it over to my wife because there is a particular channel that she is interested in that our cable company doesn't have. I heard bits of the conversation from my wife's end such as "why do you need to know that?" etc. I felt a bit sorry for the telemarketer because getting personal information out of my wife before you prove that your God's right-hand man is impossible. She's not going to be conned or scammed by anyone over the phone.
In order to ascertain if a telemarketer, "market researcher" or other person calling is a scam or not I've decided to set up questionnaire that I am going to ask them before we start with their part of the call. I'm writing the questions down here so that I remember what I want to ask them and do so in a logical manner.
Me (in reply to their initial question): "For security reasons I need to ask you some questions in order to ascertain that you are who you say you are. I must also warn you that anything that you say may be made publicly available on the Internet. If you do not agree with this condition then please terminate the call now."
1. Can you give me your first and last name (again) please?
2. What is the name of the company that you are calling from?
(Assuming that I'm sitting in from of the computer by that time)
3. What is your company's web address?
4. Where on your company's web site can I find your name listed as an employee?
(My telephone number is both unlisted and on the "do not call" register.)
5. Where did you get my telephone number from?
6. Did you check the "do not call" register before you called this number?
7. What country are you calling from?
(If conducting "market research")
8. Will you at any time during this call try and sell me something?
This list is a work in progress and I'm sure I'll add to it in the future.