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People Who Have Worked For Scam Call Centers Share What It Was Like

People Who Have Worked For Scam Call Centers Share What It Was Like

Call center jobs defibitely aren't the best even when they're for a legitimate company, so it stands to reason they working for a telephone scammer would suck even more.

Reddit user u/cmdrrockawesome asked :

" People who've worked for scam call centers, did you know? And if you did and stayed, why? "



Worked at one place when I was 19 or so that did public radio pledge renewals. Turned out the boss wasn't actually giving that money to anyone, just kept it. Bunch of suits and uniforms showed up and arrested him, shut the company down in the middle of the work day. No idea if he was ever convicted or what might have happened to him afterward.

- ForbiddenLlama


You're desperate for a job. They call you and it seems legit enough. You go through training and its fun, the people in your training class are all pretty cool, the managers make you feel special ,you think you might actually like this. Then it happens you get on the phone, first real day of work and after the 5th person hangs up you realize that you are one of THOSE people. How did I not see this before, but your Managers are behind you cheering you on, telling you not to lose steam, offering free Lunches.

You get conflicted. You know its wrong. I worked there 2 days , the third day I came to work clocked in....looked around and just got up and left.

- LoveBox440



I went through the 6 week training and left after. I caught on pretty quickly that they were the bad guys and I was going to be asked to do some dubious stuff regularly, so I milked the paid training and quit the day I was supposed to finally get on the phones lmao

- Peppermussy


I worked for a call center for about a month that bugged people to donate to "charities" with very similar names to actual charities, but less than 1% of the pledge would actually go towards a charity.

When i found this out i felt anxious about it and left, basically ghosting on it. No manager or employee of any kind even so much as called once when I missed my next shift. I just stopped showing up and then never heard from anyone again.

A few weeks later I got a call to my land line (that i don't give out), asking if I wanted to come work for... the exact same company. in my head I was like "do you guys even remember that I literally DID work there and then just stopped showing up? oh ok then."

Definitely how a legitimate and not shady corporation would act.....

- quickso


A long time ago - like in the early 1980's I got a job at a call center - I was about 21 at the time. There were 5 or 6 of us who started the same day. The deal was we were selling discount photocopy paper and toner (back in the day, toner powder was poured into a reservoir by the user). The call center manager gave us several scripts - but encouraged us to ad lib once we got the hang of it. We were to call businesses from a list they had generated. A typical narrative would say that due to some accident (duplicate order, trucking accident, bankruptcy, etc.) we had tonnes of surplus toner or paper. When ever we first mentioned "toner" we were told to say "you know that black messy stuff you put in your copier" as kind of a folksy hook and were to refer to Xerox, HP and Canon as "the big three".

At this point, we were told and believed that the supplier bought bulk supplies from real "accidents", bankruptcies and over stocked items - so basically the scripted narratives were "mostly" true. In truth, we were just an order placer for bulk wholesalers of supplies. There were no accidents, mistakes or bankruptcies involved, but apparently these lies helped people believe they were getting a deal.

The first day - I didn't do any live calls, just training, role playing and practice with a sales trainer and instruction on how to process orders and record calls. Since the pay was 100% commission - this was unpaid work.

The second day only 2 of the new hires showed up. It started with a sales huddle, a rah rah affair where we "celebrated" the previous days numbers and top performers and were given the key messages for the day/week and told who was pushing paper vs toner. I was put on the toner team. I spent the morning shadowing an experienced salesperson who made several sales each hour - but again, unpaid work for me. Then was given a headset, a list and an order book after lunch. I made my first sale on about the 3rd call (huge cheer - I was a star for 30 seconds) - but then nothing the rest of the day. So basically I made about $10.

After work I saw a fellow salesman waiting for a bus , so I offered him a ride to get the scoop on the company because I was having some doubts. He basically said he had just quit and the whole business was a scam. The lists given to the callers were sorted - the top sales people got pre-qualified leads, the rest got basically random businesses. The 1 sale I got that day was a plant - everyone gets 1 plant on their first day. For every 100 or so calls, you get about 20 that actually listen to your narrative and maybe 1 that places a small order - and about 2/3 of the orders are cancelled almost immediately so there is no commission.

For Many of the cancelled orders, their phone number got put on the pre-qualified lists for the top sales men the next month. He also told me the whole over stock, trucking accident, bankruptcy thing was a big lie, we were just placing orders for a bulk supplier. The prices were cheap because the licensed suppliers had much bigger markups, but that message didn't sell as well. We also had a cheaper, inferior product that would often void the warranty of the manufacturers.

Third day I didn't show up.

- LeftToaster

It's a livin


Worked for an environmental non-profit as a teen doing calls and going door to door. I didn't really understand the legislation we were getting signatures for but hey it's good for the environment. A very very nice hippie lady invited me in and explained that the non-profit I was working for was financed by the oil companies and was trying to backdoor a way to remove any liability for spills in the Gulf. I did some research and, sure enough, that was indeed the case. Told everyone in my office. About half were horrified and the other were like "Eh, it's a livin'" I left and so did many others. It was a trash place to work anyway as you were paid by how much you brought in in donations.

- voice_of_craisin


I was 16 and back in the day (circa 2003), Montreal was a huge haven for telemarketing scam operations - particularly those targeting the US.

So being young and naive, I started phoning up places that had 'help wanted' ads in the local newspaper. One called me back and told me to come in for an interview. It was a tiny little operation (for those of you from Montreal - right behind the famous Orange Julep) with maybe about 10 people working there. The interview was quick and I got hired on the spot.

They explained to me that Visa and Mastercard had an "issuing department" that they contracted out to smaller centres and we had to help process approved applications to get people their actual cards.

I believed it.

So I worked there for about two weeks, calling people and telling them that they got approved for a credit card application that they submitted (a while back, it could have been up to six months ago - I still remember the script!) and that we needed to get their information to update their file and re-run the credit check to issue their credit card.

It turns out that they were selling them a 'credit repair kit' (but that would only happen during the "verification" phone call - when the client agreed to everything, the supervisor would come on the line, dial out to a separate number to make a verification recording with the person on the line, and quickly rush through the information and blurb out the credit repair kit portion at the last second) - funny enough the times the client objected or hesitated, they'd just hang up and tell me to go to the next person.

Two weeks passed by and then I was due for my first paycheck - on Monday! So I walk in all happy knowing that I must have made a super duper commission-

Huh- that's weird . The doors are locked.

Eh.... they're not answering the phone either.

WHAT THE... the office is empty and everything is gone.

Then another one of my colleagues showed up and sighed - then he mentioned to me "you didn't think they they were REALLY issuing credit cards, did you?"


So I headed back home all sad. I would spend the rest of that summer working at the grocery store.

- kito99

Is it cool?

Got a job at a telemarketing place once.

First day was told "If you are okay scamming people you can make a lot of money."
After the intro class we were split into pairs and were told to listen in to the experienced "workers".

Essentially how it worked was you call into a real company and the scammers would get phone numbers close to the reputable companies, so as you call in and are on hold, you think you are waiting to speak with them.

A message would come on, with some kind of scam deal, a free trip, $1 dollar subscription for 12 months that costs you hundreds later on, things like that.

The very first call this confused senior. Who thought she was waiting to speak with her bank. So she willingly gave out things like her credit card number ect. By the time she clued in and realized it was a scam and asked us not to process the information, the rep hung up on her and was actually laughing...

Needless to say, I hopped on a bus home after that to go back to the want ads.

- BadCatLeroyBrown



I worked for one company (which acted as two) called AidNest and thereafter USDR...while pretending to be two companies. Can I do this? Or do I have to edit the names out? The companies don't exist anymore

Anyway, I found out a couple of months into the job that although it wasn't exactly a scam per se, we were selling a service that people didn't need and could do for themselves.

Later though, everything turned into a scam when the following happened: The owner's old business partner sued his balls off, and managed to get all of his accounts frozen, including of course the ones where all of the clients' money went, and where all of our salaries came from.

A couple of weeks later, we weren't even allowed into the building anymore, almost 200 call center agents left on the street jobless. Oh and during those couple of weeks we didn't get paid but were all forced to come in and try to make new sales to effectively pay our own salaries while things "picked back up".They never did. They still owe me about 2.5k USD, we went to the ministry of labor, we made quite a fuss and it even made the news (without identifying the company itself). The legal representatives fled the country, and well, I guess we'll all just have to be pissed forever.

It broke my heart every time I continued to receive email notifications WHICH I CAN'T TURN OFF from clients who are still looking for responses and for help with their debt, and I can't even log into the system (which was paid for by the company) because it's not being funded but somehow still receives incoming messages, don't know how that works.

So I guess, what I mean is, if you worked with AidNest and haven't been getting answers...that's why. So not only the clients got scammed, but the employees did too.

I'm spending way too much time on this comment that probably only a couple of people will read but I think it's my one chance to help at least one or two people realize that although they didn't start out being scammed, they definitely were eventually because of the piece of garbage owner(s).

- throwaway908231


After I started at one "selling" credit cards to old people on Social Security/Disability, I realized what I was being told to do and I walked out. That place was absolutely awful, and I legitimately felt bad for anyone I successfully duped into signing up with their "ONE-TIME LIFE-TIME MEMBER CARD ACTIVATION FEE OF ONE NINETY-NINE NINETY-NINE."

- Raininglemur

3 days

When I was about 19 I worked for a call center for 3 days. They were scamming everyone including the employees.

First, shifts were only 3 hours long and you would be scheduled for 2 of those back to back (I.e. 9-12 & 12:30-3:30). This is because if you are scheduled for longer than that you are 1. Legally entitled to break time 2. If you are scheduled for longer than 3 hours and get cut you have to be paid a minimum of 3 hours. The company would regularly cut you if you weren't bringing in enough money, you were then expected to return for your next shift.
I'm sure they screwed people's pay checks somehow but I walked out in day 3 and abandoned my paycheck.

I walked out because that was the day I learned where the money went. See, we weren't selling anything, we were raising money for breast cancer research. The key piece that led me to quit was when I learned that 0.1% of all donations went towards the actual research. The remaining 99.9%? Well, it was lining pockets and funding other centers to scam people.

I now only donate directly to a source and even then only after vetting them.

- BonQuee