There are plenty of words to describe the damage done by telemarketing scams. You have victims of identify theft. Their money was gradually stolen because they easily bought in to the shady offers they were being given over the phone. These, however, aren't the only victims.
What most people don't realize is that this damage isn't limited to just those who were directly deceived. They've also hurt an entire industry that now has to strive hard every day to prove that their methods are not to be confused with that of criminals and shady business practices.
These are the telemarketing firms.
For years, businesses have used the phone to get in touch with their market to promote their products and services. But when the scams started to come in waves, more and more people grew distrustful and irritated towards these marketing calls. Finally, this culminated with government intervention and now you have the many DNC registers and regulations that have seemingly restricted the practice.
Couple this with the rise of negative stereotypes surrounding call center agents and you'd think the industry should have died after that. However, it didn't. It still stands to this day and its practices continue to be used despite all the regulations and laws.
What is the reason for this? It's because these events have only further refined the image and goals of today's professional telemarketers.
For instance, the decline of B2C telemarketing has compelled companies to shift towards B2B telemarketing instead. Whereas telemarketers back then could call you in the privacy of your own home, they're now calling offices and other business establishments. The quality of their process is no longer defined by what they've sold over the phone but how the conversation contributes to a larger process called lead generation.
Scammers aren't interested in the high-level of information found in qualified leads. They're only interested in information that lets them crack someone's bank account or access their credit card. Anything less than that and they'll simply not rely on data at all. They'll just try and trick you of your money over the phone.
In B2B telemarketing, that is far from the actual goal. Lead generation services employ telemarketers to get information on another company's problems, needs, and their interest in better business solutions. A good telemarketer knows better than to rush a prospect (whether it's their own or one for the company outsourcing them).
Scammers also use poor quality technology and poor techniques. In fact, one could very well be just calling out of a basement with an old phone while using worn notebooks and Excel sheets to record their stolen information. You can hear the static in their calls, the unusual background noises, and, in some cases, a thick accent that doesn't really care for clear communication.
It's true that telemarketing seems dead to those who no longer want a phone salesman calling them while they're trying to watch TV. On the other hand, the goals of the industry today have raised the bar much farther beyond the reach of cheap phone scammers.