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Drew: What to Know about ‘The Boiler Room’ Fraud Game

By Samuetta Hill Drew

This week’s article is a continuation of our series on 2022 frauds being perpetrated on innocent citizens in the United States and across the globe. Our focus this week will be on “Boiler Room” fraud and what it entails.
Illegal call centers are referred to as “The Boiler Room.” This term is commonly used because in the days before all the current technology, the call centers were often in the basement of a building where the boiler rooms were usually located. With the onset of technology, these criminal call centers are now located worldwide with many in homes, but the original name of boiler room continues to be used. Regardless of the locations, their goal has not changed – bond quickly with the client, then create a sense of urgency: If you do not act now, you will lose the chance to make thousands of dollars. Boiler rooms dialing into your homes are often based in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, India, Nigeria, or a Caribbean Island.
In the past, these scammers would use the information available and then target people in designated demographics such as specific communities, age groups, etc. Now with today’s technology, a former “Boiler Room” employee said, “You would just log in to the computer, you would turn your phone on ‘green,’ and it just automatically starts dialing for the next nine to 10 hours of your day.”
These “Boiler Room” criminals are the ones bombarding your phones, email accounts, social media feeds and text screens with false pitches. They continue to use the same high-pressure sales techniques, but their scams have been supercharged with today’s technology. “Boiler Room” fraudulent behavior continues to be the top purveyor of consumer fraud.
With technology, it is important to keep in mind, that the boiler room scammers already have information about you. They read from a prescribed script which typically change every week or two. The change is because they will use current headlines as a part of their script to pull you into their schemes.
The more sophisticated operations have a two-tier system. They will use one salesperson as an “opener,” or “fronters,” and the second as the “closer.”  The opener will make the first call. Once a potential client is hooked and the opener has established that he/she is good for the money, the client is then transferred to the closer. The closer is someone with more experience who displays a sense of authority. Many closers go on and create boiler room scams of their own.
A good way to keep your money in your account is to remember the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” This way you can continue to fight fraud by Keeping an Eye on Safety and your wallet.