One of the easiest ways to supplement your current lead flow without worrying about creating new marketing campaigns or scaling your current ones is to simply buy leads.

It requires a couple of basic steps.

  1. Find a lead generation company that offers leads in your niche
  2. Agree to pay for leads within a certain criteria
    1. Region
    2. Hours of Operation
    3. Call Duration
    4. Other Criteria Depending on Niche (Examples Below)
      1. Home Owner vs Renter
      2. Private vs Public Insurance
      3. Business Annual Revenue
      4. FICO Score
      5. Etc.
  3. Provide them with your phone number to send the calls to.
  4. Put down some sort of retainer, down payment and credit card on file.
  5. Wait for your phone to ring with new leads.

Depending on the quantity and type of leads you are buying, this process can get a little more complicated. If you’re purchasing thousands of leads at a time then you will most likely need to prepay anywhere from 25% to 100% of the leads upfront. This protects the lead generation company from spending tens of thousands of dollars buying media and then finding themselves with no payment from the client.

Middleman Syndrome

What most people buying live phone call leads don’t understand is that the phone calls they are buying from their lead generation company may not have been generated by them in the first place. A lot of lead generation companies will buy leads from other lead generation companies or affiliates and then resell the leads to you.

Is this something immoral or unethical? Absolutely not.

As long as they deliver on the leads promised, they have the right to utilize any method possible to generated that lead.

A big issue that arises from this though is that the lead generation company you hired has no control over how the leads are generated when they buy them from affiliates. This is where this fraud issue arises.

Fraud Calls

A fraud call is when a person calls up pretending to be someone actually interested in your product or service when in reality they are just calling up through financial incentives.

An example of this is, you hire a lead generation company and agree to pay $60 per call. The affiliate who is selling calls to your lead generation company hires someone to call up and pretend to be interested in your services. The lead generation company bills you $60, pays the affiliate $20 for the phone call and then the affiliate pays the fake caller $5 for making the call.

The lead generation company made their $40, the affiliate made their $15 and the fake caller made their $5 and you’re stuck with a $60 bill and a fake lead. This not a fun situation to be in.

 

Affiliates Are the Problem

Do some lead generation companies do this themselves, yes. But it’s mostly done by affiliates because affiliates don’t have much at risk when they perform these shady tactics.

The lead generation company does not want to ruin their reputation and knows this is not a long term sustainable method. They know that their clients will eventually catch on to this and fire them.

The affiliate doesn’t care if the lead generation company loses their client. They can sign up as an affiliate with some fake name and email address and never disclose their identity. They just hope that they can deliver some fraud calls and get paid before anyone catches onto it.

 

Spotting a Fraud Call

These are some of the toughest calls to spot as your first impression while listening to these calls will typically be positive.

I’ve personally listened to over a hundred of these fraud calls over a variety of industries. Below are some of the common characteristics of a fraud call.

Caller is Using a VOIP Service to Make the Calls.

You can easily check if the phone being used is a cell, landline or VOIP number by using a tool such as www.phonevalidator.com . Are all VOIP calls fraud? No, but the majority of them are.

Quality of Call is Low.

Since many of them use VOIP lines to make the calls, the quality and clarity of the call can be low.

Call Starts out Perfect

An example of this is “Hey I would like a quote on water damage restoration…”. A typical phone call does not start out that perfect. The caller will stumble over their words, say a couple of umms, ask where the company is located, etc. Also in this example, no average customer asks for “water damage restoration”, it’s an industry term that the majority of callers never use. A typical way that same call would go is “Hey my kitchen pipes burst. I need help cleaning out the water out of my home.”

Center City Zip Codes Used in IVR

Zip codes entered into the IVR before being transferred to you are typically the center zip codes of major cities. Many of the times they will call back a couple days later with a different person and enter the same zip code as the first time. It’s easy to start spotting a pattern.

The Area Code of the Caller Is out of Area

An out of area code caller does not mean they aren’t local. We all know that people use their cell phones and they move around the country. The thing with fraud callers is that they will call up using an out of area code number at a much higher rate than a regular call would.

They Pretend They Just Moved into the Area

What happens on a lot of calls is that the fake callers get asked a question about which part of town they are in or which side of the freeway they are located. Since the fraud callers are not actually local, they use the excuse that they just moved to the area recently and aren’t sure.

Fake Appointments

You go out for a scheduled appointment and realize that the house you went to had no idea they had scheduled an appointment with you. This happens a lot with fraud calls as the callers will give a random address out and schedule a time to make the call look as realistic as possible.

 

Preventative Measures

The best tip I can give you for preventing these calls from happening is to run every call you receive from a lead generation company through a service like www.phonevalidator.com. I would especially do this at the beginning of the relationship with a new lead generation company. If you end up finding any VOIP numbers then disclose it to your lead generation company immediately.

 

Share this Information

Receiving fraud calls is definitely a big frustration for business owners. Not only does it cost them money but also a lot of time and frustration. Share this article with the people who answers your phones. Make sure they are aware of this type of fraud so that they can better filter and identify any of these fraud calls that they receive.

 

If you would like an audit of your current or previous lead generation services or any marketing agency services you can reach us at www.aosaudit.com.

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