Don't let telemarketers dupe you.

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Watch out! You're an easy target for one of the most common-and costly-business scams. But you can learn how to protect your business. Telemarketing scam artists sell overpriced, poor-quality office goods to unsuspecting entrepreneurs.

The Federal Trade Commission requires telemarketers to disclose certain information, including that it's a sales call, who they are, and the total cost of the goods or services they're selling. So don't be afraid to ask.

Keep track of all orders. And limit the number of staff members who are authorized to order items. If you receive merchandise you did not order-and the seller can't prove you did-you can keep the materials.

Make sure your employees are scam-aware, and establish a procedure for taking and handling such calls. Remember, forewarned is forearmed.

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