How Telemarketers Obtain Personal Information

Robocalls have surged, affecting most Americans who own mobile phones. Methods for obtaining phone numbers have become more malicious, despite the Better Business Bureau’s advice to be cautious with sharing personal information.

Here are the main ways telemarketers obtain your personal information. 

Credit Requests

 When you apply for credit, whether it’s for major purchases or something as small as household appliances, you willingly share your personal information with the credit provider. This information exchange occurs because credit applications require you to furnish various details about yourself to assess your creditworthiness. While this process may seem innocuous, it opens up the door for potential misuse of your data.

Credit providers often entice individuals with attractive offers such as 0% financing, immediate spending power, and discounts to encourage them to apply for credit. These tempting incentives serve as bait to lure people into sharing their personal information without much thought. However, unbeknownst to many, this valuable data holds significant commercial worth.

Once the credit providers have acquired your personal information, they may exploit it for financial gain. They can sell and resell your name, address, phone number, and spending history to third parties—including marketing agencies and data brokers. This practice not only compromises your privacy but also exposes you to targeted advertising and potential solicitation.

Restaurant Waiting Lists

Restaurants have a longstanding tradition of incorporating technology into the dining experience, making it more convenient and efficient for patrons. Over time, they have introduced innovations such as digital menus on tablets and even serving food on iPads, aiming to enhance customer engagement.

However, beneath the surface, a troubling and harmful trend is emerging, one that remains hidden from the average diner’s perspective. This practice revolves around the seemingly innocuous act of customers providing their mobile numbers to restaurant waitlist apps.

When you willingly provide your phone number, with the expectation of being notified when a table becomes available, you might not realize that you are inadvertently consenting to the app’s ability to repurpose, share, and even sell your personal information to other companies, both within and outside their network.

Such sensitive data can be exploited by third-party companies for targeted marketing, and in the worst cases, it could be vulnerable to data breaches and identity theft.

Social Media Sites

Telemarketers engage in various strategies to identify potential leads, including data mining and web scraping. These methods involve using automated tools to extract personal details from online platforms, such as social media profiles, posts, and comments.

Telemarketers exploit the vast amount of information users willingly share on social media like phone numbers displayed on profiles or shared in public posts. By monitoring discussions and interactions, they can identify potential customers based on their interests, preferences, and activities.

Once they gather these phone numbers, telemarketers compile databases that help them categorize and target specific demographics or market segments. They then use this information to initiate unsolicited phone calls, attempting to promote products or services to the individuals whose numbers they obtained.

“800,” “888,” and “900” Numbers

When you make calls to”800,” “888,” and “900” numbers, a system known as “Automatic Number Identification” or ANI comes into play. ANI operates through specialized equipment that automatically identifies and retains the phone number from which you are dialing.

Once your phone number is captured, telemarketers can cross-reference it with other computerized lists and street address directories, enabling them to unveil your name and address. Consequently, this information becomes a valuable addition to marketers’ databases. The repercussions of this data collection extend beyond the initial company that captured your number, as they might proceed to sell it to other marketers.

Heidarpour Law Firm, PLLC deals with lawsuits for consumers who get unsolicited calls from debt collectors and companies on their cell phones. TCPA requires consent for such calls, and you can stop them by contacting us for more information.